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Nilotinib - Dry skin and itchy patches


Hi all,

I started Nilotinib a little over a month ago and seemed to be tolerating it much better (at first had vomiting and headaches). That has dissipated and now the biggest annoyance has been around skin side effects. My forehead is extremely dry and bumpy and my face is somewhat red (almost like a butterfly rash). I also get random itchy patches on my neck, back and stomach. I just made an appointment with a dermatologist, but wanted to check in to see if anyone has any suggestions on this. I really hope it’s not long term! I have been using moisturizer on my face, but it doesn’t seem to do much. 

Thank you!

The red flushing of the face should go, mine did after several months. I get the bumps on upper and lower arms and they’ve persisted they’re not itchy just a visual annoyance more than anything. Most of this stuff does get better although some do persist more than an annoyance than anything else.

I've had similar skin problems since starting on nilotinib in Dec-Jan. I also have a red bumpy rash covering most of my body, which seems to be slowly spreading and getting worse. I take an antihistamine each day to help with the itching. I've found moisturiser, E45 and the like can help a little too.

It's easy to dismiss skin problems, after all the drug's likely saving our lives and that's got to be a price worth paying. However, I find the daily visual reminder that I have cancer to be quite taxing. Since diagnosis, my response has been to crack on and make the most of life--but being relentlessly reminded that I have CML can take the wind out of my sales.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you've arranged an appointment with a dermatologist, I really should do the same!

Thanks both for the reply! Will let you know what the Derm says.


I had the same red rash on my face when I started treatment with nilotinib. My oncologist prescribed me Diprosone 0,05 % cream betamethasone. It is a corticosteroid. He told me to use it not more than 10 days and not on large skin areas. Diprosone helped me. The red rash was cured for may be 5 days. After that it appeared again and when I treated it a second time it disappeared. 
I used Diprosone even on my scalp because it was with the same red rush and very itchy.

I hope Diprosone will help you.




Thanks Lucky! Went to the Derm last week and have an arsenal of steroid creams. Already looks to be getting better!