What are the treatments for the disease?
An assessment of lifestyle, including stress levels and aggravating factors, should be
made. Triggers should be reduced or eliminated.
Gentle removal of scales is important. Oils or coal tar preparations can be
added to baths, and a soft brush can be used to scrub lesions carefully.
Emollient creams, such as those containing alpha hydroxy acids or salicylic
be used after bathing to soften thick scales. A regular skin routine is
important, even when no flare-up of psoriasis is present.
Mild to moderate cases of psoriasis can also be treated with medicines that
are applied to the skin, including:
medicines derived from vitamin D
retinoids, or vitamin A derivatives
steroid creams and ointments, which may be covered with a
dressing to increase their effectiveness
Moderate to severe psoriasis may be treated with phototherapy, or exposure to
light, that is carefully prescribed by the healthcare provider. Possible
PUVA photochemotherapy, which uses a light-sensitizing medicine known as
methoxsalen together with ultraviolet A light
ultraviolet B irradiation along with one or more topical medicines
Severe psoriasis is often treated with the following oral medicines:
retinoids, such as isotretinoin and acitretin
Isolated patches of psoriasis that are resistant to other therapy may be
injected with triamcinolone acetonide.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Side effects of steroid creams and ointments include thinning of the skin and
marks. Coal tar can make the person sensitive to ultraviolet light. Anthralin
and vitamin-based products can irritate the skin. Phototherapy increases a
person's chance of developing skin
cancer or premature aging
the skin. Retinoids can cause birth defects if taken by a pregnant
woman. Methotrexate can damage the liver, while cyclosporine can damage the
What happens after treatment for the disease?
Psoriasis should clear substantially with appropriate treatment, although this
varies from person to person. Treatment of psoriasis is lifelong.
How is the disease monitored?
Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare