Psoriasis in Tigray, Ethiopia: Focusing on available treatments

Aldo Morrone, Maria Lucia Dell'Anna, Antonio Cristaudo, Tewolde Wubayehu, Hagos Godefay, Gebre Ab Barnabas, Federica Dassoni, Valeska Padovese, Ottavio Latini, Torello Lotti, Pierluigi Saraceni, Enea Gino Di Domenico, Viviana Lora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psoriasis has been reported to be rare in people with skin of color. However, the actual prevalence is probably underestimated by the lack of wide epidemiological studies. The aim of the study is to present our experience in Tigray, Ethiopia, focusing on the issues related to diagnosis, clinical features and therapies. A total of 1288 people affected by psoriasis were visited and 954 were included in a retrospective analysis through the review of medical records of patients attending at three Dermatologic Centers in Ethiopia from 2005 to 2016. The most common clinical form is plaque psoriasis (62.9%), followed by guttate (13.9%), pustular (9.5%), inverse (7.5%), and erythrodermic (6.1%) ones. The prevalence of psoriatic arthritis is 17%. It is often diagnosed late resulting in particularly deforming and debilitating disease. Patients with severe psoriasis often require hospitalization due to the reduced availability of effective treatments and appropriate skin care, resulting in a prolonged recurrence rate or decreased disease-free interval. In poorer rural areas, patients use some traditional African plants such as Kigelia africana which have been shown to have partial benefits in the treatment of psoriasis. Unfortunately, the only available conventional therapies are topical steroids, salicylic acid, methotrexate, and the sun. More studies concerning the appropriate management of people with psoriasis in low income countries, including standardization of indigenous therapies and a reduction of costs of conventional drugs, could help the care of people with psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDermatologic Therapy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Ethiopia
  • indigenous
  • psoriasis
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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