Age, Treating Physician Tied to Pediatric Psoriasis Treatment

Dermatologists, internists prescribe high-potency steroids; pediatricians prescribe topical tacrolimus

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment for pediatric psoriasis varies according to treating physician and children's age, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in the Archives of Dermatology.

Sinae A. Vogel, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues evaluated patterns of childhood psoriasis health care delivery (demographics, physician specialty, and medications) for children between the ages of 0 and 18 years from 1979 to 2007.

The investigators found that there were 3.8 million visits for psoriasis, with a median of 123,420 visits per year. Dermatologists, pediatricians, and internists saw 63, 17, and 14 percent of the patients, respectively. Equal numbers of visits were found between genders, with whites constituting 93 percent of the patients. Patients aged 0 to 7, 8 to 12, and 13 to 18 years accounted for 18, 35, and 47 percent of visits, respectively. Topical corticosteroids were the most commonly prescribed medications, with children between the ages of 0 and 9 and 10 to 18 years receiving equally potent corticosteroids. Topical bethamethazone was the most commonly prescribed medication among all patients, with tacrolimus and bethamethazone prescribed for children between the ages of 0 and 9 and 10 and 18 years, respectively. For dermatologists and internists the most prescribed medication was high-potency steroids, whereas for pediatricians it was topical tacrolimus.

"Outpatient visits for pediatric psoriasis were attended primarily by white children older than 8 years in equal number by sex. Dermatologists and pediatricians saw the majority, and treatment approach differed by physician specialty and patient age," the authors write.

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