Recommendations for adjunctive basic skin care in patients with psoriasis

Eur J Dermatol. 2014 Mar-Apr;24(2):194-200. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2014.2294.


Background: Psoriasis is a multifactorial disease involving both genetic predisposition and external triggers, resulting in epidermal and immune dysfunctions. Regardless of the severity of the disease, patients require additional basic topical treatment with emollients. Basic skin care products are well known for their role in moisture retention and symptom control in psoriasis, yet patients underuse them. Dry skin and cutaneous inflammation are associated with an impaired epidermal barrier function. This breakdown of the skin barrier causes the release of pro-inflammatory mediators that exaggerate inflammation.

Objectives: to provide recommendations for the use of emollients (including ceramides, urea, keratolytic agents, zinc salts, niacinamide), thermal water and skin care products in psoriasis.

Methods: A review of the current literature from 2000 to 2012 using Medline and Ovid was performed by a working group of five European Dermatologists with clinical and research experience in psoriasis.

Results: Either alone or used adjunctively, basic topical therapy can restore and protect skin barrier function, increase remission times between flare-ups and enhance the effects of pharmaceutical therapy.

Conclusion: We provide physicians with a tool to assist them in implementing basic skin care in an integrated disease management approach.

Keywords: Psoriasis; ceramides; emollients; keratolytics; lipohydroxy acid; urea.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Psoriasis / therapy*
  • Skin Care / standards*