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Overview of Psoriasis Adam O. Goldstein, MD, MPH Associate Professor UNC Department of Family Medicine

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Presentation on theme: "Overview of Psoriasis Adam O. Goldstein, MD, MPH Associate Professor UNC Department of Family Medicine"— Presentation transcript:


2 Overview of Psoriasis Adam O. Goldstein, MD, MPH Associate Professor UNC Department of Family Medicine Email:

3 Objectives 1. Differentiate psoriasis types 2. Form differential dx 3. Review tx guidelines 4. Review new products 5. Learn 2 additional patient education pearls

4 “I am silvery, scaly. Puddles of flakes form wherever I rest my flesh.... Lusty, though we are loathsome to love. Keen- sighted, though we hate to look upon ourselves. The name of the disease, spiritually speaking, is…. Humiliation

5 Psoriasis: Incidence 2-3% U.S. (6.4 million) –200,000 new cases/year –300,000 have >20% BSA Median age dx: 30 –Two peaks: 16-22, 57-60 Costs: $2 billion/year –Mean per patient costs $3000 (Javitz, J Am Acad Dermatol, 2002)

6 Psoriasis: Quality of Life 50% seek treatment As debilitating as other chronic illnesses > rates depression & alcohol abuse (Sharma, J Dermatol, 2001)

7 Case Bob- 34 yo insurance executive –history of psoriasis for 8 years –scalp, elbows, knees and trunk –Got topical steroid (Psorcon E, 60 gms) from dermatologist 3 years ago –helped with itching –Wants a renewal and wonders if needs to see a dermatologist –You estimate 5-10% involvement of skin with plaque psoriasis

8 Case What is your treatment plan? Do you refer him to a dermatologist?

9 Psoriasis: Definition Chronic, remitting and relapsing Scaly and inflammatory Genetically influenced

10 Psoriasis: Morphology: Circumscribed, thickened, plaques with secondary erythema and thick, silvery scales

11 Psoriasis: Pathogenesis Hyperproliferation of the epidermis –N–Normal skin cell matures in 2 22 28-30 days –P–Psoriatic skin cell matures in 3 33 3-6 days

12 Psoriasis: Types Plaque-type Localized or Generalized Pustular Localized or Generalized

13 Psoriasis Arthritis associated (5-7%)

14 Psoriasis: Distribution (From Pardasan AG, et al. Am Fam Physician 2000)

15 Psoriasis: Distribution Extensor

16 Psoriasis: Distribution Extensor

17 Psoriasis: Distribution Nails

18 Psoriasis: Distribution Genitalia

19 Psoriasis: Distribution Hands & feet

20 Psoriasis: Distribution Pustular

21 Psoriasis: Distribution Intertriginous/inverse- armpits, groin, under breasts (less thick “silvery”scale)

22 Psoriasis: Distribution Guttate-small red dots (Gutta = drops) Appears suddenly after a strep, URI, other infection, stress, medications

23 Psoriasis: Guttate Appears after strep, URI, stress, medica- tions

24 Psoriasis: Distribution Erythrodermic Widespread erythema, itching, pain, edema


26 Psoriasis: Distribution Sites of trauma (Koebner’s phenomenon)

27 Psoriasis: Diagnosis Early on, may look like other diseases Bx may be necessary

28 Psoriasis: Differential Diagnosis Drug eruption

29 Psoriasis: Differential Diagnosis secondary syphilis

30 Psoriasis: Differential Diagnosis Seborrhea: Finer scale, central facial, scalp, central chest; Greasier; Sebopsoriasis

31 Psoriasis: Differential Diagnosis dermatophyte infections (Tinea) –KOH negative –scale not as thick or silvery

32 Psoriasis: Differential Dx intertriginous: diaper dermatitis/candidiasis –satellite pustules, beefy red, maceration; KOH positive for yeast in candidiasis; may coexist

33 Psoriasis: Differential Diagnosis Eczema Neuro- dermatitis/ lichen simplex chronicus

34 Psoriasis: Differential Dx lichen planus

35 Psoriasis: Differential Diagnosis lupus erythematosus

36 Psoriasis: Differential Diagnosis pityriasis rosea

37 Psoriasis: Differential Diagnosis Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

38 Psoriasis: Principals of Treatment Individualize treatment based on: –self-image, symptoms, interference with social interactions, expectations & scientific evidence Patient education: Control, not cure Pearl: –Combine products for better long-term control and fewer SE’s (Rees, J Am Acad Dermatol, 2003 )

