Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that affects millions of people across the world. In fact, there are over 150 million know cases worldwide. This disease is characterized by lesions that form on the skin most often on the knees, elbows, scalp and lower back. These lesions can be very painful for some people and are known to crack and bleed in some cases. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Psoriasis. However, there are many different treatments that may make it easier to live with the condition. Treatment for Psoriasis is broken down into three categories including systemic medications, topical treatments, and light therapy. Consider the following options.
Topical Treatment for Psoriasis
Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory creams used to treat mild or moderate Psoriasis. Low strength creams are used for sensitive areas such as the face while high strength creams may be used on the elbows or knees. Vitamin D analogues work by slowing down the rate at which skin cells grow. This form of vitamin D is synthetic. Tazorac is derived from vitamin A and works by normalizing the cells of the skin. Prograf and Elidel are approved by the FDA for treatment of dermatitis but some studies have shown promise when using this drug to treat psoriasis. Lotions are often used by sufferers to treat the itch and irritation that is brought on by psoriasis. While moisturizers and lotions will not actually heal the condition many people find them very soothing.
Oral or Injected Medications
If your condition is severe, or if you are resistant to other treatment options, your doctor may choose to prescribe injected or oral drugs. Some of these treatments have severe side effects and should not be taken without proper supervision and they should not be taken for extended periods of time. Retinoids are related to the vitamin A and may reduce how fast your body produces skin cells. Methotrexate is used to treat psoriatic arthritis when other treatments don’t work. Cyclosporine is very similar to Methotrexate in the way it works and the effectiveness of the drug. However, Cyclosporine does increase the chance of other health problems. Unfortunately, most of these drugs have side effects that can be very severe. Therefore, these drugs should not be considered unless there is no other option.
Light therapy has proven to be very effective in the treatment of Psoriasis. The most natural form of this treatment is simply going outside and getting some sun. However, in other cases your doctor may expose you to artificial UVA or UVB rays. These rays may be used for treatment of Psoriasis either alone or in combination with drug therapy.
As you can see there are many different drugs and therapies that can be used as treatment for Psoriasis. The treatment that your doctor chooses will depend on the severity of your condition, what other medical conditions you have, and your reaction to the treatment. In some cases you may have to try several treatments before you find relief.