Currently there is no cure for psoriasis. But many types of treatment are available, including products applied to the skin, phototherapy, and oral medicines, which can help control psoriasis. Most cases are mild and can be treated with skin products. In some cases, psoriasis can be hard to treat if it is severe and widespread. Most psoriasis returns, even mild forms.
The purpose of treatment is to slow the rapid growth of skin cells that causes psoriasis and to reduce inflammation. Treatment is based on the type of psoriasis you have, its location, its severity, and your age and overall health.
Treatment can also depend on how much you are affected by the condition, either physically (because of factors such as joint pain) or emotionally (because of embarrassment or frustration from a skin rash that may cover a large or visible area of the body). For example, you may get more aggressive treatment if your psoriasis is severe or if the patches frequently upset you.
Most cases are mild and can be treated with:
- Creams, ointments, and lotions to moisturize
- Shampoos, oils, and sprays to treat psoriasis of the
- Some exposure to sunlight.
Psoriasis: Skin, Scalp, and Nail Care
Depending on what type of psoriasis you have, treatment may also include:
- Skin products that your doctor prescribes.
- Pills that your doctor prescribes.
- Shots to help your immune system.
- Phototherapy, which involves exposing your skin to special ultraviolet light.
You may need to try different
treatments before you find one that works well for you. It's important to
discuss your treatment and progress with your doctor.
Many doctors will recommend that
treatments be changed or rotated after a certain period of time to make
treatment more effective and to reduce side effects.
People respond differently to
psoriasis treatments. A treatment that worked one time may not work again. A
treatment that didn't work the first time may work when tried again
It's also important to avoid anything that can trigger a flare-up
of psoriasis or make the condition worse. Stress, skin injury, infection, and
use of alcohol can all contribute to symptom flare-ups. Streptococcal
infections, which usually affect the upper respiratory tract, are linked to guttate psoriasis.
Treat scalp or nail psoriasis
nail psoriasis can be hard to treat. Both conditions are more likely to
improve with medicines taken by mouth (oral medicines). Treatment for the scalp often includes tar
shampoos, corticosteroid solutions, or zinc and selenium sulfide
Ask for help
Psoriasis can cause a lot of stress and
affect how you feel about yourself. Seek information or counseling from your doctor. For tips on dealing with stress, see Home Treatment. You can also get educational materials and find support networks by contacting the National Psoriasis
Foundation at www.psoriasis.org.