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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Jul;53(1 Suppl 1):S59-69.

A clinician's paradigm in the treatment of psoriasis.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Psoriasis is a chronically recurring inflammatory disease that affects the skin, scalp, and joints. It ranges in severity from mild to severe, and patients with moderate to severe disease experience significant deterioration in quality of life. The goals of psoriasis treatment are to gain initial and rapid control of the disease process, decrease the percentage of body surface area involved, decrease plaque lesions, achieve and maintain long-term remission, minimize adverse events, and improve patient quality of life. Therapy varies depending on disease severity and spread and will shift from control of acute flares to long-term maintenance. Topical treatment for mild psoriasis includes the use of topical corticosteroids, calcipotriene, tazarotene, topical tars, anthralin, and keratolytics. Treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis includes systemic therapies, such as methotrexate, acitretin, cyclosporine, and biologic agents. Treatment can be effected using combination, rotational, or sequential regimens. Treatment algorithms developed by a 2002 consensus conference are described. Because some degree of therapy will always be necessary, ranging from maintenance of long-term remission to control of acute psoriasis flares, each patient requires an individualized plan.

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