Psoriasis Treatment OTC: Over the Counter Treatments for Psoriasis

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Psoriasis treatment OTC or over the counter medication can provide relief from some of the symptoms of psoriasis. These medications are not as strong as prescription medications that can decrease cell reproduction but they will provide comfort and you can get them at your local drug store anytime.

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Corticosteroids help decrease inflammation and the turnover of skin cell while suppressing your immune system. The most popular corticosteroid medication is hydrocortisone cream available in many different brand names.

You can apply 1% hydrocortisone cream and ointment on the affected area twice a day for short-term treatment. It works by blocking chemicals in your brain responsible for itch response, slowing down reaction to inflammation and constricting blood vessels in the affected area to reduce blood flow.

Depending on the severity of your psoriasis, it can be very helpful especially in reducing the persistent itching associated with this condition. If your psoriasis affects more than 10 percent of your body, consult your physician before you apply any type of corticosteroids. Excessive use can lead to thinning of the skin and possible liver complications; however, the side effects for the psoriasis treatment OTC (over the counter) corticosteroids are not as severe as the prescription variety.

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Salicylic acid

Keratolytics are medications that contain salicylic acid and they dissolve the skin flakes and scales on the affected area of your skin. Salicylic acid is available in soaps and shampoos in 2% concentrations.

t is also used in combination with other ingredients such as coal tar and corticosteroids to make it more effective in treating psoriasis. OTC salicylic acid is not strong enough to cause any serious side effects but if you have severe psoriasis, it can aggravate your condition.

Coal tar

Coal tar solution has a long history of effective use for many skin conditions including psoriasis. You can find coal tar in many medications including shampoos, creams, ointments, and bathing products. Coal tar is distributed in 0.5% solutions and it is strong enough to decrease scaling, itching and inflammation.

It is not known how it works, but it is an effective psoriasis treatment OTC medication with very few side effects at low concentrations. Higher percentages of coal tar in solutions are dangerous and it is a carcinogen at the full 5% concentration.


Dry flaky skin is very common among patients who suffer from psoriasis. Emollients and moisturizers will help keep your skin moist to reduce the itching associated with dry skin, which leads to infections. In turn, the infection prolongs your outbreak requiring stronger medication.

You can apply emollients twice a day and after you bathe to reduce the scaling. You can get OTC emollients in creams, ointments, paraffin and oils.

If you have a severe form of psoriasis, emollients can make your condition worse, so always ask your doctor for the best therapy for your particular condition.

Aloe, Oatmeal and Capsaicin

Natural ingredients in psoriasis treatment OTC medications have shown to be effective in relieving some of the symptoms of psoriasis. Aloe, colloidal oatmeal and capsaicin each have compounds to help reduce the discomfort with outbreaks of psoriasis.

  • Creams containing aloe will reduce the itching, redness, scaling, and inflammation.
  • Colloidal oatmeal baths in lukewarm water helps reduce inflamed skin and remove scales.
  • Capsaicin is a natural ingredient found in hot peppers and it is available in creams and ointments. Capsaicin solutions at 0.025% concentration will help reduce itching, redness and scaling related with your psoriasis.

Psoriasis treatment OTC medications are generally topical treatments you apply to the affected area on your skin. They provide temporary relief from the itch, dry skin and inflammation associated with psoriasis and like prescription medication, but you have to take precautions with some of the side effects. Consulting your physician before beginning any treatment play is always prudent.



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National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases