A multicenter, randomized, vehicle-controlled, 3-week study was conducted in patients with chronic hand dermatitis (HD) of various etiologies and locations to identify subgroups particularly responsive to twice-daily application of pimecrolimus cream 1% with overnight occlusion. A total of 294 patients were randomized to the study. By the final visit on day 22, there was a trend toward greater clearance in patients who received pimecrolimus than in those treated with vehicle cream. An analysis of treatment success by various stratification factors were performed, and it was found that palmar involvement had notable impact on response (P=.033). Patients in the pimecrolimus group continued to improve throughout the study; however, in the vehicle group, improvement plateaued after 15 days. Pimecrolimus was well tolerated, with a low rate of application-site reactions such as burning. Pimecrolimus cream 1%, when used twice daily with overnight occlusion, may be of benefit in the management of chronic HD.