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Int J Dermatol. 2000 Jan;39(1):41-4.

New topical treatments change the pattern of treatment of psoriasis: dermatologists remain the primary providers of this care.

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  • 1Westwood-Squibb Center for Dermatology Research, and the Departments of Dermatology and Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1071, USA.



Psoriasis is a common chronic skin disorder that can be debilitating both physically and psychologically. The treatment of psoriasis is complicated by the many manifestations of the disease, different patients' subjective impression of the disease, and the availability of numerous topical agents, systemic agents, and phototherapy options for the disease. Purpose The purpose of this study was to characterize how topical psoriasis treatment is changing in the USA. Methods Data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (1990-1996) were used to characterize the use of medication at physician office visits for psoriasis vulgaris. Corticosteroid agents in the years 1990-1994 were classified by relative potency. Results There were 1.0 million yearly visits for psoriasis. Dermatologists were responsible for 95% of these office visits. Topical corticosteroids were the only medication listed at 50% of psoriasis visits, and were used in combination with another medication in an additional 26% of visits. High and superpotent corticosteroid agents accounted for 55% of all topical corticosteroid agents listed. Topical calcipotriene was the most commonly used noncorticosteroid treatment, and its use in combination with corticosteroids increased from 17% to 84% between 1994 and 1996.


s 80% or more of people with psoriasis do not see a physician for the disease in any given year. A combination of different topical medications is commonly used to treat psoriasis. Patients should be aware of the availability of new therapeutic options and the special expertise of dermatologists in managing complex treatment regimens for psoriasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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