Successful Management of a Black Male With Psoriasis and Dyspigmentation Treated With Halobetasol Propionate 0.01%/Tazarotene 0.045% Lotion: Case Report

October 2020 | Volume 19 | Issue 10 | Case Reports | 1000 | Copyright © October 2020

Published online October 2, 2020

Seemal R. Desai MDa,b, Andrew F. Alexis MD MPHc, Abby Jacobson MS PA-Cd

aInnovative Dermatology, PA, Plano, TX bDepartment of Dermatology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX cDepartment of Dermatology, Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West, New York, NY dOrtho Dermatologics*, Bridgewater, NJ *Ortho Dermatologics is a division of Bausch Health US, LLC

Skin of color patients with psoriasis face unique challenges related to disease characteristics and treatment. Dyspigmentation, including postinflammatory hypo- and hyperpigmentation, more frequently and severely affects patients with skin of color and remains a challenge in psoriasis management. We present the case of a 58-year-old Black male with moderate psoriasis who was treated for 8 weeks with a fixed combination halobetasol propionate 0.01%/tazarotene 0.045% (HP/TAZ) lotion during a phase 3 study (NCT02462070). HP/TAZ was efficacious in this patient, whose Investigator’s Global Assessment score decreased from 3 (moderate) at baseline to 1 (almost clear) within 4 weeks, with maintenance of “almost clear” through week 12 (4 weeks posttreatment). Affected body surface area decreased by 50% and quality of life greatly improved from baseline to week 8. The patient experienced dyspigmentation of the affected skin during the trial; hypopigmentation was primarily experienced from weeks 2–8, with the greatest degree at week 4. By week 12, the affected skin area had returned to normal, with only small regions of hyperpigmentation, primarily around the periphery of the lesion. These results indicate that HP/TAZ may be a treatment option for patients with skin of color, who are disproportionally affected by postinflammatory dyspigmentation.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2020;19(10):1000-1004. doi:10.36849/JDD.2020.5347


Skin of color patients with psoriasis face unique challenges related to disease characteristics and treatment. Distribution and severity of psoriasis may be greater in patients with skin of color.1,2 Dyspigmentation—including postinflammatory hypo- and hyperpigmentation—also more frequently and severely affects patients with skin of color3,4 and remains a challenge for dermatologists to manage.5 Finally, Black and Hispanic/Latino patients have demonstrated worse health-related quality of life (QoL) compared with White patients, as assessed by the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI)6; these differences are likely related to several factors, which include varying cultural perceptions of skin disorders and the greater negative impact of dyspigmentation in patients with skin of color.2,7

The treatment of psoriasis commonly involves the use of topical corticosteroids, such as the superpotent topical corticosteroid halobetasol propionate (HP).8,9 Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, antiproliferative, and vasoconstrictive; however, tachyphylaxis and adverse events following long-term use remain a concern.8-10 The topical retinoid tazarotene (TAZ) has several mechanisms of action that modulate pathogenic factors of psoriasis—including normalizing markers of differentiation, proliferation, and inflammation—though TAZ used alone may induce cutaneous irritation.10-13 The combination of HP with TAZ may enhance efficacy in the treatment of psoriasis, reduce side effects of both active drugs, and sustain treatment response.10,11

A fixed combination lotion of HP 0.01% and TAZ 0.045% (HP/TAZ; Duobrii,® Ortho Dermatologics, Bridgewater, NJ) was developed utilizing a novel polymeric emulsion technology, which allows for rapid and uniform distribution of HP and TAZ, humectants, and moisturizers on the skin.10 Phase 3 clinical data have demonstrated efficacy and tolerability of HP/TAZ lotion in patients with moderate-to-severe localized plaque psoriasis.14,15 Here, we present a case report of a Black male with moderate plaque psoriasis who was successfully treated with once-daily HP/TAZ lotion over 8 weeks, with resolution of skin dyspigmentation by week 12.