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Psoriasis in Older Adults: Issues and Treatment

Scott RA Walsh, MD, PhD, Division of Dermatology, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto Medical School, Toronto, ON.

Madhuri Reddy, MD, MSc, FRCPC,
Divisions of Dermatology and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto Medical School, Toronto, ON.

Psoriasis is a chronic, recurring T-cell- mediated skin disease that causes significant morbidity. The disease is often life-long and thus prevalence is highest in older adults. Severe clinical variants are also more frequent. Complicating psoriasis presentation and treatment in older adults are issues related to polypharmacy, including a higher frequency of drug-induced or drug-exacerbated disease and potential drug interactions. Treatment should be tailored to the individual with his/her respective limitations and reflect disease severity. This review examines suitable treatment protocols, including patient education and topical and systemic medications in older populations coping with psoriasis.

Key words: psoriasis, older adults, complications, treatment, immunologic disease