Topical Therapies for Psoriasis: Improving Management Strategies and Patient Adherence

Vol. 35. No. 2


Psoriasis is a lifelong condition that is currently not curable and needs long-term treatment. Since the identification of psoriasis as a specific skin condition and the use of coal tar for psoriasis treatment many centuries ago, psoriasis medications have come a long way. Over the past decades, as the result of better understanding of the underlying pathology of psoriasis, clinical research efforts aimed at examining the efficacy and safety of drugs and identifying new treatments, as well as increased interest in individualized treatment, have led to the development of new therapies. Although many of these therapies are effective, symptom reduction, cosmetic clearing of the skin, and better quality of life remain a challenging goal for patients and clinicians.

Topical corticosteroids and nonsteroid agents such as vitamin D either as monotherapy or combination therapy are the mainstay of psoriasis treatment and often serve as first-line therapy for most patients. Patients who are receiving systemic therapy may also need additional topical therapy to achieve skin clearing. Choice of treatment for each patient depends primarily on severity of disease, treatment efficacy, side effect profiles, including drug allergy, and patient preferences.

This educational supplement features highlights of a CME/CE independent satellite symposium, which was held on November 5, 2015, at Skin Disease Education Foundation’s 16th Las Vegas Dermatology Seminar. It provides an overview of topical therapy for mild to moderate psoriasis, with a focus on the efficacy and safety data and mechanisms of action of new and emerging treatment modalities. Practical approaches for difficult-to-treat areas are presented to help clinicians tailor therapy according to individual patient profiles. The role of the vehicle and its effect on drug efficacy and patient acceptance are discussed. Strategies that influence drug efficacy and care of patients, and approaches to improving patient adherence to medication are also discussed.

The goal of this educational activity is to provide clinicians with up-to-date information on topical therapy for mild to moderate psoriasis that will help them to optimally manage their patients’ psoriasis and achieve improved outcomes.