Psoriasis is a disease that mostly affects the skin and affects approximately 4% of the world’s population; and many people are asking the question ‘how to treat Psoriasis’. With this disease, the skin develops red patches that are covered with white silvery scales. Research has established that complete recovery though extremely rare is not improbable. The Psoriasis treatment aims at interrupting skin cell production and removing scales to make the skin smooth. The treatment is divided into three categories, which are; topical treatment, systematic medication and light therapy.
How to treat psoriasis
Topical treatment involves the gentle application of ointments on the affected skin. The treatment includes topical corticosteroids, which are anti inflammatory drugs used to treat mild Psoriasis. The drugs slow down production of cells thus decreasing inflammation and itching of the skin. For sensitive areas like the face, mild ointments are recommended. The steroids have a number of side effects and are therefore used only until the Psoriasis outbreak is under control.
Another form of topical treatment is use of Vitamin D analogues which also slows down cell production. The analogues can however irritate the skin and should therefore be used in mild portions.
Topical treatment also includes use of Anthalin; which is a medication used to normalize DNA activity in the skin cells. It is also used to remove scales and thus make the skin smoother. It is however important to note that, the medication can, at times, irritate the skin and should therefore, be used only for a short time.
Another form of topical treatment is topical retinoids; which are commonly used to treat skin that has been damaged by the sun. Since one of the side effects of this treatment is skin irritation, sunscreen should be applied while using it.
Use of Calcineurin inhibitors is also another form of topical treatment. They interrupt the activation of T cells, thus reducing inflammation. They are however not recommended for long term use because of their association with skin cancer.
Salicylic acid is also another form of topical treatment. The acid is available over the counter and it reduces scaling. It is also available in medicated shampoo and can therefore also be used to treat scalp Psoriasis.
As earlier mentioned, another form of Psoriasis treatment is light therapy; which suggests the use of natural and artificial ultraviolet light. This treatment is easy to use since it suggests controlled exposure of the skin to sunlight. However, there are other forms of ultraviolet lights that can be used, and these include; ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B. These can be used alone or as a combination. Some of the side effects of this type of treatment are; itching, blistering, redness, freckles and dry skin among others. These can easily be dealt with through the use of mild moisturizers. However, this treatment can also increase the risks of getting skin cancer and should therefore be used for a short time.
Another form of treatment for Psoriasis is the use of oral or injected medications. These are mostly used in extreme psoriasis where all other forms of treatment have failed. However, given the fact that they have a number of side effects, it is often advised that they be used only for a short time. The medications may also be used in alternation with other treatments. Some of the medications include; Retinoids, Methotrexate, Cycloporine, Hydroxyurea, Immunomodulator (Biologics) and Thioguanine. It is also important to note that some of these medications are not supposed to be used by pregnant women, or people who drink alcohol constantly. If used by pregnant women can result in birth defects.