New Strategy Suggested for Intertriginous Psoriasis

Short-term corticosteroid treatment could be followed by maintenance with other drugs

TUESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with intertriginous psoriasis, short-term corticosteroid treatment followed by maintenance treatment with less-potent agents may be an effective management strategy, according to study results published in the September issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Alexander Kreuter, M.D, of Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany, and colleagues randomly assigned 80 intertriginous psoriasis patients to receive 1 percent pimecrolimus, 0.005 percent calcipotriol, 0.1 percent betamethasone, or a similar appearing placebo cream once daily for 28 days.

After four weeks of treatment, the researchers found that the mean Modified Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score declined 86.4 percent in the betamethasone group, 62.4 percent in the calcipotriol group, 39.7 percent in the pimecrolimus group and 21.1 percent in the placebo group.

These results confirm that "treatment with corticosteroids is still the most effective topical approach for psoriasis," the authors conclude. "However, their use in long-term management, particularly for the treatment of intertriginous areas, which are more prone to steroid adverse effects, is limited. To combine the rapid anti-inflammatory effects of a topical corticosteroid with the favorable long-term effects and safety profile of pimecrolimus or calcipotriol, short-term application of topical corticosteroids for acute disease followed by maintenance treatment with one of these agents seems to be a reasonable approach in the treatment of intertriginous psoriasis.

This study was supported by a financial grant from Novartis Pharma GmbH.

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