Treatments for Psoriasis

The precise cause of psoriasis is not yet understood, but it is known that genetic factors play a part in the development of the condition, which occurs when the body’s immune system becomes overactive. Other possible influences include smoking, alcohol, weight and stress.

There is no cure for the condition but there are several psoriasis treatments that can play a part in easing the worst of the symptoms. It can come down to trial and error to find the combination of psoriasis treatments that work for a particular patient, but a doctor is likely to start by evaluating the severity of the condition and any other medical issues present.

Most psoriasis treatment plans begin with a form of topical skin preparations. These can include oils, creams, lotions or shampoos. Many of these contain corticosteroids which work by easing inflammation. Some topical treatments incorporate salicylic acid to clear away scales. Doctors also sometimes prescribe applications such as tazarotene and other tar-based products or creams fortified with Vitamin D.

If a psoriasis patient has more severe symptoms, phototherapy is sometimes considered as an option. This treatment involves focusing ultraviolet light on the affected areas, either at the patient’s home or in hospital. Laser treatment is also sometimes used.

If the condition does not resolve or improve with either topical applications or phototherapy, the next phase of treatment is usually orally ingested medication. There are a number of options to try, such as HYPERLINK “” acitretin, apremilast and  HYPERLINK “” methotrexate, but as they can lead to significant side effects, these drugs are only used in moderate to severe cases.

Besides these medical treatments, lifestyle changes can also prove effective in tackling the condition. As noted above, psoriasis can be triggered or exacerbated by stress, weight, alcohol or cigarettes. Cutting out smoking, reducing alcohol intake, exercising or learning stress-controlling exercises can all play a useful role in the treatment of psoriasis, and a doctor will usually advise on which of these options would be most relevant to individual patients, depending on the severity of the condition and their circumstances.