Psoriasis medicine has made great advances in the past 20 years. One of the most important aspects has been the recognition by the medical community of the benefits of alternative (natural) treatments. In this section on psoriasis medicine, we will examine the four different types of treatments: Topical Treatments, Systemic Medications (Prescription), Phototherapy, and Alternative approaches. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and also go over some of the new psoriasis treatment options.
Topical treatments are creams and lotions that are applied directly to the skin. They are usually messy, and most patients do them at night. They can help give temporarily relief, but long term will not help reduce or eliminate psoriasis.
Tar Therapy – This psoriasis medicine is available over the counter, and is safe and effective. It has been around for hundreds of years, and is most effective on mild psoriasis. Like most topical psoriasis medicines, it is very messy. There are worries about tar causing cancer, and in 2002 the state of California required cancer-warning labels on tar products.
Anthralin - is a prescription treatment used primarily to treat plaque psoriasis. It does not work as well as steroids, but has none of the long-term side effects associated with steroids. It tends to stain anything it touches such as skin, clothing, bedding, etc. You need to wear gloves when applying this psoriasis medicine, and it is important not to get it on unaffected skin. Anthralin must be fresh to work, and has a shelf life of only 6 months.
Dovonex – is a prescription medication used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis. It slows down the rate of skin cell growth, flattens psoriasis lesions and removes scale. It can also be used on scalp and nail psoriasis. The most common minor side effect of this psoriasis medicine is skin irritation, usually in the form of stinging or burning. Less common side effects include dry skin, peeling, rash, dermatitis and worsening of psoriasis. You must be careful not to overuse dovonex. This psoriasis medicine is absorbed into the body, so overuse can increase the side effects.
Salicylic Acid – helps remove scales, and is available in over the counter and prescription forms. This psoriasis medicine is commonly used with tar, topical steroids or anthralin to enhance effectiveness. It is also used in some psoriasis shampoos.
Tazorac – is a prescription medication used in treating plaque psoriasis. It is a vitamin A derivative. Tazorac can cause dryness of the skin, so it is often used in conjunction with a moisturizer. The psoriasis often becomes very red before eventually improving. This is a very common occurrence. This psoriasis medicine has few side effects. Skin irritation is the most common. When using Tazorac you may be more susceptible to sunburn. It is not recommended for pregnant women or children under 12.
Topical steroids – are commonly used for treating mild to moderate psoriasis lesions. They are available by prescription. They are very effective, but have the most side effects. They should only be used under the close supervision of a doctor. Side effects include: Skin thinning, changes in skin pigmentation, easy bruising, stretch marks, steroid redness and dilated surface blood vessels may occur. Steroids are absorbed into the body, so if overused they can affect the persons whole body including internal organs. It is very common for the psoriasis to come back (rebound) worse if the steroids are discontinued abruptly. Slowly tapering off is recommended to avoid a “rebound”.
Systemic medications are prescription medications usually reserved for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. They are taken orally or given by injection or infusion. They affect the entire body, and should only be used under the supervision of a doctor. The most common systemic medications include:
Amevive – is for adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. It is given by injection in a doctor’s office, once a week for 12 weeks.
Enbrel – this psoriasis medicine is for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and in 2002 was approved for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. It is also approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis affecting the spine). Patients give themselves an injection under the skin once or twice per week. It is a new psoriasis treatment.
Raptiva - is for treating moderate to severe psoriasis. Patients give themselves an injection under the skin once per week.
Remicade – This new psoriasis treatment has only been approved for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. It has not yet been approved by the FDA for the treatment of psoriasis. Many doctors though are prescribing it "off-label" for psoriasis, a common and accepted medical practice.
Humira – has been approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It has not yet been approved by the FDA for the treatment of psoriasis. Many doctors though are prescribing it "off-label" for psoriasis, a common and accepted medical practice. This new psoriasis treatment has been around since 2003.
Cyclosporine - works by suppressing the immune system, which helps slow the growth of skin cells. This psoriasis medicine has many side effects, and a doctor must monitor the patient closely.
Methotrexate – helps to slow down the rate of skin-cell growth. It is prescribed for severe plaque psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis, and acute pustular psoriasis. This is not a new psoriasis treatment, it has been around since the 1970's.
Soriatane – is taken orally, and is used to treat severe psoriasis in adults. This psoriasis medicine tends to work slowly. It can take 4-6 months to see optimal results, especially for plaque psoriasis. The most serious side effect is birth defects if used by pregnant women. Other common side effects include: Hair loss, bleeding gums, depression, headache, dry skin, chapped lips, joint pain.
Phototherapy is treatment using ultraviolet light. Many medical professionals believe that exposure to ultraviolet light will cause premature aging of the skin, and increase the chances of getting skin cancer. These possible side effects should be discussed with your doctor before treatment. There are two types of phototherapy:
UVB Phototherapy - UVB radiation penetrates the skin and slows the abnormally rapid growth of skin cells associated with psoriasis. It is safe for children and adults. Treatment is usually done in a doctor’s office until the psoriasis is stabilized. At that point, the doctor may prescribe home maintenance. It is used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis.
PUVA - is used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis. It is also used to treat severe, disabling psoriasis that cannot be controlled solely by systemic drugs. It is relatively ineffective unless used with a light-sensitizing medication. Treatments are done in a doctor’s office. It is about 85% effective, but not recommended for children or teenagers. Studies have shown that the more treatments you have, the more at risk you are for developing skin cancer.
Alternative approaches involve natural and herbal treatments. Natural medicine has grown in popularity within the past 10 years, due to the ease of finding information on the internet. At healthy skin guide, we have over 40 years of experience treating skin conditions such as psoriasis. We believe that the natural treatments are the best treatment option for psoriasis. They offer the best long-term options for controlling or eliminating psoriasis. They have none of the side effects typical of psoriasis medicine.
There are many in the health care field that believe psoriasis is curable by using the right natural treatments. They believe that treating psoriasis from the inside and from the outside can reduce or cure it. Topical treatments from the outside will relieve symptoms and provide temporary relief. Treatment from the inside will help build up your immune system, and reduce or eliminate future outbreaks. Building up your immune system is the key to long-term psoriasis relief.
For the topical treatment of psoriasis, we have found an extremely effective product. It contains only safe and natural ingredients, and we believe it is the best psoriasis product on the market. That product is Dermasis. We highly recommend you follow this link to learn more about it, and how it can help you.
We have been recommending a product for several years now to help strengthen your immune system. It also contains only safe and natural ingredients, and the results have been remarkable. For treating psoriasis, we believe it is absolutely essential. That product is the Zenmed Skin Support Supplement. Follow this link to learn more about it, and how it can help you.
We have seen even the worst cases of psoriasis eliminated. You just need to start your treatments for psoriasis immediately, and use the right safe natural ingredients.
If you have any questions about psoriasis medicine, or any new psoriasis treatment, please contact us. There are safe and effective treatments for psoriasis that work, you just need to give them a try.
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