psoriasis usually begins with topical medicines that
you spread on the affected areas of your skin. You may use one medicine or a
combination of medicines to clear up the psoriasis patches. For mild psoriasis,
you may be able to control psoriasis using an over-the-counter medicine.
Softening and removing psoriasis crusts and scales can help creams and
other skin products be absorbed into the skin. Psoriasis crusts can be removed
by gently rubbing cream into the crusts to soften them and then carefully
peeling the crusted patches off. But this should be done with great care so
that the skin is not irritated.
One glance at the thermometer and there's no getting around it -- summer is
And while scorching temperatures and high humidity can put a damper on
summer fun for some, for psoriasis patients the hot, moist weather may be just
what the doctor ordered!
"In general, people with psoriasis do better in summer for two main
reasons -- No. 1, there's greater humidity, which helps keep the skin moist,
and No. 2, there's more sunlight exposure," says Bruce Strober, MD,
director of the Psoriasis...
For moderate to severe psoriasis,
you may need to use a topical medicine prescribed by your doctor, such as a
corticosteroid or a medicine related to vitamin D called calcipotriene. Other
topical medicines include anthralin and tars.
Occlusion therapy uses moisturizers or medicated creams or gels
applied to the skin. After the product is applied, the skin is wrapped with
tape, fabric, or plastic. Occlusion keeps the area moist and can make the
medicated creams work better. Steroid cream may be used with the occlusion
treatment method for small areas, but not for more than a few days. Occlusion of large areas may cause side effects such as
thinning of the skin. Talk to your doctor before using occlusion therapy, to
make sure that you do it safely.
Creams and ointments may be used
together with sunlight or
ultraviolet light, such as ultraviolet A (UVA) or B
(UVB), to treat moderate psoriasis. This is called phototherapy. Treatment of
psoriasis with UVB and medicines spread on the skin, such as tar or
calcipotriene, is safe and effective.10
UVA light therapy may be combined with a
medicine (called a psoralen) that makes your skin more sensitive to the UVA
light. This treatment is known as PUVA (psoralen and UVA). First, you use the
psoralen. You may take it as a pill, spread it on your skin as a lotion, or use
it as bath salts. Then you walk into a chamber where your skin is exposed to
Medicines taken by mouth (oral medicines) also may be
used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis. The most commonly used oral
medicines include methotrexate, cyclosporine, and retinoids, which are
medicines related to vitamin A. In rare cases, medicine may be injected
directly into a psoriasis sore or patch.
nail psoriasis can be difficult to treat. Both conditions are more likely to
improve with oral medicine. Treatment for the scalp often includes tar
shampoos, corticosteroid solutions, or zinc and selenium sulfide
If you are taking topical or oral medicines for
psoriasis, you will need regular follow-up visits with your doctor to check for
possible side effects. You may take one medicine for a while, then switch to
another to reduce the chance that a serious side effect will occur.