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Psoriasis Treatment Options

Nov 9, 2011

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes outbreaks of an uncomfortable skin rash on the scalp, elbows, knees, and nails. Aside from being itchy and painful, psoriasis is also often embarrassing. The rash appears in patches of thickened, red skin that is often dry or even scaly. There is no cure for psoriasis, but treatment can help to clear up your symptoms and reduce the occurrence of outbreaks. Several different options are available for treatment including those listed below.

  • Topical ointments: Medicated creams can effectively clear current outbreaks in cases ranging from moderate to severe. These medications can help to reduce inflammation and encourage dead skin cells to slough off. Usually, topical treatments will be used only for treating a single outbreak and their use will be discontinued after the rash has cleared. This is because using topical treatments for an extended period of time can cause your skin to build up immunity to this type of therapy.
  • Light therapy: Rashes caused by psoriasis develop because of an auto-immune reaction occurring on the skin. T-cells attack the skin which results in inflammation and scaly skin. UVA and UVB light target these problematic T-cells and help the skin heal. There are many ways this light can be administered including artificial light therapy and doctor-recommended sun exposure routines.
  • Oral medications: There are a few different types of medication that are taken orally which can slow the production of skin cells. These are usually prescribed in extreme cases of psoriasis in which patients have frequent outbreaks that do not respond to topical treatment. Oral medications for psoriasis may be accompanied by some serious side effects, so your doctor will work closely with you to monitor your health while you are taking these prescriptions.

Arlington Dermatology can help you keep your psoriasis under control with the use of several different treatment options. We can work with you to customize a solution that works for your skin. Schedule a consultation at our Arlington Heights office by calling 847-392-5440.

young woman applying lotion to her face