Therapeutic moisturizers as adjuvant therapy for psoriasis patients

Am J Clin Dermatol. 2009:10 Suppl 1:7-12. doi: 10.2165/0128071-200910001-00002.


At any point in time, psoriasis affects 2-3% of the world's population and has one of the biggest impacts on quality of life of any dermatological disorder. Treatment is extremely costly and prevention of disease progression in severity and extent is crucial. Psoriasis treatment should include skin hydration (regular use of moisturizers and emollients), careful, gentle skin cleansing, and identification and avoidance of Koebner phenomenon triggers (excoriation, maceration) and infectious foci (Streptococcus pyogenes). Moisturizers have been shown to significantly improve skin conditions and quality of life for psoriasis patients. They are a valuable first-line treatment, as dry skin is common and adds to the irritability of the diseased skin. Most patients respond well to topical treatment with topical corticosteroids, emollients, coal tar, anthralin (dithranol) or calcipotriol. Emollients are the most prescribed products, providing transient relief from irritation and some possessing anti-inflammatory properties. Moisturizers and emollients should be used in the following cases: minimal psoriasis, napkin psoriasis, psoriasis of the folds, psoriatic skin damaged by previous local treatments, and in pregnancy or women of childbearing age.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Emollients / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Phototherapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Psoriasis / psychology
  • Psoriasis / therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Ultraviolet Therapy


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Emollients
  • Immunologic Factors