Pentoxifylline in dermatology

Eliza Balazic, Eden Axler, Hailey Konisky, Urmi Khanna, Kseniya Kobets

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Pentoxifylline was initially marketed for use in patients with intermittent claudication due to chronic occlusive arterial disease of the extremities but has since been shown to have several off-label uses in dermatology. Aims: The aim of this review is to increase awareness of the several applications of pentoxifylline in the field of dermatology. Methods: A comprehensive PubMed search was conducted in May 2022 using the following phrases “dermatology” AND “pentoxifylline.” Our search period spanned 34 years from 1988 to 2022. All available literature was reviewed. Reference lists of identified articles were included. Studies were excluded if they were not in English and if the study was out of scope. Eighty-one articles were included in this review. Results: Pentoxifylline has been used to treat various dermatological conditions including peripheral vascular disease, vasculitis and vasculopathies, chilblains, pigmented purpuric dermatosis, granuloma annulare, necrobiosis, keloids, lichen sclerosis et atrophicus, scars, radiation-induced fibrosis, vitiligo, alopecia areata, leishmaniasis, and leprosy. Conclusions: Pentoxifylline's use in dermatology is growing. However, there are limited larger studies and randomized control trials on the use of pentoxifylline in dermatology and more investigation is needed to evaluate its use for many dermatologic conditions. Pentoxifylline's unique mechanism of action as well as its good tolerability, cost-effectiveness, and minimal drug interactions make it a convenient primary or adjunctive option in many dermatological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-417
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • dermatology
  • pentoxifylline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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