Efficacy of Short-Contact Therapy With Dithranol in Childhood Psoriasis

Int J Dermatol. 1994 Nov;33(11):808-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4362.1994.tb01005.x.


Background: Dithranol is a potent reducing substance and is thought to achieve its effect on psoriasis by reduction of cell turnover. It was shown to be efficacious in adults, but its efficacy has not been documented in children.

Methods: The efficacy of short-contact therapy, a dithranol cream preparation, was retrospectively evaluated in 58 children with psoriasis. Dithranol cream (0.1-2%) was applied daily for 30 minutes to affected skin areas. Patients were evaluated at 1-4-week intervals.

Results: The median duration of therapy before the onset of remission was 2 months. Remission was achieved in 81% of the children. The median duration of remission was 4 months. Mild adverse skin reactions occurred in 20% of patients, but only one patient had to discontinue therapy.

Conclusion: Short-contact therapy with dithranol cream preparation is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for childhood psoriasis. A thorough explanation of the disease and mode of therapy to patients and their parents is essential for good compliance and subsequent success.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Anthralin / administration & dosage
  • Anthralin / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ointments
  • Patient Compliance
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Time Factors


  • Ointments
  • Anthralin