The first thing you should know about Psoriasis is that it is not a contagious disease – it’s an inherited condition that develops when the immune system sends faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow faster than usual causing the skin cells pile up on the surface to form patches of psoriasis to appear.
There are different types of psoriasis – each with their own symptoms. The most common types are:
- Plaque Psoriasis
- Guttate Psoriasis
- Pustular Psoriasis
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis
- Inverse Psoriasis
- Nail Psoriasis
Treating psoriasis can be difficult and it’s important to understand that the condition can only be managed, not cured. It requires a consistent and layered approach to caring for the skin to keep it healthy. Psoriasis should be diagnosed by a medical doctor who will examine the skin to determine the correct kind of psoriasis and implement the right treatment plan. The doctor may take a small sample of skin to confirm the diagnosis and type of psoriasis.
There are many medical treatments thanks to ongoing research. The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms and prevent infections. In general, three treatment options are used for patients with psoriasis:
Topical treatments – these include topical lotions, ointments, creams, shampoos and steroids applied to the skin. This is usually the first approach for treating psoriasis. Topical treatments work by slowing down the production of skin cells and reducing inflammation.
Phototherapy – with phototherapy, the skin is exposed to ultraviolet light under medical guidance. Consistent phototherapy sessions can help slow down the production of skin cells and improve skin symptoms. There are three main types of phototherapy treatment:
- UVB – Exposure to artificial UVB (ultraviolet light B)
- PUVA – Treatment combining a light-sensitizing medication called psoralen with UVA (ultraviolet light A) exposure
- Laser – Pulsed dye lasers combined with targeted UVB treatment.
Systemic treatments – these are administered under the care of a medical doctor only and they affect the entire body. Systemic therapies include the prescription medications methotrexate, cyclosporine, acitretin, and others, such as biologics. Biologics are a relatively new class of treatment that works by blocking a protein, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), in the immune system that plays a major role in the development of psoriasis. Biologics are administered intravenously (IV) or by injection.
HUMIRA™ is one example of a biologic prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis who are ready for systemic therapy or phototherapy, and are under the care of a doctor who will decide if other systemic therapies are less appropriate. However, drugs like HUMIRA come with significant side effects and only you and your doctor can evaluate whether it is the right treatment plan for your psoriasis.
Natural remedies – there are a number of home remedies for psoriasis that are quite effective and do help manage the condition and keep the skin healthy. Home remedies can be an effective part in a multi-layered approach to treating the symptoms of psoriasis.
If you suffer from psoriasis, be your own advocate – learn more about the condition, what causes it and how to treat it by contacting the National Psoriasis Foundation or visiting their website at www.psoriasis.org.
Read more about some of the treatment options discussed in our related articles below.
- Shining a Light on Psoriasis – The Benefits of Light Therapy (Phototherapy) (healthyskinsolutions.com)
- Psoriasis (healthyskinsolutions.com)
- Psoriasis Pictures (healthyskinsolutions.com)
- Natural Rememdies for Treating Psoriasis (healthyskinsolutions.com)
- Psoriasis – Home Treatments That Work (healthyskinsolutions.com)
- Guttate Psoriais – Is it contagious? (healthyskinsolutions.com)
- Signs and Symptoms of Nail Psoriasis (healthyskinsolutions.com)
- Nail Psoriasis – Healthy Nail Care at Home (healthyskinsolutions.com)