Psoriasis - Effective Treatments

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What kinds of treatments have been effective for your psoriasis?

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What is the treatment for psoriasis?

There are many effective treatment choices for psoriasis. The best treatment is individually determined by the treating physician and depends, in part, on the type of disease, the severity, and the total body area involved.

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. This may require ultraviolet light treatments or systemic (total body treatments such as pills or injections) medications. Internal medications usually have greater risks. Because topical therapy has no effect on psoriatic arthritis, systemic medications are generally required to stop the progression to permanent joint destruction.

It is important to keep in mind that as with any medical condition, 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 individual patient. Of two patients with precisely the same amount of disease, one may tolerate it with very little treatment, while the other may be almost completely become incapacitated and require treatment internally.

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 optimal option. An exception to this proposal is the use of the newer biologics medications as described below. A patient who has been using strong topical steroids over large areas of their body for prolonged periods may benefit from stopping the steroids for a while and rotating onto a different therapy, like calcitriol (Vectical), light therapy, or an injectable biologic.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Bobdole1, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: April 25

I was diagnosed with psoriasis at age 22. I knew I had had it since I was young but it had never flared to a noticeable point until my early 20s. I"m 33 now and have found the best way to control it. I have guttate psoriasis, scalp buildup and pitted fingernails and rarely, if ever, does anyone notice. I used clobetasol foam on my scalp (it"s like a normal hair product), Dovonex for my fingernails and I use a mixture of sugar and olive oil on my skin every time I shower. Does that seem weird? Heck yes, but it has no smell, it doesn"t leave my skin greasy and it seriously helps get rid of the psoriasis, quick! Try it out: 1 cup of sugar mixed with 1/3 cup of virgin olive oil - mix and apply to the body in the shower after you have used soap (not before as the soap will remove all of the oils). This has worked for me, a guy that went through every form of treatment out there. Oh, and yes, sunlight and saltwater are miracle cures; I just live too far from the sea.

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Comment from: mama4ever, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I experienced my first bout of psoriasis when just 8 years old and it had only gotten worse, patches on knees, scalp that never stopped itching, eyebrows that were always itchy and flaky, until I tried Wen hair cleansing products. The tea tree conditioning cleanser has worked miracles for me. I use it on my hair, elbows and eyebrows (carefully!) and after one wash the results were dramatic. I have tried the coal-tar and other shampoos and never had good results. I believe the sulfates in most of the OTC shampoos were just making things worse.

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