Combination Topical Steroids & Vitamin D: Effective Scalp Psoriasis Treatment

Topical steroids – either alone or combined with vitamin D – effectively treat scalp psoriasis while posing the least risk for side effects.

Topical steroids — either alone or combined with vitamin D – effectively treat scalp psoriasis while posing the least risk for side effects.

Steroids alone or in combination with vitamin D reduced scalp psoriasis more effectively than either treatment alone. Furthermore, recent studies found “corticosteroids of moderate, high, and very high potency are similarly effective.”

Findings published in a Cochrane review assessed the most effective topical treatments for scalp psoriasis (ie, steroids, vitamin D, and corticosteroids) in combination with vitamin D, corticosteroids in combination with salicylic acid, tar-based preparations, ciclopirox olamine, tacrolimus, cocois, and other combination products.

The team analyzed 59 randomized controlled trials with a total of 11,561 participants.

The meta-analysis also found:

· Those who applied vitamin D stopped treatment more often because of harmful side effects than those who applied a topical steroid or the combination product

· Compared to one another, steroids tended to be similarly effective and have similar side effects, even though some were of a higher strength

· Steroids, vitamin D, and their combination product were more effect than the control product (cream, shampoo, etc.) that did not contain the active drug

Also, the results found that most of the studies did not measure the improvement in quality of life, supporting the notion further research is necessary.

According to the findings, the most commonly reported side effects were irritation, itching, and skin pain at the site of application.

The authors concluded, “Steroids and the two-compound combination of a steroid and vitamin D were most effective with the least risk of causing harmful side effects. Given the similar safety profile and only slim benefit of the two-compound combinations over the steroid alone, topical steroids on their own may be fully acceptable for short-term therapy.”