Common Treatments For Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a disease of the skin that can be devastating, especially for young people who want to go out, have fun and make friends or possibly find a partner.
When psoriasis is under control or in remission, it is not a social stigma to be concerned about. When it is very active, however, it will ruin any kind of social life. Social concerns about psoriasis are not only esthetic. This disease can be painful, especially when it progresses to psoriatic arthritis. It can also be extremely itchy. Unfortunately, it can also lead to infection from introducing bacteria into the skin through excoriation.
Begin Treatment With Low Doses
When a diagnosis is made, the aim for treatment is first to stop the abnormally fast turnover of skin cells. Since there is no cure for it, treatment is geared toward normalizing the way DNA behaves. Initial treatment begins with the mildest dose of topical corticosteroids unless the patient already has a fulminant case of psoriasis at the time of the office visit.
When symptoms are severe enough, topical creams will have to be supplemented with systemic medication and are effective for many types of psoriasis.
UVB Rays Can Clear Up Psoriasis
Phototherapy is a subsequent, very effective treatment for psoriasis.
There are several different ways to get exposure to UV light. The easiest way to catch UV rays during the summer is to lie in the sun. If that is impossible or if it doesn’t provide the proper relief, UVB phototherapy may be available in your doctor’s office or may require a hospital outpatient visit. While UVB phototherapy is a broadband treatment, the more recent choice of treatment is the narrowband type of UVB treatment. Complications can occur when the patient has had a previous diagnosis of skin cancer.
Laser Treatment Reaches Deep Into The Skin
Laser therapy is the next step to phototherapy. Mild psoriasis can be successfully treated with Excimer laser treatments or with products like Psoria Ae. This type of light is aimed directly at the scaly patch and focuses on the psoriasis only. None of the adjacent skin will be affected. The other type of laser treatment is called pulsed dye laser. It inactivates the blood vessels that feed the psoriatic plaques. Side effects of laser treatments are those of sunburn and even a little scarring.
Chemo Drugs Help
With refractory cases, oral medication or injections to slow skin cell turnover and heal existing lesions is the treatment of choice. Some patients respond well to oral medication but most will end up with injections to keep the disease under control. Pharmaceutical help is often in the form of chemotherapy drugs like methotrexate and cyclosporine.
These drugs are designed to suppress the immune system. The thought behind suppressing the immune system is that psoriasis, although its exact causes are still not a hundred percent clear, is thought by some to have autoimmune proclivities. By suppressing the immune system, the body won’t fight so hard against itself and symptoms won’t be as severe.
Alternative Medicine Treatment
Here are two alternative medicine methods to treat psoriasis. The first one is a cream made from the plant aloe vera. This plant has soothing qualities for the skin and can be used to alleviate the itching and the redness of psoriasis. The second treatment is taking a daily dose of 3 grams of Omega-3 fatty acid to improve inflammation.
Both of these are relatively new psoriasis treatments but have been shown very effective for managing symptoms.