Psoriasis Cure – Conventional Treatment Options

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You'll find lots of information about psoriasis cures here. Let's get straight into looking at the conventional treatment options. For all conventional treatments, it's wise to consult your medical practitioner. If you've tried the conventional route unsuccessfully, check my article on natural treament for psoriasis.

Treatment options for psoriasis tend to fall into three main categories: topical treatment, systemic therapies, and phototherapy.

Topical Treatments For Psoriasis

For most people with mild psoriasis, treatment usually begins with the use of topical creams and ointments applied to the affected area.

Corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone are the most commonly prescribed topical treatment. These can be bought over-the-counter or in stronger forms by prescription. They work by reducing inflammation and slowing the growth and build-up of skin cells. The only problem with long-term steroid use is that they can cause side effects such as thinning of the skin, bruising and a change in the skin color.

Salicylic acid, which is sold in lotions, gels, soaps and shampoos, is used to remove the scales that appear on patches of psoriasis. It is particularly useful in combination with other topical treatments because removing the flakes of dead skin allows the other treatments better penetration into the affected skin. Too much salicylic acid can be toxic and so it should be used sparingly.

Anthralin is a bright yellow cream or paste and is used to reduce rapid growth of skin cells. There are no known long-term side effects but it can sometimes cause skin irritation.

Dovonex (calcipotriene) is a form of Vitamin D made into ointment form. It treats psoriasis by slowing down the growth of the skin. This treatment is safer than steroids for long-term use, although it can irritate the skin and should only be used in small amounts.

Tazorac (tazatarotene) is derived from vitamin A which is used to slow skin cell growth. It is often used on the nails, face, or scalp for psoriasis. However, the most common side effect of this treatment is skin irritation and dry skin.

Coal tar products have been used as a topical treatment for psoriasis for hundreds of years. Tar shampoos can be helpful in treating psoriasis of the scalp, whilst other forms of coal tar can be applied to the skin. Even though it is not fully understood how it works, coal tar seems to slow down cell growth.

Emollients such as moisturizers and lotions are used to keep the skin hydrated and soft in order to help control flare-ups in mild cases of psoriasis. In general, the greasier the lotion the better it is to trap moisture.

Phototherapy

Phototherapy or light therapy involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light on a regular basis under medical supervision. Ultraviolet light, which is present in the sun’s rays, is an effective psoriasis cure because it penetrates the skin and slows down the growth of the affected skin cells. There are ultraviolet light units that can be used at home. This makes it much more economical and convenient for many people. However, home phototherapy is a medical treatment and still requires monitoring by a health care professional.

Systemic Treatment

For more severe forms of psoriasis that aren't responsive to topical or phototherapy treatments, systemic drugs, taken orally or by injection, may be prescribed. Systemic treatment is also used where the psoriasis covers more than 20% of the body. Systemic drugs work either by suppressing the immune system or by slowing down the rapid growth of skin cells. They are the treatment of last resort since they can have undesirable side effects.

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