Skip to content

Psoriasis Health Center

Font Size

Psoriasis - Medications


Topical medicines that a doctor prescribes

  • Corticosteroids, which are the most common treatment for psoriasis. Betamethasone is an example of a topical corticosteroid.
  • Calcipotriene. This is a form of vitamin D.
  • Retinoids, which are medicines related to vitamin A. An example is tazarotene.
  • Anthralin and tars. The use of anthralin and tars has decreased recently, replaced by other medicines such as calcipotriene and tazarotene.

Topical medicines used with ultraviolet (UV) light

  • Psoralen and UVA light (called PUVA)
  • Tars and UVB light (called Goeckerman treatment)
  • Anthralin and UVB light (called the Ingram regimen)


  • Retinoids
  • Cyclosporine
  • Methotrexate


Biologics used to treat psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis include adalimumab (Humira) and other medicines, such as etanercept (Enbrel), infliximab (Remicade), and ustekinumab (Stelara).

What to think about

Some medicines used to treat psoriasis can cause serious side effects. You and your doctor will discuss how long to use treatments that could cause harm. You will also need to see your doctor regularly and may have blood tests while using some medicines.

Many oral or injected medicines used to treat psoriasis aren't safe during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking any medicines.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 17, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1 | 2
Next Article:

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