Acitretin therapy may help reduce nail psoriasis

Mar 16, 2009

Low-dose acitretin (a drug used to treat skin psoriasis) therapy appears to reduce nail psoriasis symptoms, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Up to 78 percent of psoriasis experience , which consists of irregular pitting, salmon-colored patches on the nail bed and onycholysis (separation of the nail from the nail bed) with erythematous (reddened and often inflamed) borders on several or toenails, according to background information in the article. "The quality of life of patients with severe nail psoriasis is affected as a result of pain and poor cosmetic appearance, subsequently leading to restricted activities of daily living," the authors write.

Antonella Tosti, M.D., of University of Bologna, Italy, and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of low-dose acitretin therapy (0.2 to 0.3 milligrams per kilogram per day for six months) on the nails of 36 patients (27 men and nine women, average age 41 years) who had psoriasis involving only the nails. Researchers used the Nail Psoriasis Severity Index (NAPSI) to grade the severity of the condition. Higher NAPSI scores indicated more severely affected nails. Patients were followed up for at least six months after treatment.

"The mean percentages of reduction of the NAPSI score and modified NAPSI score were 41 percent and 50 percent, respectively," the authors write. "Clinical evaluation at six months showed complete or almost complete clearing of the nail lesions in nine patients (25 percent), moderate improvement in nine (25 percent), mild improvement in 12 (33 percent) and no improvement in six (11 percent)."

"Only one of the 36 patients experienced adverse effects on the nail during treatment," the authors note. All participants whose condition improved did not return to pre-treatment conditions.

More information: Arch Dermatol. 2009;145[3]:269-271

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals (news : web)

Explore further: Commuter with measles also dined at Bay Area restaurant

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Indigo ointment may help treat patients with psoriasis

Nov 17, 2008

An ointment made from indigo naturalis, a dark blue plant-based powder used in traditional Chinese medicine, appears effective in treating plaque-type psoriasis, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of ...

Recommended for you

Home walking program improves erectile function after MI

6 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For men with recent acute myocardial infarction, a home-based walking program is associated with a reduction in reported erectile dysfunction (ED), according to a study published in the March ...

Trapping the Ebola virus in transit

8 hours ago

The deadly Ebola virus makes use of host mechanisms – including a specific type of membrane-bound calcium channel – to gain entry into the cell cytoplasm. LMU researchers now show that blocking this channel ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.