Systemic therapy with retinoic acid derivatives has been used for treating psoriasis since the late 1970s. Most clinical studies have been of etretinate and its hydrolysis product acitretin, which has now replaced it. One systematic review has examined the use of retinoids for psoriasis.68 It concluded that relatively high doses (approximately 1 mg/kg/day) are needed for monotherapy to show superiority over placebo and that the responses achieved are less than those achieved with low-dose ciclosporin. Combinations of retinoids with PUVA, UVB, topical corticosteroids and topical calcipotriol have been shown to be more efficacious than the individual components of each combination. The use of retinoids is limited by their liability to cause birth defects in women of child-bearing potential and by the high incidence of symptomatic mucocutaneous side-effects. Nevertheless they retain an important place in the management of severe psoriasis.
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Do You Suffer From the Itching and Scaling of Psoriasis? Or the Chronic Agony of Psoriatic Arthritis? If so you are not ALONE! A whopping three percent of the world’s populations suffer from either condition! An incredible 56 million working hours are lost every year by psoriasis sufferers according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.