39 Psoriasis: Treatment Flares –skin injury (including dryness, scratching) –sunburn –infections (strep, HIV) –psychological stress –medications

40 Psoriasis: Treatment Medications linked to psoriatic flares: –Lithium –Beta blockers –ACE inhibitors –Antimalarials –Indomethacin

41 Psoriasis Pearl Avoid systemic corticosteroids

42 Psoriasis: Treatment <5% sunlight + topical tx 5-20% sunlight + topical tx +/- systemic >20%systemic tx +/- light therapy

43 Psoriasis: Treatment Sunlight

44 Evidence-based medicine No good evidence that non-drug tx’s work Topical tx’s effective in short-term (few comparative RCT’s) RCT’s show UVB and PUVA effective short/long term (long term risk PUVA-SCCa) Cyclosporin clears short term but toxic (BMJ, Clinical Evidence 2001)

45 Psoriasis: < 20% BSA Topical Therapies 1. Emollients 2. Keratolytic agents 3. Topical steroids 4. Calcipotriene 5. Tazarotene gel 6. Topical calcineurin inhibitors 7. Anthralin 8. Coal tar ( BMJ 2001)

46 1. Emollient cleansers and lotions/cream Mild cleansers Moisturizers

47 2. Keratolytic Agents WHEN THE SCALE IS REALLY THICK Scalp: P & S liquid Body: 2-10% salicylic acid qd- bid

48 3. Topical Corticosteroids Never treated- –start medium potency –follow up in 2 weeks Previously treated –start high potency –2-4 weeks, then taper Always use lower potencies on face and intertriginous areas

49 3. Topical Corticosteroids Creams most body parts Lotions/mousse hairy areas Ultrapotent/potent BID 2-3 weeks to thick lesions –Taper to weekend use only or: –Taper to Class III for maintenance to avoid atrophy/striae Educate on: – “tolerance”, signs of atrophy, tapering & relapse If topical steroids insufficient: –Steroids + occlusion (plastic wrap QHS- if no atrophy) –Steroids + calcipotriene cream/ointment or tazarotene gel –Coal tar products and/or Anthralin ( Tristani-Firouzi, Cutis, 1998)

50 Intralesional injections Isolated recalcitrant lesions TAC 3-10mg/cc in NS to plaques < 3 cm

51 4. Calcipotriene 0.005% (cream, ointment, solution) Calcipotriene (Dovonex) –simulates differentiation –inhibits proliferation > effective as steroids, tar, anthralin > irritation than steroids Use cautiously if renal or calcium-related conditions, especially (< 60 gm/week) Use > 4 wks to determine effectiveness (BMJ 2001)

52 4. Calcipotriene 0.005% Use with potent topical corticosteroid (halobetasol) BID x 2-4 weeks –less potent topical corticosteroids for facial or groin use –may apply simultaneously Continue calcipotriene use BID and taper corticosteroid use to weekends only –Helps prevent rebound flares –Helps avoid atrophy Taper off steroid first, then calcipotriene (Koo, Skin & Aging 2002)

53 5. Tazarotene Topical Gel/ Cream Tazarotene (Tazorac) Mechanism of action not well defined Vitamin A derived Inhibits cornified envelope formation Suppresses inflammation in the epidermis

54 5. Tazarotene Topical Gel (0.05-0.1% ) Use with medium- high potency topical steroids QD-BID and Tazarotene gel QHS (63% post-treat flare with steroids alone vs 14% steroids + tazarotene) After 2-4 weeks, gradually decrease potent topical steroids to weekend use only Continue or slowly taper tazarotene gel (Koo, J Am Acad Dermatol 2000)

55 5. Tazarotene Topical Gel/Cream Educate –apply very small amount to center of plaques –initial increased erythema and scaling –confine application to plaques –do not “chase” erythema –Pregnancy = Do not use –Use for > 4-6 weeks before discontinuing

56 6. Steroid Sparing Topical calcineurin inhibitors –Tacrolimus ointment & Pimecrolimus cream –Facial and intertriginous areas (Freeman, J Am Acad Dermatol, 2003)

57 Tacrolimus ointment & Pimecrolimus cream Safety?  In 2005, FDA warnings about possible link between topical calcineurin inhibitors and cancer (? inc risk of lymphoma and skin cancers)  No definite causal relationship FDA recommends these agents only as second-line therapy in patients unresponsive to or intolerant of other treatments  Use for short periods of time and minimum amount  Avoid continuous use

