Psoriasis is a skin condition in which the body produces more skin cells than can naturally be sloughed away through the shedding process. Thus, dry, itchy, and scaly patches develop on the skin. These can cause great discomfort and be difficult to treat, depending on the severity of your condition. Fortunately, though, there are a number of psoriasis treatment options available today.
Creams, lotions, and ointments applied to the skin can treat cases of psoriasis that are mild to moderate in nature. They aren’t likely useful for more serious instances. However, they can be combined with other treatment options to boost effectiveness. There are a number of topical options, each has their own properties and benefits. Your doctor can help you to decide which is right for you. Examples include vitamin D analogues, topic corticosteroids, Anthralin, calcineurin inhibitors, coal tar, salicylic acid, and topical retinoids.
Light therapy, or phototherapy, employs the use of natural or synthetic ultraviolet light to treat psoriasis symptoms. Controlled exposure to natural sunlight can be successful in some cases. Ultraviolet A (UVA) or Ultraviolet B (UVB) light therapy from an artificial source of light can also be used in treatment.
Oral or Injectable Medication
More severe forms of psoriasis may require medication in oral or injection form. These are prescriptions and can be given under the category of systemic or biologic treatments. Systemic options work through your body and include retinoids, Cyclosporine and Methotrexate. Biologics are more advanced options. They actually are able to target and block particular parts of the immune system. These are appropriate for moderate to severe psoriasis. Some you may have heard of are Enbrel, Taltz, Otezla, Cosentyx Stelara and Humira. These are typically delivered through injection and are most appropriate for patients who haven’t responded well to other options and who may also be dealing with psoriatic arthritis. Care must be taken in the use of biologics due to the ways in which they alter the immune system and can allow infection to more easily affect the body.
It’s usually best to start out with the more mild forms of treatment and work up toward options that may be more aggressive. Our specialist can recommend a treatment protocol after a thorough examination. Feel free to call our office with questions or to schedule your appointment.