Psoriasis Review

A review of recent news, research, and treatment related to psoriasis. 

Psoriatic Arthritis Affects 1 in 5 Psoriasis Patients 

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) affects almost 20% of patients with psoriasis, according to the findings of a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 

In the meta-analysis, researchers identified 266 studies that reported on the prevalence or incidence of PsA among a total of 976,408 participants with psoriasis and calculated pooled proportion estimates of PsA. 

The pooled proportion of PsA was 19.7% among participants with psoriasis and the incidence of PsA ranged from 0.27 to 2.7 per 100 person-years.

Among patients younger than 18 years, the pooled prevalence was 3.3%. Additionally, the prevalence of PsA was 22.7% among European populations, 21.5% among South American populations, 19.5% among North American populations, 15.5% among African populations, and 14% among Asian populations.

In studies that used the Classification Criteria for Psoriatic Arthritis (CASPAR), the prevalence of PsA was 23.8%.

While between-study heterogeneity may have affected the estimates, the researchers noted that “with the growing recognition of CASPAR, more homogenous and comparable prevalence estimates are expected to be reported.” 


Alinaghi F, Calov M, Kristensen LE, et al. Prevalence of psoriatic arthritis in patients with psoriasis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational and clinical studies [published online June 18, 2018]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2018.06.027

Phototherapy Provides Relief For Scalp Psoriasis 

A recent study found phototherapy with UV-A1 or narrowband UV-B (NB-UVB) light improved symptoms of scalp psoriasis and the quality of life of patients.

The study included 68 participants with scalp psoriasis. Participants were randomized to UV-A1 or narrowband UVB phototherapy, which were performed 3 times per week for 6 weeks. Efficacy was evaluated using the Psoriasis Scalp Severity Index (PSSI) and patient-reported quality of life was assessed using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI). 

After 6 weeks of treatment, both UV-A1 and NB-UVB achieved statistically significant reductions in PSSI and DLQI scores. Significantly greater improvements were seen by week 3 among participants treated with UV-A1 compared with NB-UVB, however, these differences declined through week 10. Both therapies were well-tolerated and adverse events were uncommon.

“Both UVA1 and NB-UVB phototherapy could offer relief of scalp symptoms in patients with scalp involvement,” the researchers concluded. “Furthermore, UVA1 treatment could improve the clinical manifestations and quality of life more quickly than NB-UVB therapy.” n


Zhou J, Yi X, Li Y, Ding Y. Efficacy assessment of UVA1 and narrowband UVB for treatment of scalp psoriasis [published online June 18, 2018]. Lasers Med Sci. doi:10.1007/s10103-018-2564-z

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