58 7. Anthralin Antimitotic & reducing agent Short-contact therapy Creams: –Drithocreme 0.1%,0.25%,0.5%, 1% –Micanol 1%* –Psoriatec 1% Ointment –Anthraderm 0.1%,0.25%,0.5%, 1% * Micanol does not stain skin if rinsed with cool to lukewarm water Use daily until skin is smooth (2-4 weeks) (Koo, Skin & Aging, 2002)

59 8. Coal Tar Useful as an antimitotic agent Folliculitis, Staining, Photosensitizer, Smell Dozens of products

60 (From Pardasan AG, et al. Am Fam Physician 2000) Algorithm for Treatment of Localized Psoriasis

61 Scalp Psoriasis Medicated shampoos 5-10 minutes daily –keratolytics (salicylic acid) –coal tar based Topical steroids in lotion or solution form –Class I to II lotion or scalp application, tapering to: –Class III lotion, solution, oil Calcipotriene solution –Use qhs in addition to topical corticosteroids (Van der Vleuten, Drugs, 2001)

62 Scalp Psoriasis Topical corticosteroids in mousse –BMV foam (Luxiq)-may be used on nonfacial/genital areas –Used qd-bid, less often with improvement –Foam superior efficacy & preferred by patients compared with lotion (Franz, Int J Dermatol 1999)

63 Genital Psoriasis Mid potency steroids can be use cautiously and for limited time –short-term mometasone Reduce to low-potency creams asap –desonide cream Consider compounding hydrocortisone 2.5% cream and ketoconazole (Nizoral) cream, Cautious use of calcipotriene Cautious use of anthralin (Lebwoh, J Am Acad Dermatol 2001)

64 Nail Psoriasis topical fluorouracil qhs tazarotene gel 0.1% qhs class I-II topical steroids posterior nailfold intralesional Kenalog 5- 10 mg/cc methotrexate (Van Laborde, Dermatol Clin, 2000)

65 Topical Treatments GIVE ENOUGH WITH REFILLS! BE AWARE OF $$$$!

66 Generalized plaque-type psoriasis >20% BSA Ultraviolet light: UVB or PUVA (oxpsoralens photosensitizer + UVA) Methotrexate Retinoids: Acitretin/ Etretinate Sulfasalazine Cylclosporine

67 Ultraviolet light: UVB Indications: –guttate psoriasis –>20% BSA involved –unresponsive to topical therapies Most effective wavelength of light for psoriasis (280-320 nm) –narrow band UVB (new) –not found in high enough concentrations in tanning salons –natural sunlight

68 Ultraviolet light: UVB Risks: burns, especially corneal, conjunctivitis (Face can be shielded) Very little toxicity involved Home light therapy Eximer laser

69 Ultraviolet light: PUVA Indications: –severe or incapacitating psoriasis –previous failure of conventional topical therapy –previous failure of UVB therapy –rapid relapse after the above forms of therapy Must be administered in dermatologist office

70 Ultraviolet light: PUVA Contraindications: –photosensitive diseases –photosensitive drugs –previous or present skin cancers –previous x-ray therapy to the skin –cataracts –pregnancy

71 Ultraviolet light: PUVA Increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma Possible increased risk of melanoma (controversial) Photoaging

72 Methotrexate Indications: psoriatic erythroderma acute pustular psoriasis localized pustular psoriasis psoriatic arthritis extensive psoriasis unresponsive to other, less toxic therapies psoriasis in areas preventing the individual from obtaining gainful employment psoriasis that is psychologically disabling

73 Methotrexate Contraindications: –pregnancy –history of significant liver disease –excessive alcohol intake –abnormal liver function –poor renal function –leukopenia –active peptic ulcer –active, severe infectious disease –unreliable patient

74 Methotrexate Test dose 2.5-5.0 mg once Dosage 10-25 mg 1X/Week Baseline labs: (cbc w/platelets, urinalysis, BUN, creatinine, liver functions, CXR) Ongoing: –liver biopsy (0.5-1.5 grams) –wbc and PLT q wk x 4 weeks; 6 days after last dose –Hct, liver functions, urinalysis, serum creatinine every 3 months, at least 6 days after last dose –Folic Acid 1-5 mg/day for nausea

75 Acitretin (Soriatane) New retinoid with shorter half-life than etretinate 10, 25 mg capsules Particularly useful in combination with light therapy Many potential side effects –hepatotoxicity –elevation of triglycerides –dry eyes –hyperostosis –teratogenic

