Psoriasis Medication

Consultant talking through psoriasis medication methods availablePsoriasis is a notoriously difficult problem to deal with. I mean, the majority of people will find that keeping the condition at bay is quite simple. However, there are a few people out there who find that no matter what they use to treat their psoriasis, it is hard to keep it under control. If that is the case then you may wish to start to veer away from the natural methods to quell the condition. Sure, they are going to work in most cases. However, if you are dealing with a flare-up then it is likely you will want the problem to go away sooner as opposed to later. Thankfully there are a number of different treatments available on the market which your doctor will be able to prescribe you with. On this page I want to take a look at psoriasis medication products.

The Most Common Psoriasis Medication Options

Topical Treatments

Perhaps the most effective (and cheapest!) psoriasis medication available on the market are those of topical treatments. These often come in a cream form and are applied directly to the affected area. There are a number of different options available here. What the doctor will prescribe you will depend on the severity of the condition as well as your own personal situation. There are some topical treatments which can’t be used in pregnant women for example.

  • Corticosteroids: These are often prescribed in those who are suffering from mild or moderate psoriasis symptoms. As you can probably guess from the name, these are steroids. This means that they WILL NOT be used on a long term basis. There are a couple of different strengths available. Their job will be to slow-down the immune system. This will reduce the amount of time it takes for the cells on your skin to ‘die’. This will result in reduce inflammation.
  • Vitamin D Analogues: Vitamin D has been proven time and time again to help with cases of psoriasis. Vitamin D Analogues are basically a synthetic form of Vitamin D with a few extra things added to make them slightly more potent. This treatment is not used that often due to the fact that it can irritate the skin. This means that it can cause the problem to get worse as opposed to healing it.
  • Anthralin: This is not a commonly used psoriasis medication. However, it has been known to deal with the amount of activity in the skin cells. This can end up making it easier to deal with scale removal and ultimately make the skin a great deal smoother. This is a product which can stain quite quickly and it is important that it is washed off immediately from the skin as it can cause a few problems if left on there for too long.
  • Completely safe psoriasis treatmentTopical Retinoids: Retinoids are not commonly used in psoriasis treatment. They are more the domain of those who are suffering from acne. However, a couple of varieties have been launched which are said to be better for psoriasis. These retinoids contain a ton of Vitamin A and they are set to help with ensuring that the skin cells function a bit more normal. This will result in reduce scale appearance and reduce inflammation. Retinoids CAN’T be used by those who are pregnant as they are pretty dangerous and have been shown to lead to birth defects.
  • Salicylic Acid: This is the first treatment on this list which is actually available without a prescription. All decent pharmacies will keep at least some in stock. The acid will help to reduce dead skin cells. It is often used in combination with coal tar (another product available over the counter) in order to boost how effective it is.
  • Coal Tar: This is one of the most popular treatments for scalp psoriasis and anybody looking into psoriasis medication would do well to start with this product. It is thick and black and can be quite smelly. However, it helps to quell pretty much every symptom of psoriasis of the scalp. Nobody knows how it works. It just does. You can purchase coal tar in shampoo form.
  • Moisturisers: This is NOT strictly a medicine for psoriasis. It won’t heal the flare-ups. It will reduce itching and scaling however.

Light Therapy

Light Therapy, sometimes referred to as ‘Phototherapy’ is perhaps one of the most expensive psoriasis medication treatments on this list. As you may guess from the name, this form of treatment involves the psoriasis-ridden areas being exposed to a certain type of light. It is akin to the natural treatment of just getting more sunlight, albeit the treatment being slightly more powerful. There are a number of different types of treatment available here. The one selected will depend on the location and the severity of the condition:

  • UV: This is perhaps the most popular method used when it comes to psoriasis medication. This is because UV light is pretty much the same was what we get from the sun. This sunlight causes the T-cells in the skin to die. The intention is to reduce the speed at which cells turnover. This results to reduced inflammation and a lower amount of scaling. Many doctors will recommend getting a bit more sunlight before going down this treatment route as that can provide much the same benefit but with lower side-effects.
  • UVB Phototherapy: This is used to treatment almost all forms of psoriasis. It does have a couple of side-effects however. Most doctors will recommend this treatment in combination with other treatments that are found on this page.
  • Narrow Band UVB Therapy: This is one of the newest light therapies available. It is said to be more effective than the previous type of therapy. However there is a longer and more strenuous treatment plan. This involves at least three times of treatment a week until an improvement is noticed. After this you may need to visit at least once a week.
  • Goeckerman: This therapy is a combination of UVB Therapy and Coal Tar Therapy. It is said that this is one of the most effective psoriasis medication methods available at the moment. It is worth noting that this treatment can be quite ‘brutal’ though. You may require a hospital stay for it to be administered.
  • Photochemotherapy: This will involve you taking a medication before you are exposed to UVA light. It is said that this helps the light to penetrate into your skin far deeper than normal which results in a slightly more effective type of treatment. This is only used in the most serious forms of psoriasis due to the number of side effects which can come to the fore quite quickly. For example, nausea is a common problem for anybody that deals with this. There is also an increased risk of skin cancer forming.

Oral Medications

The list of oral medicine for psoriasisIf you are dealing with a serious form of psoriasis or have found that none of the previous treatments have worked effectively then you may be prescribed drugs, either injected or taken orally, by your doctor. The chance of this happening is VERY rare and it is likely that you will only be given them for short bursts of time. Treatments include:

  • Retinoids: This is the same as the cream mentioned previously, albeit in a different form. This is used to deal with severe cases of psoriasis. Whilst it is effective it is not the most commonly used psoriasis medication. This is because it can only be used for short periods of time. There are severe side-effects, and when its use has been discontinued the psoriasis will return almost instantly. It is not to be used on those who are pregnant due to the high risk of birth defects. These birth defects can occur for three years AFTER you have finished the medication.
  • Methotrexate: This treatment is taken orally. It is said to help to decrease skin cell production. This results in less inflammation. It is often used when somebody may have a chance of suffering from psoriasis-related inflammation.
  • Cyclosporine: This functions in pretty much the same way as the previous drug. However, it can cause havoc on the human body. This means it results it becoming more susceptible to infection and other health problems.

That is just a small selection of the various psoriasis medication options available on the market right now for those who are looking into how to treat psoriasis the medical route. Since this is a pretty rampant condition there are a number of experimental products out there on the market right now. There is a chance that your doctor may prescribe you one of these if you choose. However of course there is no way to guarantee the effect that it is going to have on your body. Thankfully the majority of people will not have to go down the route of injections or oral treatment. Psoriasis diet plan and natural remedies will normally keep the condition under control.