Send to

Choose Destination
Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2017 Sep-Oct;83(5):569-573. doi: 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_185_16.

Methotrexate iontophoresis versus coal tar ointment in palmoplantar psoriasis: A pilot study.

Author information

Assistant Surgeon and Dermatologist, Community Health Centre, Mukkam, India.
Department of Dermatology, Government Medical College, Thrissur, India.
Department of Dermatology, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, India.
Department of Radiodiagnosis, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala, India.



Palmoplantar psoriasis is often disabling and refractory to conventional therapy. Systemic drugs are indicated in its severe form, but side effects are a concern with their use. Methotrexate is one such systemic drug which is effective and cheap. To reduce systemic toxicity, methotrexate has been tried topically but results have been inconsistent due to poor drug penetration into the skin by passive diffusion. Iontophoresis may enhance its absorption and efficacy.


To evaluate the efficacy and safety of topical methotrexate iontophoresis in comparison with coal tar ointment in the treatment of palmoplantar psoriasis.


Thirty-one patients with palmar and/or plantar psoriasis were selected for the study and 28 patients completed it. The side having more severe involvement was treated while the other palm/sole served as a control. Iontophoresis using methotrexate solution was carried out on the study palm/sole with the injectable preparation of methotrexate (50 mg/2 ml) once a week for the first 4 weeks and subsequently every two weeks, for a total of six sittings. The control palm/sole was treated with coal tar ointment on other days. Erythema, scaling, induration and fissuring scores were noted in both groups before and after treatment.


Both study and control groups showed decreases in scores but the reduction was more in the study group, the difference being statistically significant.


Drawbacks of our study include the small sample size and the lack of follow-up. The study and control arms were not exactly matched and the study was not blinded.


Methotrexate iontophoresis was safe and more effective than coal tar ointmentin palmoplantarpsoriasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Medknow Publications and Media Pvt Ltd
Loading ...
Support Center