If you have eczema, your doctor might suggest Eucrisa (crisaborole) as a treatment option for you. Along with other questions you may have about the drug, you could be wondering about its side effects.

Eucrisa is a prescription medication that’s used to treat mild to moderate eczema in adults and some children.

This drug comes as an ointment that you apply to areas affected by eczema twice each day. Your doctor may recommend using it as a short-term or long-term treatment.

For more information about Eucrisa, see this in-depth article.

Like other drugs, Eucrisa can cause mild or serious side effects. Keep reading to learn more.

Some people may experience mild or serious side effects during their Eucrisa treatment. A commonly reported side effect of the drug is:

  • a burning or stinging feeling where you apply the ointment*

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

The only mild side effect that has been reported with Eucrisa is:

  • burning or stinging feeling where you apply the ointment*

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

In most cases, this should be temporary, and it may be easily managed. But if this is ongoing or bothers you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And don’t stop using Eucrisa unless your doctor recommends it.

Eucrisa may cause other mild side effects. See the Eucrisa prescribing information for details.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Eucrisa, visit MedWatch.

The only serious side effect that has been reported with Eucrisa is:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

If you develop any serious side effect while using Eucrisa, call your doctor right away. If the side effect seems life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Eucrisa’s side effects.

Does Eucrisa cause cancer?

No, Eucrisa isn’t known to cause cancer. Cancer wasn’t reported in studies of Eucrisa, and it hasn’t been reported since the medication became available for prescribing. Also, no cases of cancer were reported in a long-term study on the safety of Eucrisa.

Rare cases of cancer have been reported with certain other eczema medications, called topical calcineurin inhibitors. Examples of these include Protopic (tacrolimus) and Elidel (pimecrolimus). But it’s not known for sure if these medications cause cancer. And Eucrisa doesn’t belong to the same group of medications as these two drugs.

If you’re concerned about the risk of cancer with any eczema treatment, talk with your doctor.

Is hair loss a side effect of Eucrisa?

No, Eucrisa doesn’t cause hair loss. This side effect wasn’t reported in studies of the medication. And it hasn’t been reported since this medication became available for prescribing.

In rare cases, hair loss has been reported with certain other eczema treatments, such as Protopic. Hair loss can also be a problem with immunosuppressant drugs that are sometimes used off-label to treat severe eczema.

If you have eczema on your scalp, this can also sometimes lead to hair loss.

If you have hair loss while using Eucrisa, see your doctor. They can investigate whether this is due to eczema or another factor.

Does Eucrisa cause skin thinning?

No, Eucrisa doesn’t cause skin thinning. This side effect wasn’t reported in studies of the medication.

Skin thinning is a possible side effect of steroid creams, which are one of the main treatments for eczema.

Although Eucrisa is also used to treat eczema, it’s not a steroid. It doesn’t cause skin thinning or some of the other possible side effects of steroid creams. These include stretch marks, acne, spider veins, or easy bruising.

Is Eucrisa safe to use on your face?

Yes, it’s safe to use Eucrisa on your face, including your eyelids and around your mouth. Just take care to avoid getting it inside your eyes or mouth.

Eucrisa can sometimes cause a burning or stinging feeling when you apply it. Since facial skin is more delicate, you may be more likely to have these sensations when using Eucrisa on your face. But there are no restrictions about applying it there.

Your doctor may recommend that you don’t use certain other eczema medications on your face. This is because the skin is more delicate there. Facial skin can also absorb more medication than skin on other areas of the body.

Some eczema medications, such as strong steroid creams, are more likely to cause side effects if you use them on your face.

Learn more about some of the side effects that Eucrisa may cause.

A burning or stinging feeling where you apply the ointment

You may have pain, such as a burning or stinging feeling, where you apply Eucrisa ointment. This can happen immediately after you apply it. The sensations are usually mild, but for some people, they may be more intense.

In studies, burning and stinging feelings were the most frequently reported side effects of Eucrisa. But they weren’t common. Most people in these studies didn’t report pain after using the drug.

This side effect usually gets better within a day for most people. Applying the ointment should become less painful as your skin gets used to it and your eczema heals.

What might help

To help prevent burning or stinging from Eucrisa, be sure to apply the ointment in a thin layer. Only use it on areas affected by eczema.

Applying a cold pack afterward may relieve these sensations.

Some doctors may recommend keeping Eucrisa in the fridge so that it’s cool when you apply it. This may reduce stinging. But according to the manufacturer, Eucrisa should be kept at room temperature. If you want to keep Eucrisa in your fridge, be sure to discuss it with your doctor first.

If you have burning or stinging that’s troublesome or doesn’t get better, wash the ointment off. Then talk with your doctor. They may recommend switching to a different eczema treatment.

Be sure to keep a close eye on your skin if you have burning or stinging after applying Eucrisa. If you notice your skin starting to swell, itch, or change color, call your doctor right away. These could be symptoms of an allergic reaction to the medication. Read more about this possible side effect below.

Allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Eucrisa may cause an allergic reaction in some people, though this is rare.

Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:

  • skin rash or hives
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

You may have skin symptoms just in the area where you apply Eucrisa. But you may also have skin symptoms in other parts of your body.

What might help

If you have mild skin symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, hives, or itching, call your doctor right away. To help manage your symptoms, they may suggest an over-the-counter antihistamine that you take by mouth, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Or they may recommend a product that you apply to your skin, such as hydrocortisone cream.

If your doctor confirms that you had a mild allergic reaction to Eucrisa, they’ll decide if you should continue using it.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms that you had a serious allergic reaction to Eucrisa, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

During your Eucrisa treatment, consider keeping notes about any side effects you’re having. Then, you can share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start taking new drugs or using a combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • what dosage of the drug you were taking when you had the side effect
  • how soon after starting that dosage you experienced it
  • the specific symptoms of the side effect
  • how it affected your daily activities
  • any other medications you were also taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Keeping notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Eucrisa affects you. And your doctor can use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Eucrisa may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Talk with your doctor about your health history before you use Eucrisa. Below are a few factors to consider.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Eucrisa or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Eucrisa. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.

Alcohol use and Eucrisa

Drinking alcohol isn’t known to affect Eucrisa. There’s no need to avoid alcohol because you’re using it. But be aware that drinking alcohol can worsen eczema for some people.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how this may affect your condition and its treatment.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while using Eucrisa

It’s not known if Eucrisa is safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. The medication hasn’t been studied in pregnancy, and it’s not known if it can pass into breast milk.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed, talk with your doctor. They can discuss the possible risks and benefits of using Eucrisa to treat your condition.

Eucrisa causes very few side effects, and those that occur aren’t common. The most frequently reported problem is a burning or stinging feeling where you apply the ointment. But this typically gets better quickly.

If you’d like to know more about the possible side effects of Eucrisa, talk with your doctor. They can help you decide if this treatment may be a good option for your eczema. Examples of some questions you might want to ask include:

  • Am I more likely to have burning or stinging with Eucrisa if my eczema is weepy or the skin is broken?
  • Can I use Eucrisa on my genitals?
  • Should I use Eucrisa with my other eczema treatments? If I do, am I more likely to have side effects?
  • What are the ingredients of Eucrisa ointment? Am I allergic to any of these?
  • I have lots of allergies. Am I more likely than others to be allergic to Eucrisa?

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.