Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin, causing red, inflamed patches covered with silvery scales. This condition can be both physically uncomfortable and emotionally distressing for those who experience it. Fortunately, there are various treatment options available to manage and alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis.
Corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory medications are available in different strengths and formulations (creams, ointments, lotions) and are applied directly to the affected skin to reduce redness and itching.
Vitamin D analogues: These synthetic forms of vitamin D slow down the growth of skin cells, reducing scaling and inflammation. They are commonly used in combination with other topical treatments.
Topical Retinoids: Derived from vitamin A, topical retinoids help reduce inflammation and decrease the production of skin cells. They are often used in cases of resistant or stubborn psoriasis plaques.
Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors: These medications help modulate the immune response and reduce inflammation. They are typically used for sensitive areas such as the face, groin, and armpits.
Also see our blog about this cream for psoriasis.
UVB Phototherapy: This treatment involves exposing the affected skin to specific wavelengths of ultraviolet B (UVB) light, which slows down the excessive skin cell growth and reduces inflammation. It can be administered in a controlled medical setting or at home with a prescribed device.
Methotrexate: This oral medication helps slow down the production of skin cells and suppresses inflammation. It is often used for severe cases of psoriasis that do not respond to other treatments. Regular blood tests and close monitoring are necessary due to potential side effects.
Cyclosporine: This immunosuppressant medication suppresses the immune system to reduce inflammation and slow down cell turnover. It is typically used for short periods due to potential side effects on kidney function and blood pressure.
Biologic Drugs: These newer medications target specific components of the immune system involved in psoriasis. Biologics are administered either by injection or intravenous infusion and have shown excellent results in treating moderate to severe psoriasis.
While not treatments per se, certain lifestyle modifications and alternative approaches can complement medical treatments and improve psoriasis symptoms. These include:
Lifestyle: quitting smoking , limiting alcohol intake, and exercising regularly can reduce the risk of developing diseases linked to psoriasis.
Moisturizing: Regularly applying moisturizers helps soothe and hydrate the skin, reducing dryness and itchiness.
Avoiding Triggers: Identifying and avoiding triggers that worsen psoriasis symptoms, such as stress, certain medications, and infections, can help manage flare-ups.
Dietary Considerations: While no specific diet has been proven to cure psoriasis, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids may promote overall skin health.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition that requires long-term management. With the wide range of treatment options available, individuals can find relief and improve their quality of life. It is important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another, so finding the right treatment approach often involves a process of trial and error.
Working closely with a healthcare professional experienced in treating psoriasis is essential to develop a personalized treatment plan that suits your specific needs. They will consider the severity of your psoriasis, your overall health, and any other factors that may impact treatment decisions.
Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting or making any changes to your treatment plan. They can provide the best guidance based on your specific condition and medical history.
1) American Academy of Dermatology (2021). Guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis with topical therapy and alternative medicine modalities for psoriasis severity measures, 84(2), 432-470. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2020.07.087
2) American Academy of Dermatology (2020). Guidelines of care for the management of psoriasis with systemic nonbiologic therapies, 82(6), 1445-1486. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2020.02.044
3) American Academy of Dermatology Association. 2023. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/insider/diet