Treatments for Psoriasis: Review of Different Types of Treatment
type, severity and location of breakouts determine the treatments for psoriasis, which include topical treatments, light
therapy and medicines administered by injection or mouth. Depending on the
person, any of these treatments can cause side effects and the health care
provider should prescribe according to the individual response to the
particular treatment. To determine the best treatment, yu should discuss with
The amount of time to see results
- The potential side effects
- The actions to take if severe side effects occur
Topical Treatments for Psoriasis
and creams are often prescribed and applied directly to the skin, and these
types of treatments for psoriasis include:
- Coal tar - You do not
need a prescription for this agent and you can apply gels and ointments
containing coal tar directly to the skin, to bath water or use it as shampoo.
It can stain clothing or your skin, has a strong odor and occasionally it will
irritate the skin if too strong.
- Lubricants - Thick and
greasy concoctions seal in water of the skin and reduce the itching and
- Bath solutions - Soaking
in water with Epsom or Dead Sea salts or boiled oatmeal help to remove the
scales of psoriasis and reduce itching.
- Salicylic acid - This
peeling agent reduces scaling and is available as ointments, gels, shampoos and
Treatments for Psoriasis, depending on the person, most of the treatments for psoriasis
- Topical corticosteroids -
Often used for active outbreaks of psoriasis, these drugs suppress the immune
system, reduce inflammation and decrease the generation of skin cells. Side
effects include thinning of the skin and eventually the treatments are less
- Retinoids - The synthetic
vitamin A relieves the itching and scaling, but it can cause birth defects so
women planning a family cannot use this form of treatment.
- Anthralin - Available in
ointment, cream or paste, anthralin reduces skin cells and inflammation. You
apply it on the psoriasis lesions but you need to wash it off to prevent
irritation, and it does discolor most anything with which it comes into
- Vitamin D analogs - The
synthetic vitamin D affects the turnover of skin cells but excessive use can
increase calcium to unhealthy levels.
care professionals administer light therapy as natural or artificial
ultraviolet light has the potential to damage the skin, worsen the symptoms of
psoriasis and researchers have linked it to skin cancer. The treatments for psoriasis using light include:
- Sunlight - The
ultraviolet light of sunlight kills the T cells that activate the rapid
production of skin cells to produce the scaling and inflammation.
- Psoralen and ultraviolet
A phototherapy - The medicine psoralen makes the skin more sensitive to light
and the ultraviolet A penetrates the skin more deeply. This treatment is very
effective but long-term treatment may increase the risk of melanoma skin and
- Ultraviolet B
phototherapy - Broadband and narrowband treatment is an artificial source of
light that can relieve the symptoms of psoriasis when topical treatments are
psoriasis is not responding to topical and light treatments for psoriasis, doctors use systemic treatments, which
are prescribed pill or injectable medicines such as:
- Retinoids - Not only a
topical ointment, retinoids are available in pill form but high cholesterol and
liver damage are two side effects of the pill form.
- Biological response
modifiers - Living cells make these proteins, which you or your health care provider
injects into your body. The drugs suppress the immune system to alleviate
psoriasis symptoms, but they may be connected to certain blood diseases and
cancer and users are at a greater risk for infection.
- Methotrexate - Available
in pill or injectable form, this slows cell turnover but it can cause liver
damage, and decrease red blood cells, white blood cells and the blood platelets
that clot the blood.
- Cyclosporine - Taken by
mouth, this acts quickly but you have to keep taking it in order to get
continued relief from the symptoms. You must monitor your usage as it can cause
high blood pressure and impair kidney function.
Mental Health Treatments for Psoriasis
care of your mental health is very important and sometimes overlooked, if you
are plagued with psoriasis and its outbreaks. Depression, social isolation and
anxiety can affect your daily living, and seeking counseling or joining a
support group of fellow psoriasis sufferers can keep you in a good mental state.
of the prescription treatments for
psoriasis require monitoring for side effects but if you attend to the
symptoms early it is possible sometimes to keep the treatment simple. You have
various options but it most important to discuss the treatment with your health
care provider and decide on the best management of this perplexing ailment.
Psoriasis light treatment
Back to Top