Psoriasis is a common skin condition affecting approximately 8 million people in the USA. In this article we briefly discuss what psoriasis is and what treatment options are available. This article is for informational purposes only and we recommend you work with your doctor to find the right treatments to help reduce your symptoms.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a medical condition where the skin cells essentially grow too fast and the skin cells pile up over each other on the skins surface. The end result is skin that forms rough patches where these extra cells are and then instead of smooth skin the rough areas become irritated. Sufferers may have relatively small patches, that are barely visible, or much larger patches that can be uncomfortable or even painful. Fortunately, while there is no cure for psoriasis at this time, there are treatment options to help relieve the symptoms.
The aim of the best cure for psoriasis is twofold. Doctors want to help their patients have a means of reducing the rapid skin cell growth. They know that such rapid cell growth can be dangerous. They also want to use any kind of treatment to help get rid of scaly skin that might be itchy. The aim of any kind of medication is to ultimately provide you with skin that is smooth and feels good to the touch. This is how you know the medications you are taking are working. You can often see results quickly. In many cases, a doctor can help you find a single medication that works for you or a combination of multiple kinds of medication that will help you get past this disease and avoid unpleasant symptoms both in the short term and for much longer periods.
Topical Treatment Options
Many types of topical treatments options exist. Your doctor may prescribe a psoriasis cream that can help your skin feel better. Using psoriasis cream is often done in conjunction with other kinds of medications in order to offer the best possible treatment options. Common types of topical treatment options include topical corticosteroids, Vitamin D analogues, anthralin, topical retinoids and salicylic acid. Topical corticosteroids are powerful so many people only take them for a short time. Vitamin D analogues can help reduce the itching and irritation. Anthralin can remove scaly skin and encourage the growth of new cells. Topical retinoids have been developed specifically for those suffering from psoriasis and have been shown to vastly reduce inflammation. Salicylic acid is one of the chief active ingredient in an over the counter shampoo for psoriasis. A shampoo for psoriasis has been formulated to help combat mild cases of this illness and help you feel better.
Light therapy has long been used in the treatment of psoriasis. Doctors know that low level exposure to light can help improve symptoms. While doctors caution against simply going in the sun for long periods of time, as that may increase symptoms of the illness, they know that shorter exposure to certain types of light can help people see massive improvement in their symptoms and relief from pain and itching. If you are exposed to the UV rays that are found in sunlight for a few minutes a day each week, that can help you kill off the T cells in your system that are causing many of your symptoms. Narrow band UVB therapy is a form of new photo therapy that is known to help with scaling and other issues from psoriasis. A doctor may prescribe such treatments a few times a week until your psoriasis clears up. After that time, they may ask you to come to their office once a week just to help prevent any further flare ups from the disease. Such treatment carries few side effects and may offer quick results.
Medications For Psoriasis
Psoriasis medications are often administered along with other treatments like topical and light treatments. Common kinds medication used to treat psoriasis include cyclosporine, methotrexate and retinoids. Many such medications are only taken for a short while, as using them for a longer period of time can lead to other problems. Cyclosporine will suppress your immune system and allow your skin to heal. Methotrexate is usually given in small doses to help calm your immune system down. Retinoids are helpful in reducing your symptoms if other forms of treatment have not worked for you. Many types of these medications are given in conjunction with other forms of therapy. Your doctor can help you develop a highly specific form of medical treatment for your own personal circumstances. A doctor can offer you a comprehensive plan that will allow you to successfully relieve your symptoms as soon as possible. They can also offer you treatments that will help you avoid any possible recurrence of the disease in the future. With their help, it is easy for many people to get the help they need to move past this frustrating illness and into far better skin health.