Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two-pronged Attack Works Best For Psoriasis Treatment

Date:
May 1, 2009
Source:
Center for Advancing Health
Summary:
Scientists find that two commonly used topical treatments work best together to treat chronic psoriasis, but are not a cure.

A new Cochrane review finds that two commonly used topical treatments work best together to treat chronic psoriasis, but are not a cure.

Related Articles


“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 percent 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.

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews like this one draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

“Another key finding is that combining two commonly used topical treatments — vitamin D analogues and a corticosteroid — is more effective than either treatment used on its own,” Mason said. “Using the two products separately, vitamin D in the morning and corticosteroid at night, can achieve similar effects, and be as well tolerated, as using a specially combined product.”

Up to 40 percent of those who used vitamin D treatments had skin irritation and other side effects that led to lower levels of compliance. The topical corticosteroids showed less irritation, but had higher levels of thinning of the skin.

Mason noted that psoriasis is a lifelong disease, so patients likely will be using prescribed medications for very long periods. However, since most of the studies only followed participants between four and eight weeks, the authors were unable to come to any conclusions about extended use of these treatments.

“It is surprising how little adequate evidence is available addressing long-term safety of treatments or long-term management of psoriasis,” Mason said. “Patients should realize that most evidence is from short-term trials and that there is very little long-term evidence on benefits and potential harms to consider when deciding on maintenance strategies.”

Steven Feldman, M.D., is a professor of dermatology, pathology and public health sciences at Wake Forest University. “The goal of therapy for psoriasis is to strike a balance between the irritation sometimes seen with Vitamin D analogues and thinning of the skin that is an adverse effect of long-term corticosteroid use,” he said. “This study makes it clear scientifically that there will be no one-size-fits-all solution in treating this condition. The review is an evidence-based confirmation of what most of us knew from experience.”

While the results show that the corticosteroids work as well as the Vitamin D products with fewer short-term side effects, he cautioned against interpreting this review as a call to forego the more expensive Vitamin D analogues.

“The idea that corticosteroids are safer somehow is misleading,” Feldman said. “That doesn’t take into account that the more serious side effects that occur with long-term continuous use of the corticosteroid drugs.”

The review disclosed that three of its five co-authors have received funding from pharmaceutical companies that make medications used to treat psoriasis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center for Advancing Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mason AR, et al. Topical treatments for chronic plaque psoriasis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2009, Issue No. 2

Cite This Page:

Center for Advancing Health. "Two-pronged Attack Works Best For Psoriasis Treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423204225.htm>.
Center for Advancing Health. (2009, May 1). Two-pronged Attack Works Best For Psoriasis Treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423204225.htm
Center for Advancing Health. "Two-pronged Attack Works Best For Psoriasis Treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423204225.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins