Limited benefit of topical calcipotriol in lichen planus treatment: a preliminary study

D Bayramgürler, R Apaydin, N Bilen
Journal of Dermatological Treatment 2002, 13 (3): 129-32

BACKGROUND: Lichen planus (LP) is a papulosquamous dermatosis in which immunologic mechanisms play an important role in its pathogenesis. Topical calcipotriol, which mainly stimulates differentiation and inhibits proliferation of keratinocytes, also has immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory functions.

AIM: To investigate the therapeutical effects of topical calcipotriol in LP.

METHODS: A total of 18 histopathologically proved LP patients were advised to apply calcipotriol ointment twice daily to all affected skin areas except genitalia. Clinical evaluation of all patients was performed monthly and response to treatment was assessed on clinical grounds (erythematous and/or violaceous color, thickness and scale of the lesions) as partial, complete or no response. If there was no response at the end of the second month, topical calcipotriol was stopped. If there was partial clinical improvement at the end of the second month, the treatment was continued for one additional month.

RESULTS: In all, 16 patients completed the study. Of the study population, 56.25% (9/16) responded to topical calcipotriol treatment which was used for a maximum of 3 months. Complete clearing of the lesions with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and partial improvement were obtained in 31.25% (5/16) and 25% (4/16) of the patients, respectively. No improvement was observed in 43.75% (7/16) of the patients.

CONCLUSION: Topical calcipotriol can be used in the treatment of LP as a therapeutic option, although it is not the first-choice drug.

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