76 Biologics AlefacetAmevive EfalizumabRaptiva EtanerceptEnbrel InfliximabRemicade ximab = chimeric monoclonal antibody zumab = humized monoclonal antibody umab= human monoclonal antibody cept = receptor-antibody fusion protein

77 Emerging Therapies Oral Pimecrolimus

78 Alternative Therapies Fish oil Aloe vera Oral Vit. D Stress reduction Lifestyle change Antistrep tx Thermal bath Acupuncture (Guyette, Clin Fam Pract, 2002)

79 Alternative Therapies


81 Case Treatment plan: Use moisturizer cream & sunlight daily SCALP Medicated shampoo BMV foam (Luxiq) BID for 7 days Calcipotriene solution qhs BODY- Flexural TAC 0.1% qd x seven days, followed by H/C 2.5% qd prn Calcipotriene cream qd BODY- rest 5% salicylic acid 1x/day thick areas 2 weeks Fluocinonide cream 0.05% BID See again in 2 weeks Tazarotene gel/cream if stubborn plaques or steroid dependent Anthralin perhaps stubborn areas


83 Psoriasis: Patient Education National Psoriasis Foundation, 6600 S. W. 92nd Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97223, 503-244-7404, Fax. 503-245-0626 Patient ed brochure Comprehensive WEB listing


85 Bibliography Bruner CR, et al. A systematic review of adverse effects associated with topical treatments for psoriasis. Dermatol Online J 2003; 9(1): 2. Lebwohl MG, Tan MH, Meador SL, Singer G. Limited application of fluticasone proprionate ointment, 0.005% in patients with psoriasis of the face and intertriginous area. J Am Acad Dermatol 2001; 44: 77-82. Koo JY, Lowe NJ, Lew-Kaya DA, et al. Tazarotene plus UVB phototherapy in the treatment of psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol 2000; 43: 821-8. Tausk F, Whitmore SE. A pilot study of hypnosis in the treatment of patients with psoriasis. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics 1999; 68: 221-5. Tristani-Firouzi P, Krueger GG. Efficacy and safety of treatment modalities for psoriasis. Cutis 1998; 61S: 11-21. Jerner B, Skogh M, Vahlquist A. A controlled trial of acupuncture in psoriasis: no convincing effect. Acta Dermato-Venereol 1997; 77: 154-6. Syed TA, Ahmad SA, Holt AH, et al. Management of psoriasis with Aloe vera extract in a hydrophilic cream: a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Trop Med Internat Health 1996; 1: 505-9. American Academy of Dermatology. Committee on Guidelines of Care, Task Force on Psoriasis. Guidelines of care for psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol 1993; 28: 632-7.

86 Gaston L, Crombez JC, Lassonde M, Bernier-Buzzanga J, Hodgins S. Psychological stress and psoriasis: experimental and prospective correlational studies. Acta Dermato-Venereol 1991; 156S: 37-43. Fleischer AB Jr, Feldman SR, Rapp SR, et al. Alternative therapies commonly used within a population of patients with psoriasis. Cutis 1996; 58: 216-20. Federman DG, Froelich CW, Kirsner RS. Topical psoriasis therapy. Amer Fam Physician 1999; 59: 957-62, 964. Roenigk HH Jr, Auerbach R, Maibach H, Weinstein G, Lebwohl M. Methotrexate in psoriasis: consensus conference. J Am Acad Dermatol 1998; 38: 478-85. Owen CM, Chalmers RJG, O'Sullivan T, Griffiths CEM. Antistreptococcal interventions for guttate and chronicplaque psoriasis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Issue 1, 2001. Pardasan AG, Feldman SR, Clark AR. Treatment of Psoriasis: An Algorithm-Based Approach for Primary Care Physicians. Am Fam Physician 2000; 61:725-733. Sharma N, Koranne RV, Singh RK. Psychiatric morbidity in psoriasis and vitiligo: a comparative study. J Dermatol 2001; 28: 419-23. Koo JY, Nguyen KD. Treating psoriasis patients: a topical therapy update. Skin and Aging 10: 35-39. Van der Vleuten CJ. Management of scalp psoriasis: guidelines for corticosteroid use in combination treatment. Drugs 2001; 61(11): 1593-8. Schon MP, Boehncke WH. Psoriasis. N Engl J Med 2005; 352: 1899-912.

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