Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Mar;54(3 Suppl 2):S139-42.
Skin disfigurations and pruritus can pose severe threats to quality of life, and treatment options for patients with recalcitrant diseases are limited. Tumor necrosis factor alpha, a proinflammatory cytokine, appears to play a central role in mediating the symptoms of many skin disorders. We report cases in which etanercept (Enbrel; Immunex Corp, Thousand Oaks, Calif), a tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonist that is approved for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis, was administered to ameliorate the symptoms of acute and chronic dermatologic conditions, including Hailey-Hailey disease, severe psoriasis, dermatomyositis, and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Treatment with etanercept substantially improved the clinical symptoms and quality of life in these patients, and may offer a therapeutic option for some patients with severe skin disorders.