Treating Psoriasis

OPTIONS FOR TREATING YOUR PSORIASIS

Although there is no cure for psoriasis, there are ways to treat it so that you can love the skin you’re in. Psoriasis treatment options typically fall into three categories:

  • Topical treatments include over-the-counter and prescription products. Some shampoos, lotions, and soaps use salicylic acid to help reduce scaling. Others use coal tar, though these can be smelly and some people dislike the texture. Bathing treatments using oatmeal, Epsom salt, or Dead Sea Salts provide relief from itching as well as remove scaling. Keeping skin moisturized decreases redness and itching. Steroids can be used to reduce inflammation, although long-term use is associated with side effects.
  • Light therapy (phototherapy) uses ultraviolet light (UV) to treat the skin. UV light reduces inflammation and scaling. Light therapy can be as simple as getting daily, short, non-burning exposure to the sun, or your dermatologist may recommend artificial UV light therapy.
  • Oral medications are used for more severe forms of psoriasis. These drugs are systemic treatments that affect the entire body and can suppress the immune system.

The treatment your doctor recommends will depend on how serious your psoriasis is—and that has a lot to do with how much of your skin is affected. As a guide, think of the surface area of your hand as equaling about 1 percent of your skin. Then consider how many “hands” worth of affected skin you have:

  • Mild psoriasis = less than 3 percent
  • Moderate psoriasis = 3 to 10 percent
  • Severe psoriasis = more than 10 percent

To help reduce your symptoms and improve your skin, a combination of treatments may be needed. Talk with your dermatologist about your options. Together, you can determine what’s right for you.

Dermarest® works on psoriasis symptoms—with the one-two punch of salicylic acid and a unique zinc complex.