Psoriasis - Topic Overview
A doctor can usually
diagnose psoriasis by looking at the patches on your skin, scalp, or nails.
Special tests aren't usually needed.
Most cases of psoriasis are
mild, and treatment begins with skin care. This includes keeping your skin
moist with creams and lotions. These are often used with other treatments
including shampoos, ultraviolet light, and medicines your doctor
In some cases, psoriasis can be hard to treat. You
may need to try different combinations of treatments to find what works for
you. Treatment for psoriasis may continue for a lifetime.
at home can help control psoriasis. Follow these tips to care for
- Use creams or lotions, baths, or soaks to
keep your skin moist.
- Try short exposure to sunlight or
ultraviolet (UV) light.
- Follow instructions for
skin products and prescribed medicines. It may take a period of trial and error
until you know which skin products or methods work best for you. For mild
symptoms of psoriasis, some
over-the-counter medicines, such as aloe vera, may be
It's also important to avoid those things that can cause
psoriasis symptoms to flare up or make the condition worse. Things to avoid
Skin injury. An injury
to the skin can cause psoriasis patches to form anywhere on the body, including
the site of the injury. This includes injuries to your nails or nearby skin
while trimming your nails.
Stress and anxiety. Stress can cause psoriasis to appear suddenly (flare) or can
make symptoms worse.
strep throat can cause psoriasis to appear suddenly,
especially in children.
Some medicines, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
beta-blockers, and lithium, have been found to make
psoriasis symptoms worse. Talk with your doctor. You may be able to take a
Overexposure to sunlight. Short periods of sun exposure reduce psoriasis in
most people, but too much sun can damage the skin and cause skin cancer. And
sunburns can trigger flares of psoriasis.
Alcohol. Alcohol use can cause symptoms to flare
. Smoking can
make psoriasis worse. If you smoke, try to quit.
Studies have not found that specific diets can cure or
improve the condition, even though some advertisements claim to. For some people,
not eating certain foods helps their psoriasis. Most doctors recommend that you
eat a balanced diet to be healthy and stay at a healthy weight.