The Best Psoriasis Treatment Options
Psoriasis treatment can bring relief to those who deal with this common and uncomfortable skin condition. Psoriasis causes cells to build up faster than normal, forming red patches and scales that are itchy and can be painful. This chronic condition has no cure, but individuals can learn how to manage the symptoms. Common signs of psoriasis include red patches on the skin that have silvery, thick scales, dry skin that may crack and bleed, swollen and stiff joints, and burning, itching, and soreness. The uncomfortable skin patches can be a few small spots or major eruptions that cover large areas of the body. The most popular psoriasis treatments include topical treatments, light therapy, and oral and injected medications. Read more to find out how to treat your psoriasis and help prevent psoriasis outbreaks.
Topical treatments to help relieve psoriasis symptoms are a popular way to bring relief. Creams and ointments applied directly to the skin can help treat mild to moderate psoriasis. There are several different kinds of topical treatments. Corticosteroids are used by prescription and are most likely used on sensitive areas of the body to reduce inflammation and relieve itching. Anthrolin is a specific medication that helps slow down the growth of skin cells, remove scales, and smoothen out skin. Topical retinoids are derived from vitamin A and are good for decreasing inflammation. Salicylic acid is available by prescription as well as over-the-counter. This type of psoriasis treatment helps slough off skin cells, reducing scaling. Any of these topical treatments need to be used carefully and under the care of a physician.
Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is the use of artificial and natural light to treat psoriasis. Daily exposure to sunlight can slow the growth of skin cells. This reduces inflammation and scales that appear on the skin. Artificial light can also be used. A fairly new treatment of narrow band UVB phototherapy involves controlled doses of UVB light. This treatment is administered two to three times a week until there is improvements, then slowed down to once a week. Psoralen plus ultraviolet A involves exposure to UVA light in combination with the light-sensitizing medication called psoralen.
Oral and injected medications are best for severe psoriasis and can be used in conjunction with other forms of psoriasis treatment. Methotrexate, also known as Rheumatrex, suppresses inflammation and slows the production of skin cells. Cyclosporine (Gengraf) is similar to methotrexate, but cannot be taken for long periods of time. There are many biologics, which are mostly given by injection, and are used by patients who have not responded to other forms of psoriasis treatment.
The causes of psoriasis aren’t completely understood, which can make treatment a bit tricky. And important part of psoriasis treatment is to manage risk factors and triggers, such as skin or other infections, skin injuries, stress, smoking, alcohol, and certain medications. Combined with the psoriasis treatments for symptoms, individuals with this chronic condition are certain to feel some relief.