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Curr Probl Dermatol. 2009;38:37-58. doi: 10.1159/000232303. Epub 2009 Jul 28.

Topical treatment of psoriasis.

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Psoriasis Research Unit, Baylor Research Institute, Dallas, Texas, USA.


Topical therapy forms the cornerstone in the management of psoriasis. Of significant value as monotherapy in mild to moderate psoriasis, it is used predominantly as adjunctive therapy in moderate and severe forms of the disease. Over the past decade, topical treatment of psoriasis has evolved from the age-old applications of tar and dithranol to the more acceptable and efficacious options of topical corticosteroids, retinoids and vitamin D analogues, with the advent of a wide range of appropriately tailored vehicles and sophisticated delivery modes. To ensure therapeutic success, proper patient education about the disease, the treatment options, their specific application modality and adverse effects is essential. This will help alleviate the common problem of poor patient adherence, and inevitably result in more optimal clinical outcomes.

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