Psoriasis is something that a majority of people will experience at least once in their lifetime. There’s no cure for this uncomfortable and oftentimes embarrassing skin condition, but there are treatments to reduce, if not eliminate its presence. The most common types of treatments are topical, medicinal, and light therapy. There are numerous choices for each category, but we are going to cover a sample of the most common from each one to give an idea as to what you can expect.
The most common and accessible form of psoriasis treatments is Topical Treatments. It can be prescribed or found over the counter, and even made from household ingredients. Topical solutions aim to treat mostly mild or typical experiences with psoriasis. They are often combined with other treatments for a comprehensive treatment therapy plan for more severe cases.
The most common topical treatments come in the form of corticosteroids, or anti-inflammatory creams that tackle redness, swelling, dryness, and itching.
Light Therapy Treatments
This treatment involves a natural ‘zapping’ of the skin cells to reverse the dysfunction caused by psoriasis. There are various types and techniques involving light therapy, some use UVA, UVB, and narrowband UVB, to name a few. Standard ultraviolet rays kill off excess skin scales that contribute to the buildup and scaling on psoriasis patches. This is done in controlled, regular doses to avoid skin damage and burning. UVB doses are a more intense form of ultraviolet therapy, but can cover a wider range of psoriasis conditions, particularly medication-resistant forms. Treatments with UVB can result in red and sensitive skin, akin to a sunburn.
Oral or Intradermal Meds
This last category of medicines are typically reserved for severe cases of psoriasis and act as a way of greatly reducing the prevalence of psoriasis to allow other treatments to be more effective. One of the most common drugs prescribed are retinoids. This drug is not available for pregnant women or women who could become pregnant because it causes birth defects.
Methotrexate is an alternative to retinoids, which also reduces skin cell production and inflammation. This drug is often taken for psoriatic arthritis. It can only be used in small doses, due to its dangerous side effects related to liver damage and reduced blood cell production of all types.
Never take it upon yourself to start treating your psoriasis on your own without talking to your doctor first, even if it is just involves buying over the counter creams. A doctor needs to diagnose and determine what you have and how severe it really is. From there, he/she can suggest treatment options with you, but you should keep in-mind that people experience psoriasis and respond to the same treatments differently. It’s normal to feel discouraged, but it takes time to figure out the exact strength, combination, and regimen that works best for you, while limiting side-effects as much as possible. Just know that you’re not alone and your overall health is what matters most.
DISCLAIMER: The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.