Have there been any reports in the literature linking improvement of psoriasis vulgaris with initiation of long-term, low-dose aspirin therapy, even when usual therapy has failed? I have seen marked improvement in three patients taking aspirin; results were even better than with halobetasol (Ultravate) or calcipotriene (Dovonex) therapy. One patient who stopped aspirin temporarily noticed an immediate flare-up. Restarting the aspirin brought renewed improvement. One possible mechanism: Aspirin slows cell growth and may therefore inhibit the hyperproliferation or accelerated growth of skin cells that is characteristic of psoriasis. — Watson Gutowski, DO, Newtown Square, Pa.

I was unable to find any reports or studies on the utility of aspirin in psoriasis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation website, aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do not change psoriasis skin lesions, although such agents do sometimes cause worsening. Certain NSAIDs, such as indomethacin, have been reported to trigger flares of psoriasis. — Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD (150-10)