To determine the most effective treatment for acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, several clinical trials were undertaken in recent years to evaluate whether a 2-week course of ceftriaxone would be superior to oral antibiotics. Of the 46 patients suffering from acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, 14 were treated with ceftriaxone 2g for 15 days. The remaining patients received either oral penicillin V 1.5 million IU t.i.d. or doxycycline 100 mg b.i.d. for 20 to 30 days. Patients were followed up for at least 1 year. Of the 14 ceftriaxone-treated patients four showed incomplete regression of the inflammatory skin changes after 6 to 12 months. Two out of five patients who were monitored for Borrelia burgdorferi DNA excretion were still positive after 12 months as compared to none of six patients who were treated orally for 20-30 days. Six out of 11 patients treated orally for only 20 days needed retreatment after 6 months because of continuing skin manifestations, neuropathy or arthralgia. A 30-day duration of treatment with oral antibiotics and not the chosen antibiotic is crucial for curing acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans. The duration of treatment with ceftriaxone needed for eradication of Borrelia in acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans has yet to be determined in future studies.
Infection 24, 85–87 (1996)