Psoriasis treatment options are available to help relieve the symptoms being experienced by psoriasis sufferers, but there is no cure for psoriasis.
It is always best to practice proper prevention as the first step in any treatment. Some general prevention tips are to maintain good health (eating right, regular exercise, avoiding stress, etc.), wearing loose fitting clothing, avoiding the scratching and picking of affected areas, and keeping nails short to lessen the damage caused by any scratching. A very useful preventative psoriasis treatment is to practice proper dry skin care.
More specific treatments are given below. Some experimentation may be necessary to determine which treatment works best, because not all products work to the same effectiveness on every individual.
Corticosteroids are topical drugs in cream or ointment form that are applied to the surface of the skin. Common products used as a psoriasis remedy include: Clobetasol (Temovate), fluocinolone (Synalar), and betamethasone (Diprolene). This is usually one of the first treatment steps that is used. The actual strength of the medication depends on the severity of the problem. Use of this medication is best for the scalp, face, ears, and skin folds. Be aware that misuse can lead to skin colour changes, skin thinning, and easy bruising. Also, psoriasis can become resistant to these drugs with long-term use.
This topical treatment is messy and smelly to use, although purified tars are more bearable. This type of product is available in creams, lotions, ointments or gels. Some commonly used products are Doak Tar or Theraplex T. Treatments are also available as bath oils or shampoos such as DHS Tar.
These types of products basically decrease the itch and production of skin cells. They also play a role in enhancing the effectiveness of ultraviolet treatments for psoriasis.
Anthralin (Tree Bark Extract)
Some common names for this drug are Micanol, Dithranol, Anthra-Derm, and Drithocreme. It is a very effective topical treatment available as a cream, paste, lotion, or ointment. Disadvantages of using Anthralin are that it is messy and can stain clothing and skin.
Vitamin D-3 Derivatives
Calcipotriene (Dovonex) is a synthetic vitamin D-3 derivative and slows the production of skin cells. Therefore, it is useful as a psoriasis rash treatment. Once again this is a topical treatment available in an ointment or cream. It is generally used for moderate cases of psoriasis.
Tazarotene (Tazorac) is a topical retinoid (derivative of vitamin A) in the form of a gel or cream. It reduces the redness and size of psoriasis patches. It is a particularly useful for psoriasis on the scalp. It is sometimes combined with corticosteroids.
A potential useful treatment for psoriasis is UVB light. The UVB light slows down the production of skin cells and reduces inflammation in psoriasis suffers. It is often used in combination with topical drugs.
On the other hand, UVA light is used in combination with oral medications as a psoriasis treatment.
Oral drugs are also available as a treatment. They are used in cases where the condition is more severe or there is no response to a topical treatment or an ultraviolet treatment.
Psoralens such as Methoxsalen (Oxsoralen-Ultra) and trioxsalen (Trisoralen) make the skin more sensitive to the sun and are used in combination with UVA light.
Tegison (a derivative of vitamin A) is a drug that slows down the growth rate of cells.
Cycloporine (Sandimune,Neoral) or Alefacept (Amevive) are useful as a psoriasis treatments because they also slow the grow rate of cells.
Etanercept (Enbrel) is a drug that is injected and used to treat psoriatic arthritis.
Anti-cancer drugs such as Methotrexate (Rheumatrex) is effective for arthritis and plaque psoriasis.
A doctor or dermatologist should prescribe any psoriasis treatment and careful attention to the side effects is a must.
More pages about psoriasis are found below: