Psoriasis is not a condition that can be cured. Once you have been diagnosed with the condition then you will sadly be suffering from flare-ups for the rest of your life. However, you may be surprised to know this, but psoriasis is a condition which can be treated quite easily with the right technique. There are two main routes that you can go down. The first is the psoriasis medication route and the second is the natural route. On this page I want to discuss the former. Many people do recommend this as one of the best ways on how to treat psoriasis, particularly during the early stages.
It is important that you visit your doctor as soon as you start to notice flare-ups on your skin. There are plenty of guides online about how to spot psoriasis symptoms. You should take a browse through a few of these to get an idea about you should be on the lookout for. If you can get diagnosed early then you stand a much better chance of keeping the first proper flare-up at bay. You may even be able to keep subsequent flare-ups at bay too as your doctor will prescribe you with medication to help.
The psoriasis medication that the doctor will supply you with will vary depending on how serious the psoriasis is. When it comes to psoriasis medication they will want to start with the ‘lightest’ medication possible. This is because medication will eventually end up doing damage to your skin. Your doctor will obviously want to reduce the amount of damage that they do as the worse the damage, the worse the psoriasis. Let’s take a little look at some of the topical treatments.
Can The Topical Treatments be the Best Psoriasis Medication Option?
Topical Treatments are the first thing that they doctor will look into when determining a psoriasis medication in your own individual circumstances. In the majority of cases (over 80% of cases in fact), most people will not need anything more than topical treatment. These treatments will not only look to combat the dry scales but also reduce the amount of itching. Your doctor will likely prescribe you a ‘stash’ of the medication to keep to hand should your psoriasis crop up again. However, as you are going to discover lately, you will probably only want to use these medications when the psoriasis is out of control. The natural route is going to be much better for most people. Let’s take a little look at these topical treatments:
This is a good starting point. It is vital that you lock moisture into the psoriasis. This will hopefully reduce the dryness of your skin. The great thing is, you won’t even have to visit your doctor to get hold of a moisturizer.
Most pharmacists will have over the counter medication available for those who are dealing with the condition. You can just ask them what they recommend. You will want to avoid moisturizers that are scented. The perfume inside can actually cause more damage than it prevents. Many people suggest that ‘oil-based’ moisturizers are the way to go here.
These should be able to clear up the majority of cases of psoriasis. When it comes to the best psoriasis medication corticosteroids will be used on both mild and moderate symptoms. They can be used anywhere on the body. Topical corticosteroids are absolutely fantastic for reducing inflammation. They main job however is to stop the build-up of skin cells. This should stop the scales appearing. A side result of this is the fact that the itching will also disappear.
It is worth noting that corticosteroids, even in their mildest form, can actually be quite strong. You will only want to use them when your doctor says you should. It is only in rare cases that they will supply the strongest corticosteroids. It is worth noting that using too much of this medication can actually lead to the skin thinning. As a result the doctor will only prescribe them if they are sure that your body is able to handle it and they are sure that the natural route is not going to work for you.
Vitamin D Analogues
These are often used instead of corticosteroids. However, in serious cases your doctor may prescribe Vitamin D Analogue cream for use alongside the steroids. This will help to treat most cases of psoriasis. Like corticosteroids they will look to slow down the production of skin cells in the location where they are applied. This will stop scales from appearing. They also have an anti-inflammatory action however this is not as powerful as that of corticosteroids and seem to be more than a side-effect as opposed to a true treatment.
The Vitamin D analogue that your doctor will prescribe you will vary depending on your condition. Calcipotriol and Tacalcitol are some of the most popular ones. The good thing about Vitamin D Analogue creams is that they have very few side-effects and are thus used on a slightly more ‘long-term’ basis.
Should I Consider a Coal Tar Treatment?
If you have been looking into the best psoriasis medication for a while then it is likely that you have stumbled across coal tar. This is one of the oldest treatments out there. This is quite literally tar and it is a very thick and heavy oil. We do not actually know how it works. It just does.
It can be used to treat almost any type of psoriasis. It is often incorporated into shampoos and conditioners for those who are suffering from scalp psoriasis. You do have to be aware that the smell is particularly pungent though. It will take a while to get used too.
