Efficacy and safety of treatments for childhood psoriasis: a systematic literature review

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Jun;62(6):1013-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.06.048. Epub 2009 Nov 8.


Background: Evidence-based recommendations for therapeutic decision making in childhood psoriasis are lacking.

Objectives: We sought to systematically review all available literature concerning treatment efficacy and safety in childhood psoriasis and to propose a recommendation for topical and systemic treatment of childhood psoriasis.

Methods: Databases searched were PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Controlled Clinical Trial Register. All studies reporting on efficacy and safety of all treatment options in childhood psoriasis were obtained and a level of evidence was determined.

Results: Literature search revealed 2649 studies, of which 64 studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority of topical and systemic therapies given in childhood psoriasis are efficacious. Short-term side effects were usually mild; long-term side effects were not described.

Limitations: Most conclusions formulated are not based on randomized controlled trials.

Conclusions: A rough summary of the proposed algorithm is as follows: first, calcipotriene with/without topical corticosteroids, followed by dithranol. Methotrexate is considered to be the systemic treatment of choice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthralin / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Calcitriol / analogs & derivatives
  • Calcitriol / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • calcipotriene
  • Calcitriol
  • Anthralin
  • Methotrexate