- What is the most effective treatment for psoriasis?
- What are some coping strategies for dealing with flare-ups?
For treating psoriasis, don’t use banana peels on the lesions, as folks once did! For mild cases, topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, can provide relief. There are different strengths of cortisone creams, higher potency are only available by prescription, while lower strength ones can be found over the counter.
Apply these medications after showering for maximum benefit.
There are well-established treatments, such as phototherapy and coal tar, which can be used successfully. Coal Tar is not currently used as frequently as before due to the issues with odor and potential of staining certain clothes. Newer technology for localized disease are the laser systems which deliver ultraviolet radiation. One such laser device is called the Xtract laser.
There is also a new class of psoriasis medications, called biologics, that can be used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis. These are administered by injection or intravenous infusion. These medications tame the body’s T-cells that cause the hyperactivity of the skin cells that leads to the disease. Instead of just treating symptoms, these drugs get to the root cause of the skin disease.
The newest biologic drug is called Stelara®, which was approved by the FDA in 2009. The main advantage with Stelara® is that it doesn’t have to be used as often as other biologics. It’s given twice in the first month of a flare-up followed by just four more treatments a year.
When psoriasis flare-ups occur, women should avoid makeup that is heavily scented and look for products formulated for sensitive skin. Wash your face with nonabrasive cleansers. Use moisturizers that contain ceramides and lipids. Treating the skin gently is very important as Psoriasis can cause Koebnerization (Koebner phenomenon) which means that the disease can be reproduced in areas of trauma.