Psoriasis refers to a medical condition that occurs as inflamed and red itchy patches on the skin’s surface. They are caused by the rapid multiplication of skin cells that don’t get the time to fall off, building up on the skin surface. Psoriasis has no permanent treatment, but different types of medications are useful in managing its symptoms. They include topical applications, including creams, ointments, essential oils, injectables, oral medicine, and light therapy. Psoriasis medications are meant to reduce the rapid skin cells multiplication and soothe the skin while removing the scale build-ups. Let us look at them below.
Many people who have psoriasis use topical applications in managing the symptoms of psoriasis. Dermatologists mostly prescribe topical medication in mild to moderate psoriasis or in the initial stages of psoriasis. They come in creams, ointments, oils, lotions, gels, sprays, and shampoos. Common ointments such as hydrocortisone are usually recommended for sensitive skin areas such as skin folds, the face, or broad affected areas of the skin. Most of them are applied once daily during flare-ups or on alternate days to maintain remission. They include:
- Vitamin D analogs.
- Calcineurin inhibitors.
- Salicylic acid shampoos and scalp solutions.
- Coal tar.
- Anthralin- a tar product.
- Goeckerman therapy (a combination of coal tar treatment with light therapy)
Topical therapy differs from individual to individual depending on the symptoms and other body factors such as pregnancy and skin sensitivity. Application prescription also depends on the severity of the symptoms. The doctor may prescribe more strong ointments such as corticosteroid creams to manage less-sensitive, smaller, or challenging to treat areas.
Light therapy helps manage moderate to severe psoriasis. Dermatologists always recommend it with other medications, but it can be used alone. In light therapy, the skin is subjected to natural or artificial light, which can be done in repeated processes. Light therapy treatments include:
- Sunlight exposure in limited amounts.
- UVB broadband.
- UVB narrowband.
- Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA).
- Excimer laser.
Sunlight is a vitamin D source, which helps boost body immunity and healthy skin, which can help manage psoriasis. Suppose you would like to use natural sunlight as light therapy to manage psoriasis. In that case, you should consult with your doctor first, who will determine if home phototherapy is suitable for your condition. The other light treatments are doctor recommended only.
Oral medication and injectables.
In people who have severe psoriasis, oral medication and injectables are used to manage the symptoms. That mostly results if topical and light therapy doesn’t work. Since there are side effects of these drugs, they are only used for short durations and combined with other treatment options. Some of them are:
- Biologics etc.
Other treatments are used in psoriases such as dietary supplements, herbs, creams, and special diets. They reduce itching and scaling, but they must be clinically tested before use. Treatments such as aloe cream, fish oil supplements, Oregon grape, and essential oils have also been found to relieve mild to severe psoriasis symptoms.
The final words
There are many ways of managing psoriasis, but the treatment type always depends on the symptoms’ severity. Usually, doctors begin with mild treatment methods such as topical therapy to moderate treatment, which is light therapy, and then progresses to more strong treatment methods depending on how the patient responds. The critical thing is to stop the rapid cell multiplication while maintaining as few side effects as possible.