Combination Topical Therapy for the Treatment of Psoriasis

March 2006 | Volume 5 | Issue 3 | Original Article | 232 | Copyright © March 2006

James Q. Del Rosso DO

Dermatological research continues to move toward the goal of developing an effective psoriasis treatment that would rapidly clear lesions and provide long-term freedom from visible signs and symptoms. Currently, topical corticosteroids remain a pivotal treatment due to their effective anti-inflammatory properties; however, potential adverse effects associated with chronic application limit long-term continuous therapy. Vitamin D analogues provide another mechanism of action, reducing lesions through effects on both keratinocytes and on the cytokine environment. A topical combination of corticosteroid and vitamin D derivative appears to provide a balanced approach to psoriasis treatment. The development of clobetasol propionate foam 0.05% (clobetasol propionate foam/Olux) offers a convenient topical corticosteroid that can be used concomitantly, that is, immediately followed by application of calcipotriene ointment 0.005% (Dovonex). This regimen has been shown to offer an increased short-term efficacy compared with either agent alone. Continued application of calcipotriene ointment on weekdays supplemented by long-term clobetasol propionate foam pulse therapy on weekends appears to provide an enhanced maintenance of remission compared with calcipotriene monotherapy.