The final one of the topical treatments I wish to discuss is Dithranol. This has been used in patients for years. Again, it stops the production of skin cells. This treatment is not something which is used too much nowadays. This is because it is very difficult to administer and it can stain a lot. However, if you are hospitalised as a result of psoriasis then Dithranol is probably the treatment that will be used. This topical treatment is very rarely prescribed for use around the home. This is because most of the other topical treatments are more than enough to deal with the problem. It is often only used for psoriasis on the limbs although it can be used elsewhere.
Calcineurin Inhibitors as the Main Psoriasis Medication Product?
There are a variety of Calcineurin inhibitors on the market. Just like before the doctor will most likely select the right one based on your own individual needs. This type of medication works in a slightly different to the previous medications. Here the inhibitors will have an effect on the immune system. It will change it up in such a way that inflammation in the body is reduced considerably. This medication is often used on areas where the skin is slightly more sensitive. This means the scalp or the genitals. It is very rare to use it outside of those circumstances unless corticosteroids are not working.
Now, when most people start to use Calcineurin Inhibitors they will notice that their symptoms get a lot worse before they improve. This is because this type of medication can irritate the skin to start with. As a result you may find that you get an itching or burning sensation. Most people will lose these symptoms within about a week though.
Phototherapy Psoriasis Treatment
If topical psoriasis medication does not work (and it will work in most cases) your doctor may wish to start to look into other methods that you can use to treat your psoriasis. One of the most popular methods is phototherapy. This is a light treatment and is often carried out in a hospital. There are a number of different treatments available here. As always, your doctor will choose a treatment based on your own individual circumstances. These are a slightly more long-term treatment to severe psoriasis but it will not clear up the condition completely.
- UV Phototherapy: This treatment utilizes UVB light. It will be shone onto the location where you are suffering from psoriasis. The idea is that the production of skin cells will be slowed down dramatically. This is quite a long-term treatment. Each session will last just a few minutes. However, to get the full effects of UV Phototherapy you will need to head to the hospital about three times a week for eight weeks. It is quite expensive too.
- Psoralen plus Ultraviolet A (PUVA): This treatment involves taking a tablet containing something known as a psoralen. This will make your skin considerably more sensitive to the light. You will then have UVA light (much stronger than UVB in terms of skin penetration). This is often used in cases of severe psoriasis. There are quite a few side effects though including headaches and nausea. Due to the way it makes you so sensitive to light you will need to wear glasses for 24 hours afterwards. This is not a long-term solution as it has been known to lead to skin cancer.
- Combination Light Therapy: This means that the phototherapy will be used in conjunction with other therapies. This includes UVB with coal tar. If you are staying in hospital then the UVN may often be combined with Dithranol. It is incredibly effective in these situations.
The treatments mentioned previously will be used to target psoriasis in specific locations on your body. However, these are not always successful. In some cases your doctor will need to use psoriasis medication which targets the body as a whole. Obviously, they will want to avoid these as much as possible due to long-term issues. However, in some cases this is the only way.
These treatments involve taking a pill. Many of the medications, for example Methotrexate, are taken just once a week. Their job will be to seriously slow down the production of skin cells and reduce inflammation. These treatments whilst effective can lead to serious problems such as kidney disease on a long-term basis. In some cases they may even make the psoriasis worse. Your doctor will choose the best psoriasis medication for your needs.
These treatments involve injections. They will reduce inflammation and are often used in cases of severe psoriasis which is not letting out based on some of the other treatments. There are four or five different injections that can be given. The one you will be injected with will depend on the severity and your circumstances. Most medications are given over the course of twelve weeks.
Should you go down the Medical Route or Natural Route?
As I said at the start, you need to visit your doctor if you are suffering from psoriasis. This way they will be able to take a look at your symptoms and determine whether it is actually psoriasis that you are suffering from or not. They will then be able to provide the best possible advice. They may even prescribe you something. However, in most cases you really do not want to be going down the medical route:
- It is expensive to constantly buy medication.
- This psoriasis medication will eventually cause damage to your skin and it may make the psoriasis slightly worse further down the line.
When people ask me how to treat psoriasis I always suggest to opt for the natural route first. Most people who suffer from psoriasis tend to have a mild form of it. This psoriasis can be kept at bay by things that you will have around your home (e.g. Olive Oil or Aloe Vera) and thus you should always look into that first. In fact, even a healthy diet will negate the need to use psoriasis medication. I do suggest that you look into guides on how to cure psoriasis the natural way. It could be a real eye-opener. These guides will also give you tips on how to deal with the psoriasis even if you are using medication.