Which medications in the drug class Topical Corticosteroids are used in the treatment of Psoriasis?

Updated: Mar 17, 2021
  • Author: Jacquiline Habashy, DO, MSc; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Topical Corticosteroids

Topical corticosteroids are the mainstay of treatment for mild and limited psoriasis. They can reduce plaque formation. These agents have anti-inflammatory effects and may cause profound and varied metabolic activities. 

The strength of topical steroid and vehicle are chosen according to the thickness of plaques and body location. No topical corticosteroids are conclusively superior in efficacy or adverse effects than others in the same class. Some formulations such as foams and solutions are easier to use in the scalp than either creams or ointments. A patient who has been doing well on a topical steroid who begins to have worsening, especially with itching, should be evaluated for either a concomitant fungal infection or the development of allergic contact dermatitis to a steroid or vehicle component. Potent and superpotent corticosteroids generally only need be applied once daily unless the scale on a plaque is particularly thick. Extended use of very potent steroids should be avoided when possible in the treatment of genital and inverse psoriasis.

Triamcinolone topical (Kenalog Orabase, Kenalog topical, Pediaderm TA)

Triamcinolone treats inflammatory dermatosis responsive to steroids. It decreases inflammation by suppressing the migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing capillary permeability. It has mild potency and is the first drug of choice for most patients.

Betamethasone topical (Alphatrex, BetaVal, Dermabet)

Betamethasone treats inflammatory dermatosis responsive to steroids. It decreases inflammation by suppressing the migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing capillary permeability. It is a potent topical steroid and is the drug of choice if psoriasis is resistant to milder forms.

Halobetasol (Bryhali, Lexette, Ultravate)

This is available as lotion and foam preparations for the treatment of plaque psoriasis.


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