It is a fact that psoriasis has no cure. But this does not mean that it cannot be treated. There is actually a treatment for psoriasis. As a matter of fact, there are different types of psoriasis treatments available, from over-the-counter products to phototherapy. A type of treatment would vary depending upon the severity of the disease.
Treatment options for mild or moderate psoriasis include:
1. Over-the-counter products
Cream. Body creams keep skin from drying and cracking. This is necessary to avoid development of wounds which may result from drying and cracking of the skin.
Moisturizer. These work best at keeping the skin’s moisture. You may also opt for natural alternative moisturizers such as petroleum jelly, lard, or cooking oil. Though these are inexpensive, they are still able to provide strong protection as thick moisturizers. Thick moisturizers are effective as well. Thick moisturizers such as Neutrogena, Aquaphor, and Eucerin are only some examples of thick moisturizers available. Moisturizers are effective to be used as treatment for psoriasis in the form of plaque psoriasis.
Lotion. A couple of layers of this are needed, especially by guttate psoriasis patients.
2. Topical solutions or medications
Topical solutions often include lotion, gel, ointment and/or cream. Most of these are corticosteroids. Topical medications for scalp psoriasis may come in a form of liquid or foam such as calcipotriene or steroids which can be easily applied on the scalp. However, topical medication may be associated with oral medication especially for cases of severe flares. There are topical medications which contain active ingredients specifically designed for the purpose of dissolving skin flakes or skin scales. The most usual is with the use of keratolytic treatments. This treatment for psoriasis contains phenol, lactic acid, urea or salicylic acid.
Psoriasis treatments should be done with caution. There are cases wherein psoriasis is worsened by some medications. Anti-malarial medications, lithium, and beta blockers like Inderal are some examples of such medications.
3. Warm bath
Regular bath and soaking reduces inflammation and itching of the rashes. But remember that water should be kept warm or tepid, rather than hot because hot water may worsen itching. Some psoriasis patients add oatmeal, Dead Sea salts, Epsom salts, or bath oil to their warm bath water because these not only calm the redness but are also able to remove some psoriasis scales. But you should make sure not to soak for a very long time and to get out of the water before skin of your fingers starts becoming wrinkly since this may cause your skin to dry or crack.
4. Prescription medication
Prescription medication is your next resort to over-the-counter products. Some prescription medications have tar-like ingredients, synthetic vitamin D, or vitamin A derivatives. For scalp psoriasis patients or for psoriasis patients who also have affected scalp, doctors may suggest special shampoos which may contain salicylic acid and tar as ingredients.
Further, if you have severe psoriasis, the question now is: is there a recent treatment for such? There are current treatments for severe psoriasis. The most recent treatments are biologics or biologic drugs and phototherapy or light therapy.
Treatment options for severe psoriasis include:
1. Oral medications
Oral medications are prescribed by dermatologists for most severe psoriasis forms. These suppress the immune system and decrease the growth of skin cells.
2. Systemic medications
These medications are used to suppress the reactions of the immune system. Biologic drugs or biologics are among these medications. These may be injected or may be given intravenously to a psoriasis patient. Enbrel (etanercept), Remicade (infliximab), and Humira (adalimumab) are some examples of biologics. These are often used to ease symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis.
3. Light therapy or Phototherapy
Light therapy is an effective treatment for psoriasis in some cases. This therapy makes use of ultraviolet or UV light to treat the surface of the skin or the skin’s extensor surfaces.