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Two-pronged Attack Best for Psoriasis Treatment

Posted: May 7, 2009

In treating clients that have psoriasis, new research offers skin care professionals an insight into why a combination of treatment approaches may work best.

A new Cochrane review finds that two commonly used topical treatments work best together to treat chronic psoriasis, but are not a cure. “Almost everyone with psoriasis will try topical treatments and some people will use them throughout their lifetime, so it is important to know how effective and safe they are,” said lead author Anne Mason, a research fellow at the Centre for Health Economics the University of York in England.

Mason said that chronic plaque psoriasis is the most common form, “typically affecting 1 to 2% of the population.” Psoriasis causes thick, red patches—or plaques—and silver scales to form on the skin. Topical treatments are those applied directly to the skin.

This review looked at a wide range of different topical treatments from 131 randomized trials involving 21,448 people with psoriasis. Treatments include synthetic versions of vitamin D called “analogues,” topical corticosteroids and tar-based medications among others. Researchers compared treatments with either a placebo or a vitamin D product, depending on the study.

“The main message from the review is that most topical treatments are effective in reducing the symptoms of psoriasis, but none actually cures psoriasis,” Mason said.