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Living with Psoriasis

How Is Psoriasis Treated?

Elbow with psoriasis

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Treatment depends on:

  • How serious the disease is
  • The size of the psoriasis patches
  • The type of psoriasis
  • How the patient reacts to certain treatments

All treatments don't work the same for everyone. Doctors may switch treatments if one doesn't work, if there is a bad reaction, or if the treatment stops working.

Topical Treatment

Treatments applied right on the skin (creams, ointments) may help. These treatments can:

  • Help reduce inflammation and skin cell turnover
  • Suppress (slow) the immune system
  • Help the skin peel and unclog pores
  • Soothe the skin

Light Therapy

Natural ultraviolet light from the sun and artificial ultraviolet light are used to treat psoriasis. One treatment, called PUVA, uses a combination of a drug that makes skin more sensitive to light and ultraviolet A light.

Systemic Treatment

If the psoriasis is severe, doctors might prescribe drugs or give shots (medicines) that suppress the immune system. This is called systemic treatment. Antibiotics are not used to treat psoriasis unless bacteria make the psoriasis worse.

Combination Therapy

When you combine topical (put on the skin), light, and systemic treatments, you can often use lower doses of each. Combination therapy can also lead to better results.

Psychological Support

Some people suffering from moderate to severe psoriasis may benefit from counseling or participation in a support group to reduce self-consciousness and relieve fears of social rejection.

Questions to Ask

  • What is the best treatment for me?
  • How long will it last?
  • When can I expect to get some relief?
  • What are the possible side effects of treatment?
  • What should I do if there are severe side effects?
Read More "Living With Psoriasis" Articles

I Live With Psoriasis / What Is Psoriasis / How is Psoriasis Treated? / An Expert's Advice: What To Do If You Have Psoriasis

Fall 2013 Issue: Volume 8 Number 3 Page 26