What to Expect from Psoriasis Treatment
While there is no cure for this condition, there are several psoriasis treatments available. These procedures and medications target inflammation, skin discomfort, and the immune system reaction that causes the rash. Often used in conjunction with one another, psoriasis treatments will vary in effectiveness between people. Talk to your dermatologist about which treatment or medication option may work best for you.
Light Therapy for Psoriasis Treatment
Studies show that light therapy can provide relief from psoriasis symptoms and help manage flare-ups. These psoriasis treatments are typically used alongside medications to boost results.
Sunlight is the easiest and most accessible type of light therapy for psoriasis treatment. Exposure to ultraviolet rays, which are found in sunlight, can slow skin cell turnover, which reduces scarring and inflammation. However, intense sun exposure will only worsen symptoms, so most patients find relief in small amounts of daily exposure. Talk to your doctor about the safest way to incorporate natural sunlight into your psoriasis treatment.
Other forms of light therapy have been shown to improve psoriasis symptoms. These therapies are only available in medical settings, but they can significantly aid in symptom mitigation.
- Psoralen Plus Ultraviolet A (PUVA): This photochemotherapy involves targeted UVA to reduce symptoms. The doctor applies a light-sensitizing medication prior to the light exposure, allowing the rays to penetrate deeper into the skin. This is an aggressive treatment typically reserved for severe psoriasis cases.
- UVB Phototherapy: This form of therapy utilizes controlled doses of UVB light to improve mild to moderate symptoms of psoriasis. It can be used to treat single plaques or patches, as well as more widespread rashes. This is an excellent alternative for patients who have not found relief in topical psoriasis medications.
- Excimer Laser Therapy: This type of light therapy is used for mild and moderate psoriasis cases. It involves a controlled beam of UVB light to directly target plaques and control inflammation. This type of therapy typically requires fewer sessions than other forms of light treatment.
Topical Psoriasis Treatments
Light therapy is often used alongside a topical psoriasis treatment. The most common include corticosteroids, which can be used to reduce inflammation. However, doctors may also recommend the use of vitamin D, salicylic acid, and topical retinoids. These are often used in combination to target multiple aspects of a psoriasis flare-up.
Other Types of Psoriasis Treatments
Some psoriasis medications are administered via pill or intravenous injection. Biologics provide the most notable example of this type of treatment. These drugs are injected into the body and are typically recommended for those who have not responded well to other types of therapies. Additionally, methotrexate and cyclosporine, two immune suppressers, can be used to help prevent and control psoriasis outbreaks.
When to See a Dermatologist for Psoriasis Treatment
Almost all psoriasis treatments require a doctor’s prescription to access. If you’re experiencing a psoriasis flare-up and need symptom relief, contact one of our Minneapolis-area offices. Our dermatologists can work with you to better understand your triggers and find a treatment strategy that works for your skin and lifestyle.
*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.