Best Treatments for Psoriasis

The National Institutes of Health reports that as of 2010, nearly 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect children, teens, men and women of all ages at any age, and the root cause of this disease is still unknown. Since the skin goes through cycles of inflammation, blistering, flaking and then settling down, it can be very difficult and stressful to keep the symptoms of the chronic skin disease under control. Fortunately, there are several medical treatments and complementary medicine treatments available for those suffering from psoriasis.

Work with your dermatologist or family physician to discuss the best treatment options available for your condition. You will receive a comprehensive skin analysis and the medical professional can discuss several treatment options and potential side effects.

Topical Treatments for Psoriasis

Medications applied to the skin are usually the first treatment strategy for most types of psoriasis. Man people have a lot of success using topical treatments that relieve inflammation, provide relief from blistering and dryness, and some can also improve the condition of the skin. Corticosteroids are the common prescription treatment for psoriasis because these reduce redness and swelling of lesions. Salicylic acid and coal tar are both FDA-approved for the treatment of psoriasis. Other effective topical treatments include jojoba, zinc and capsaicin. These compounds can soothe and nourish the skin.

Phototherapy for Psoriasis

Ultraviolet light treatments can also be effective for treating different types of psoriasis. UVB rays penetrate and can slow down the growth of lesions, blisters and other skin problems. These treatments can be administered at a dermatologist’s office or at home with a UVB light unit. It’s important to stick with a treatment schedule in order to achieve results, and you may experience temporary flare-ups during the course of the treatment. Flare ups usually subside as the skin begins to heal itself.

Medications for Treating Psoriasis

Certain systemic medications can help to keep the symptoms of psoriasis under control. These drugs are taken orally in liquid form or a pill form, or administered as an injection. Since prescription drugs can be very strong, they are usually only prescribed to people with moderate to severe psoriasis. Medication may also be the best treatment plan for those who have become unresponsive to UV light therapy or topical medication.

Biologic Drug Treatment for Psoriasis

Biologics are a new class of drugs that can be effective for treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Unlike regular prescription medications, these drugs are given intravenously or by injection. Some of these drugs block the activation of white blood cells that cause inflammation, and others help to stop the inflammatory cycle. They are known as T-cell blockers, and include the drugs Amevive (alefacept), Raptiva (efalizumab), Enbrel (etanercept) and Humira (adalimumab).

Complementary Medicine Treatments for Psoriasis

Even though complementary and alternative treatments for psoriasis have not been tested or studied in the same way as medical treatments, they may be an option for anyone who does not want to take prescription drugs or undergo medical treatments. These treatments may include herbal remedies, vitamins, nutritional supplements and natural, topical serums.

Talk to your dermatologist or family physician about the different types of treatments available for psoriasis. Your medical professional will be able to discuss the pros and cons of different medications and treatment options, and create a plan that will keep your symptoms under control.