Background: Psoriasis of the hands and feet is a chronic disease which is often resistant to the usual topical therapies. It has considerable morbidity and seriously affects the quality of life of patients.
Objective: We sought to prospectively evaluate the efficacy and safety of pulsed dye laser (PDL) treatment of psoriasis of the hands and feet.
Methods: In all, 41 patients with therapy-resistant psoriasis of the hands and feet were treated once every 4 to 6 weeks with PDL at 585-nm wavelength, 450-microsecond pulse duration, 7-mm spot diameter, and 5- to 6.5-J/cm2 fluence. Calcipotriol ointment and salicylic acid 5% to 10% ointment were used as keratolytic agents. Treatment efficacy was evaluated by blinded comparison of photographs of the lesions taken before and after PDL treatment in each patient.
Results: A good to very good improvement in the lesions was observed in 76% of the patients after treatment. An average duration of remission was 11 months. Side effects were transient purpura, moderate discomfort during the treatment, transient hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, and incidental transient crustae.
Limitations: This was an open prospective study with a limited number of patients who were concomitantly treated with calcipotriol and salicylic acid ointment. Patients with photointolerance, on medication with phototoxic or photoallergic drugs, and with widespread psoriasis were excluded.
Conclusions: Concomitant treatment with PDL and topical calcipotriol, salicylic acid, or both was a satisfactory modality for treating psoriasis of the hands and feet. There was a subjective improvement in the symptoms and quality of life in all patients.