Chances are, you or someone you know has dealt with psoriasis. In fact, according to the World Psoriasis Day consortium, 125 million people worldwide — 2 to 3 percent of the total population — have psoriasis.
It is one of the most common skin ailments we see day to day. And while there are plenty of treatment options to help manage symptoms, there’s no actual cure for psoriasis yet. In today’s post, we’ll share the main categories of treatment options that we provide to individuals who have psoriasis.
There are a wide variety of topical treatments available to treat mild to moderate psoriasis. Typically, when the psoriasis is more severe, topical treatments are combined with stronger treatment options (which we’ll get to later on).
Some of the most common types of topical treatments you’ll see include topical corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation and relieve itching, Anthralin, which helps slow skin cell growth and makes your skin smoother, and coal tar, which reduces scaling, itching and inflammation.
Light Therapy (Phototherapy)
In our previous blog, we’ve discussed how the Vitamin D in sunlight can be good for your skin in small doses. Light therapy seeks to utilize the benefits of Vitamin D to help treat psoriasis. In fact, the easiest form of phototherapy involves exposing your skin to controlled amounts of natural sunlight.
Other forms of light therapy include the use of artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) light. UVB phototherapy can be used to treat single patches, widespread psoriasis and psoriasis that resists topical treatments.
Systemic medications are typically prescribed for individuals who have severe psoriasis. Because of the severe side effects of this type of treatment, some of these medications are only used for brief periods.
Some of the most common types of systemic medications include retinoids, which is typically used when your severe psoriasis doesn’t respond to other therapies, methotrexate, which decreases the production of skin cells and suppresses inflammation, and cyclosporine, which suppresses the immune system and can be only taken short-term.
Before you pursue any of these treatment options for psoriasis, you need to meet with your dermatologist first. They will be able to prescribe you the right treatment based on the severity of your psoriasis and the areas that are affected. To get started, schedule an appointment with Charleston Dermatology today!