Topical steroids first for scalp psoriasis

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Topical steroids first for scalp psoriasis 

A Cochrane review found that both topical steroids alone and a combination of topical steroid and vitamin D analogue were more effective for scalp psoriasis than vitamin D analogue alone (calcipotriol).1 As there was only a slim benefit of the combination treatment over steroid the review concluded that topical steroids alone may be acceptable for short-term therapy. 

The reviewers could not sufficiently assess the efficacy and safety of other topical treatments, such as salicylic acid, tacrolimus tar or dithranol. More evidence is needed to determine best potency of steroid, and to look at long-term treatments.

This gem has been checked by Dr Paul Jarrett Dermatologist at Middlemore Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland. 


  1. Schlager JG et al. Topical treatments for psoriasis of the scalp. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Gems are chosen by the Goodfellow director Dr. Bruce Arroll to be either practice changing or practice maintaining. The information is educational and not clinical advice.


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