Topical Therapies for Psoriasis: Improving Management Strategies and Patient Adherence

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Seminars in cutaneous medicine and surgery


Psoriasis is a chronic disease that has a substantial effect on quality of life of patients and often needs long-term treatment. Topical treatments for psoriasis include corticosteroids, vitamin D derivatives, tazarotene, anthralin, tacrolimus, pimecrolimus, and newer formulations of tar. Although many of these treatments are effective, they must be prescribed appropriately and used consistently for a period of weeks to months before clinical evidence of improvement can be seen and patients perceive that the treatment is working. As such, medication dosage/schedule, choice of vehicle, and especially patient adherence to medication are key factors for a treatment to be effective. Addressing patient preferences about treatments and concerns about treatment-related toxicities and managing their expectations represent additional aspects of patient care. Therapies such as calcipotriene and betamethasone dipropionate (Cal/BD) fixed combination foam and new drugs and vehicles continuously enhance the treatment landscape for psoriasis. Because adherence to topical treatment can be a major difficulty, keeping the treatment regimen simple and using new and sophisticated treatment vehicles that are acceptable to patients can likely improve treatment outcomes.

Medical Subject Headings

Administration, Cutaneous; Anthralin; Betamethasone; Calcitriol; Dermatologic Agents; Drug Combinations; Drug Therapy, Combination; Evidence-Based Medicine; Glucocorticoids; Humans; Nicotinic Acids; Patient Compliance; Pharmaceutical Vehicles; Practice Guidelines as Topic; Psoriasis; Quality of Life; Severity of Illness Index; Tacrolimus; Treatment Outcome; Vitamin D

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2 Suppl 2

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