American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 409–422 | Cite as

Biologic Therapy in the Treatment of Cutaneous Sarcoidosis: A Literature Review

  • Christina Dai
  • Shawn Shih
  • Ahmed Ansari
  • Young Kwak
  • Naveed SamiEmail author
Review Article


Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease defined by the presence of non-caseating granulomas. It can affect a number of organ systems, most commonly the lungs, lymph nodes, and skin. Cutaneous manifestations of sarcoidosis can impose a significant detriment to patients’ quality of life. The accepted first-line therapy for cutaneous sarcoidosis consists of intralesional and oral corticosteroids, but these can fail in the face of resistant disease and corticosteroid-induced adverse effects. Second-line agents include tetracyclines, hydroxychloroquine, and methotrexate. Biologics are an emerging treatment option for the management of cutaneous sarcoidosis, but their role in management is not well-defined. In this article, we reviewed the currently available English-language publications on the use of biologics in managing cutaneous sarcoidosis. Although somewhat limited, the data in published studies support the use of both infliximab and adalimumab as third-line treatments for chronic or resistant cutaneous sarcoidosis. There were also scattered reports of etanercept, rituximab, golimumab, and ustekinumab being utilized as third-line agents with varying degrees of success. Larger and more extensive investigations are required to further assess the adverse effect profile and optimal dosing for managing cutaneous sarcoidosis.


Compliance with Ethical Standards


No funding was received for the preparation of this review.

Conflict of interest

Christina Dai, Shawn Shih, Ahmed Ansari, and Young Kwak have no conflicts of interest to declare. Naveed Sami was a previous sub-investigator for Centocor clinical trial for sarcoidosis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Central Florida College of MedicineOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.DermSurgery AssociatesHoustonUSA

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