Psoriasis in solid organ transplant patients: best practice recommendations from The Medical Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation

J Dermatolog Treat. 2018 Jun;29(4):329-333. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2017.1373737. Epub 2017 Oct 24.


Background: Treatment of solid organ transplant patients who have psoriasis can be a therapeutic challenge. Biologic and systemic drugs used to treat psoriasis can result in an increase in infections or malignancies.

Objective: We sought to develop a treatment algorithm for organ transplant recipients (OTR) diagnosed with psoriasis vulgaris.

Methods: A systematic literature search for psoriasis treatment in organ transplant patients was performed using MEDLINE and GOOGLE.

Results: In mild-to-moderate disease, topical therapy should be a first-line treatment. In moderate-to-severe disease, first-line treatment is acitretin with narrow band ultraviolet light (NBUVB), NBUVB, or acitretin. Second-line treatment is increasing the current antirejection drug dose. Other systemic or biologic therapies should be reserved for more severe or refractory cases.

Conclusion: No systematic clinical studies have been done to explore psoriasis treatments among affected solid organ transplant patients who have psoriasis, and only a few case reports are available. The algorithm for best practices was developed based on these reports and on the clinical experience and judgment of the Medical Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation. There remains a need for further research on the management of psoriasis in the organ transplant patient population.

Keywords: National Psoriasis Foundation; Psoriasis; solid organ transplant.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Acitretin / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organ Transplantation
  • Psoriasis / diagnosis
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis / radiotherapy
  • Psoriasis / therapy*
  • Ultraviolet Therapy
  • Ustekinumab / therapeutic use


  • Ustekinumab
  • Acitretin