Patient perspectives on treating psoriasis with classic inpatient dithranol therapy: a retrospective patient survey

J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2015 Nov;13(11):1156-63. doi: 10.1111/ddg.12820.


Background: Evidence of the efficacy of dithranol and patient perspectives on the treatment is scant.

Patients and methods: Using a telephone interview survey, we collected retrospective data from 63 patients (41 men [65.1 %] and 22 women [34.9 %]) who had been treated with classic inpatient dithranol (CID). PsoRA ( was used to obtain clinical data and treatment responses, which were then correlated with the interview responses.

Results: Fifty-two (82.5 %) patients achieved a PASI75 and 51 (81 %) a PASI90 response within a median of 12.5 (range: 3 to 25) days. Ten out of twelve (83 %) patients showed a satisfactory response to CID (PASI75 or greater reduction) despite the fact that they had previously failed to adequately respond to methotrexate, oral retinoids, cyclosporine, or ustekinumab. Overall, patients recalled a median recurrence-free interval of four (95 % CI: 3-9) months after responding to CID, which was positively correlated with the patients' recommendation of (p = 0.018) and their overall high satisfaction with the treatment (p = 0.012).

Conclusions: Despite the known limitations of CID, this survey indicates that dithranol remains a highly efficacious and valuable treatment option as induction therapy in psoriasis. CID can be effective in patients who have failed to respond to systemic therapy, including traditional agents and biologics.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Anthralin / therapeutic use*
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / psychology
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / epidemiology
  • Psoriasis / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Young Adult


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Anthralin