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How do steroids treat psoriasis?

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Steroids (a.k.a. corticosteroids) reduce puffiness and slow the growth of skin cells so they don't build up. They come in different strengths. Weaker formulas may work for sensitive areas like the face, neck, or skin-fold areas like the groin or armpit. You may need stronger ones for thicker places like your elbows and knees.

You'll probably apply your treatment twice a day. Your doctor may suggest you wrap the area with tape or plastic after you treat it. This is a method called occlusion. It can help some treatments work better, but it may also make side effects stronger.

SOURCES: 

Bruce E. Strober, MD, PhD, associate director of dermatopharmacology, department of dermatology, New York University School of Medicine; co-director, Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Center; consultant for Amgen, Biogen, Genentech, Fujisawa, and 3M.

Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, director of the Clinical Research Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City; assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; consultant for Amgen and Genentech.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

American Academy of Dermatology.

American Academy of Dermatology, PsoriasisNet.

National Psoriasis Foundation.

Abel, E. "Dermatology III: Psoriasis," ACP Medicine, April 2005.

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on July 17, 2019

SOURCES: 

Bruce E. Strober, MD, PhD, associate director of dermatopharmacology, department of dermatology, New York University School of Medicine; co-director, Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Center; consultant for Amgen, Biogen, Genentech, Fujisawa, and 3M.

Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, director of the Clinical Research Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City; assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; consultant for Amgen and Genentech.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

American Academy of Dermatology.

American Academy of Dermatology, PsoriasisNet.

National Psoriasis Foundation.

Abel, E. "Dermatology III: Psoriasis," ACP Medicine, April 2005.

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on July 17, 2019

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What are the side effects of using steroids (corticosteroids) for treating psoriasis?

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