Improvements in Topical Therapies -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

“Topical treatments, such as corticosteroids, are considered the first line of treatment,” said dermatologist Linda Stein Gold, M.D., director of dermatology clinical research at the Henry Ford Health System in West Bloomfield, Michigan, regarding less severe psoriasis. “With the emergence of several new therapies, more people with psoriasis are experiencing substantial improvements and reporting a greatly enhanced quality of life.”

Recent research has shown that calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs), such as tacrolimus ointment and pimecrolimus cream, may be effective in treating psoriasis. TCIs interfere with the activation of T-cells, which are responsible for triggering immune responses that contribute to the development of skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. “In clinical trials, pimecrolimus and tacrolimus showed promise in treating facial psoriasis and inverse psoriasis,” stated Dr. Stein Gold.

Another new topical medication is clobetasol propionate spray. In spray form, clobetasol propionate penetrates the skin easily to diminish the psoriasis plaques and minimize inflammation. In a recent study, patients using the spray over a four-week period saw a marked decrease in their disease severity, with most patients considering their psoriasis clear or almost clear by week four.

Combinations with topical corticosteroids also are effective. A combination of calcipotriene and betamethasone dipropionate, a vitamin D analogue and a potent corticosteroid, was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration in an ointment form for the treatment of psoriasis.

In a recent study of patients using the combination once daily, more than 80 percent of patients with mild to localized psoriasis reported reaching a Psoriasis Activity and Severity Index (PASI) score of 50 or better after four weeks, which means that this measure of psoriasis severity improved by 50 percent from the start of the study.; Source: American Academy of Dermatology