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Study finds dermatologists prefer phototherapy as first-line treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis

Ultra-violet light B (UVB), or phototherapy, is the most preferred first-line therapy for moderate to severe psoriasis in healthy adults, according to a survey of dermatologists from the National Psoriasis Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology. The study, published in the May 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, also shows that dermatologists' treatment preferences vary based on geographic region, availability of phototherapy and prior treatment use.

In the survey of 1,000 dermatologists, selected at random, UVB was preferred for male and female patients 40 percent and 56 percent of the time, respectively. The second most preferred first-line treatment was etanercept (Enbrel), followed by methotrexate and adalimumab (Humira).

Those who favored UVB as the first-line treatment were significantly more likely to have phototherapy available in their practice and to have used it on at least 10 patients in the past three months. In addition, the findings also revealed that compared with dermatologists in the South, those in the Northeast were significantly more likely to prefer UVB.

Although the study describes preferences for treatment, it does not address how treatments should be used. Additional long-term comparative studies are needed to determine how therapies should be used for psoriasis, the authors note.

June 11, 2012

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