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Int J Dermatol. 2006 Aug;45(8):965-9.

The treatment of psoriasis vulgaris: 1% topical methotrexate gel.

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Uskudar Government Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.



In general, 70% of patients with psoriasis prefer topical therapy as the treatment of choice.


To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of 1% topical methotrexate gel vs. placebo (vaseline ointment) as treatment for psoriasis.


Forty patients (20 females and 20 males) with chronic plaque-type psoriasis joined the study. Each patient was allocated to apply 1% methotrexate gel and placebo topically to their two target lesions, equal in area and disease severity, twice daily for 8 weeks. Lesions were scored at baseline and after 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks of treatment for erythema, scale, and infiltration. The global improvement and histopathologic features were also assessed after methotrexate treatment.


At the end of treatment, erythema was cleared totally in 47.5% of patients treated with methotrexate vs. 7.5% of those treated with placebo, and infiltration in 22% of patients treated with methotrexate vs. 2.5% of those treated with placebo (P<0.01). Clinical improvement was almost the same for the two groups with regard to scale (P<0.5). The global improvement was 97% for patients treated with methotrexate vs. 60% for those treated with placebo, and a significant difference was found between the groups (P<0.01). Histopathologic improvement was achieved in the methotrexate group (P<0.01). No side-effects were observed.


The findings of this study suggest that methotrexate 1% in a hydrophilic gel is well tolerated and significantly more effective than placebo as a topical medication for the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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