If you have psoriasis, you know that it can be very irritating in a number of ways. It involves a lot of itching, as well as unsightly scabs on your skin. Treatments for this condition carry the goal of stopping the skin cells from growing so rapidly, which will in turn reduce the inflammation and formation of plaques. It is also supposed to remove the scales that are characteristic of this condition and make the skin smoother. There are many treatments that have been said to work for psoriasis, and they fall into three categories: topical treatments, oral or injected medications, and light therapy. Some of the most popular and effective treatments are topical corticosteroids, natural sunlight, biologics, methotrexate, and Goeckerman therapy.
Top Psoriasis Treatment Options:
- Topical corticosteroids
- Natural sunlight
- Goeckerman therapy
These are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs and the most frequently prescribed medications for mild to moderate psoriasis. These drugs suppress the immune system in order to slow down the cell turnover process, which minimizes inflammation and the itching that comes with it. They can be anywhere from mild to very strong. The low potency corticosteroid ointments are typically recommended for sensitive areas, while stronger weightmans might be prescribed for small areas that are particularly resistant to treatment. You should keep in mind that long-term use or excessive use of strong corticosteroids can lead to thinning of the skin, as well as resistance to the benefits provided by the treatment. Generally speaking, they are used in active outbreaks until the outbreaks are under control, in order to avoid the effects of overuse.
- Most frequently prescribed medications for mild to moderate psoriasis
- Suppress the immune system by slowing down cell turnover
- Vary in strength
This can help the psoriasis on its own or be used in conjunction with medications. Ultraviolet light is a wavelength of light that a person can be exposed to when in the sunlight. The UV rays cause activated T-cells in the skin to die, which slows down the turnover of skin cells and decreases the amount of scaling and inflammation. People may see improvements in their psoriasis after brief daily exposures to sunlight. However, you should make sure that you do not have intense sun exposure, as this can damage your skin and even worse than your psoriasis symptoms. You should ask your doctor about the safest and most effective way to utilize natural sunlight for your treatment before beginning to include this in your regimen.
- Can be used alone or with medications
- Causes activated T-cells in the skin to die
- Best in small amounts
In cases of moderate to severe psoriasis, there are immunomodulator drugs that can be used. They are administered through intramuscular injection, intravenous infusion, or subcutaneous injection. Typically, these are used for individuals who have not been able to respond to other methods or also have associated psoriatic arthritis. These biologics block interactions between certain cells of the immune system and certain inflammatory pathways. They need to be taken with caution, as they have potent effect on the immune system and could actually allow for life-threatening infections to form.
- Used for moderate to severe psoriasis
- Usually administered through infusion or injection
- Used on people who have not responded to traditional treatment methods
Methotrexate is taken orally and decreases skin cell production, which also suppresses inflammation. It is also thought to possibly slow down the progression of psoriatic arthritis in some cases. Generally, it is well tolerated in low doses, but it is possible that it could cause symptoms such as loss of appetite, fatigue, and upset stomach. It can lead to various serious side effects when it is used for long periods of time, such as decreased production of white and red blood cells and platelets, as well as severe damage to the liver.
- Taken orally
- Decreases production of skin cells and suppresses inflammation
- Should be taken in low doses and in the short term
This is a form of light therapy that combines UVB treatment and coal tar treatment. The coal tar makes the skin more receptive to the therapeutic effects of the UVB light. This treatment can be performed in a doctor’s office, although it once required people to stay in the hospital for three weeks.
- Combines UVB treatment with coal tar treatment
- Involves UVB and coal tar working synergistically
- Can be done in a doctor’s office
The aforementioned treatments are just a few of the potential solutions for someone who is struggling with psoriasis. Treatments should be chosen based on the specific type, as well as the of the particular case. Typically, topical treatments and light therapy should be used before resorting to the stronger oral and injected medications. This can be challenging condition to treat, but you should work with your doctor to find the best solution possible for your situation.