Abstract Twenty-six patients with a history of hospitalization for severe psoriasis were evaluated with regard to their use of inpatient therapy before and during therapy with etretinate. The duration of the pretherapy period and the etretinate treatment period averaged 5 and 4 years, respectively. Use of etretinate nearly eliminated inpatient therapy among these patients. Twelve of the patients stopped etretinate; their use of hospitalization for psoriasis remained below pre-etretinate levels in the two years after etretinate therapy was stopped. Etretinate therapy represents an effective and economical alternative to hospitalization for psoriasis treatment.