Megan Kinder [email protected]
Of course, every human is different - but here are the 5 most common ways that people treat psoriasis.
Treat Psoriasis with Oral or Injected Medication
If your psoriasis is not responding to any other type of treatment, you may want to consider oral or injected prescription medications. These medications can cause severe side effects for some users, so they're used for short periods of time. Because each of these drugs in some way works to suppress your immune system, you may become more susceptible to other forms of illness when undergoing treatment for longer periods of time.
Some oral and injected forms of psoriasis treatment include vitamin A retinoids, methotrexate, cyclospine, hydroxyurea and mmunomodulator drugs, which all reduce the production of skin cells and help to suppress the immune system and thus inflammation of the skin. As always, consult with your physician before undergoing these treatments.
Treat Psoriasis with Topical Vitamin D
If exposing yourself to sunlight isn't providing you with sufficient vitamin D to relieve your psoriasis, you can get this important vitamin from a prescription like Calcipotriene (Dovonex). This synthetic form of vitamin D will help to slow the growth of skin cells and is available in cream, ointment and solution form.
In addition to slowing the growth of new skin cells, calcipotriene will also reduce lesions and aid in the removal of scales. This form of treatment oftentimes can be used in conjunction with other topical medications or light therapy. On the down side, calcipotriene can sometimes lead to skin irritation, so consult with your physician if your skin condition worsens as you use this medication.
Prescription Topical Treatments to Treat Psoriasis
If you're not responding to over-the-counter topical treatments, your doctor might prescribe you a topical anti-inflammatory corticosteroids drug to treat your psoriasis. These drugs, which are applied directly to the skin, will help to suppress the immune system and decrease production of skin cells, reduce inflammation and soothe pain and itching.
These topical prescription ointments come in a variety of strengths; typically, lower concentrations of prescription topical corticosteroids are used for sensitive skin locations like your face or the folds of skin. Stronger concentrations can be applied to tougher areas on your hands and feet.
Treat Psoriasis with Laser Treatments
More recent technological developments in the treatment of psoriasis include both excimer laser and pulsed dye laser therapy. These laser treatments are typically used in cases of moderate to severe psoriasis.
The Federal Drug Administration-approved excimer laser gives off ultraviolent light B (UVB), which can eliminate sites of psoriasis plaque.This type of laser treatment usually takes effect after four to 10 sessions of exposure. In general, psoriasis patients can have two treatments per week with two days between treatments.
The pulsed dye laser uses dye and a different wavelength than the excimer laser to break down small blood vessels that cause psoriasis lesions. Patients undergoing pulsed dye therapy have treatments for 15 to 30 minutes every three weeks. If the therapy is effective, legions begin to disappear four to six weeks after treatment.
Treat Psoriasis with Occlusion
In addition to using some of the topical treatments previously mentioned, you can increase the effectiveness of topical ointments by covering them up, a process known as occlusion. When you cover up ointment already applied to your skin, your skin will be more likely to absorb the medication or moisture to provide relief for psoriasis.
To use occlusion to treat psoriasis, apply a topical medication or moisturizer to the affected area of your skin. Next, cover it with plastic wrap, cotton, nylon or a waterproof dressing. But be sure to consult with your physician before attempting to use occlusion with a prescription topical treatment, as there may be risks.
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