What Is the Best Treatment for Psoriasis?

Q:
What is the best treatment for psoriasis?

A:
There’s no heal-all treatment for psoriasis patients because the medications that work for some people may not work for others. But there are some common treatments to ease the symptoms of the disease.

Three main types of treatment can be found at present: topical treatments, light therapy and systemic medication.

Topical medications

  • Topical corticosteroids: reduce inflammation and relieve itching and may be used with other treatments.
  • Calcipotriene (Dovonex) or calcitriol (Vectical)
  • Anthralin: slow skin cell growth
  • Topical retinoids: decrease inflammation
  • tacrolimus (Prograf) and pimecrolimus (Elidel): reduce inflammation and plaque buildup.
  • Salicylic acid: promotes sloughing of dead skin cells and reduces scaling
  • Coal tar: reduces scaling, itching and inflammation
  • Moisturizers: reduce itching, scaling and dryness

Light therapy (phototherapy)– natural or artificial ultraviolet light

  • Sunlight
  • UVB phototherapy
  • Narrow band UVB phototherapy
  • Goeckerman therapy
  • Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA)
  • Excimer laser

Oral or injected medications

  • Retinoids: Side effects may include lip inflammation and hair loss
  • Methotrexate: decreases the production of skin cells and suppressing inflammation
  • Cyclosporine: suppresses the immune system and is similar to methotrexate in effectiveness
  • Drugs that alter the immune system (biologics)
  • Other medications. Thioguanine and hydroxyurea

As some medications have huge side effects, the choice of your treatments should be based on the type and severity and the areas of skin affected.

You may, with the help of your doctor, find the most effective way to with the fewest possible side effects.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.