Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Psoriasis Health Center

Font Size

When Your Psoriasis Treatment Isn't Working

What to consider if you're not getting the results you wanted.

Finding the Right Option May Take Some Experimenting continued...

When deciding which treatment to try first, a doctor will consider how much of your body is affected by outbreaks, says Lawrence Green, MD, a dermatologist in the Washington, D.C. area and a trustee of the National Psoriasis Foundation.

If just a small amount of skin is involved, you may be able to use a topical treatment, such as applying medicine to your skin. If more than 5% of your body is covered with outbreaks, you may need systemic therapy (treatments that go throughout your body, such as pills or injections). (The palm of your hand is the size of about 1% of your body’s surface area, Blauvelt says).

Other signs that suggest you may need a systemic approach include:

  • Having psoriatic arthritis
  • Having outbreaks on more sensitive areas, such as your palms, soles of your feet, face, or genitalia
  • Lack of success with all the topical treatments

You play a role in the success of your treatment. So while you’re seeking a drug that will bring your psoriasis under control, the experts who spoke to WebMD suggested these strategies:

Be Patient

Depending on the treatment, you may need one to three months before the drug starts working, Van Voorhees says. Be sure to ask your doctor how soon you might notice improvement, and how you’ll be able to know if the treatment is helping, she says.

Remember That Control Is a Long-Term Process

“There’s not a treatment that allows you to take a pill once and make psoriasis go away, like treating an infection with an antibiotic,” Van Voorhees says. If your treatment is to rub steroid medicine onto your skin, you may do it several times a day until your lesions have dwindled away, then hold off on further treatment until they start to return, Blauvelt says. You’ll then continue this cycle indefinitely.

Be sure to stick with your treatment, even when your skin starts looking better, Van Voorhees says. “When their skin is looking good, sometimes patients get more casual, and they need to remain conscientious about continuing their treatments.”

Today on WebMD

Woman sitting in front of UV lights
About 7.5 million people in the U.S. Get the facts.
stress and psoriasis
What might spark your psoriasis today?
woman bathing
Slideshow: Home Remedies For Psoriasis
woman applying lotion
It starts in the immune system. Read on.
Top Psoriasis Treatments To Try At Home
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Beware Miracle Diets For Psoriasis
Psoriasis Laser Therapy
10 Questions About Psoriasis To Ask Your Doctor
psoriasis on elbow
Psoriasis (Moderate to Severe)
Psoriatic Arthritis Do You Know The Symptoms