Nail psoriasis: combined therapy with systemic cyclosporin and topical calcipotriol

J Cutan Med Surg. Mar-Apr 2004;8(2):122-5. doi: 10.1007/s10227-004-0114-8. Epub 2004 May 3.


Background: Nail psoriasis is a common problem in psoriatic patients and often it is difficult to cure. Several treatments have been proposed in the last decade using new molecules like vitamin-D analog and/or immunosoppressive drugs both systemically and locally.

Objective: Our goal was to evaluate a combination of cyclosporin and topical calcipotriol cream versus cyclosporin alone in a matched group of patients treated with cyclosporin alone.

Method: Fifty-four patients affected by severe psoriasis and nail involvement were selected and matched for severity of nail involvement, sex, age, and cyclosporin dosage. Group A included 21 patients treated with cyclosporin alone (3.5 mg/kg/day) for three months. Group B included 33 patients treated with the same cyclosporin dosage plus, for the same time, topical application of calcipotriol cream twice a day. Evaluation for clinical improvement was the personal feeling of the patient after three months, while clinical appearance of the lesions was evaluated by the same dermatologist using digital pictures and who was blind as to the treatment of the patient. A score ranging from + to +++ was used in order to evaluate the improvement, and data were statistically evaluated with the Wilcoxon test.

Results: Both cyclosporin alone and a combination of cyclosporin with topical calcipotriol twice a day were useful for treating nail psoriasis after three months of therapy although the combined therapy showed a better overall result in both mild and severe nail psoriasis. Improvement of the clinical appearance of the nail lesions was seen in about 79% of patients in group B (p < or = 0.0004) versus about 47% of patients in group A (p < or = 0.15).

Conclusions: In patients with severe involvement of nail psoriasis we suggest the use of a combination of topical calcipotriol twice a day with systemic treatment such as cyclosporine.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Calcitriol / administration & dosage*
  • Calcitriol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cyclosporine / administration & dosage*
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nail Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Single-Blind Method


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • calcipotriene
  • Cyclosporine
  • Calcitriol