Psoriasis (cont.)

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What is the treatment for psoriasis?

There are many effective treatment choices for psoriasis. The best treatment is determined by the treating physician and the patient and depends on the extent and the severity of the psoriasis. For mild disease that involves only small areas of the body (like less than 10% of the total skin surface), topical (skin applied) creams, lotions, and sprays may be very effective and safe to use. Occasionally, a small local injection of steroids directly into a tough or resistant isolated psoriatic plaque may be helpful. For moderate to severe disease that involves much larger areas of the body (like 20% or more of the total skin surface), topical products may not be effective or practical to apply. These situations may require ultraviolet light treatments or systemic (total body treatments such as pills or injections) medications. Internal medications usually have greater risks. For psoriatic arthritis, systemic medications are generally required to stop the progression of permanent joint destruction.

It is important to keep in mind that all medications carry possible side effects. No medication is 100% effective for everyone, and no medication is 100% safe. The decision to use any medication requires thorough consideration and discussion with your physician. The risks and potential benefit of medications have to be considered for each type of psoriasis and the individualized for each patient. A proposal to minimize the toxicity of some of these medicines has been commonly called "rotational" therapy. The idea is to change the anti-psoriasis drugs every six to 24 months in order to minimize the toxicity of one medication. Depending on the medications selected, this proposal can be an option.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/28/2015

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