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Treating Psoriasis on Your Face

Psoriasis on the face is different than on other parts of the body. Your skin there is thinner and may be more sensitive to treatments. In this area, the condition usually affects your:

  • Eyebrows
  • Skin between your nose and upper lip
  • Upper forehead
  • Hairline

You have a lot of options for treating psoriasis in these areas. Work closely with your doctor to find what works best for you.

Recommended Related to Psoriasis

Tests to Diagnose Psoriasis

In most cases, your primary care doctor or dermatologist will be able to diagnose psoriasis by examining your skin. However, since psoriasis can look like eczema and other skin diseases, diagnosing it can sometimes be difficult. If your doctor isn't sure whether you have psoriasis, he or she may order a biopsy. Your doctor will remove a small sample of your skin and have it looked at under a microscope. If you have symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, such as swollen and painful joints, your doctor...

Read the Tests to Diagnose Psoriasis article > >

Psoriasis Medications for Your Face

There are a few main types of treatments specifically for facial psoriasis. The type you use depends on which part of the face is affected. Your doctor may prescribe just one or a mixture of them, including:

  • Low-potency corticosteroids, which are ointments, creams, lotions, or sprays that reduce redness and swelling. Doctors usually prescribe them for just a few weeks at a time. If you use them for longer, they can make your skin thin, shiny, bruise easily, or give it stretch marks.
  • Synthetic vitamin D, such as calcipotriene (Dovonex, Sorilux) ointment or cream, slows the growth of skin cells. But it can also irritate your face. Calcitriol (Vectical, Rocaltrol) is a newer vitamin D drug for psoriasis that some studies suggest may be better for sensitive skin.
  • Retinoids, such as tazarotene gel (Tazorac), help remove scales and may ease inflammation. But skin irritation is a possible side effect.

Tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel) are two drugs the FDA has approved for eczema, a different skin condition. Some dermatologists recommend these drugs for psoriasis on the face. But talk to your doctor about whether you need these medicines. The FDA says people should use them only for a short time, since some studies have linked the drugs to cancer risks.

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