Dealing with psoriasis can be very challenging, and at times, overwhelming. What’s most difficult medically is that a solution for one patient may not work for another. The intensity of psoriasis can also impact the type of therapy. It’s important to understand your treatment options and to try them out until you find the remedy that works best for you.
Take a look at all the possible ways to help treat psoriasis below.
Also known as “biologics,” biologic drugs are protein-based chemicals created from living cells developed in a laboratory. These drugs may be given by injection or intravenous (IV) infusion. What’s interesting about biologics is that they are different from the standard systemic drugs that affect the entire immune system. Instead, biologics target specific parts of the immune system. These areas include immune cells such as interleukin 17-A, 12, and 23. These cells are targeted because they are known to play a major role in the buildup of psoriasis. Biologics are used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis.
Also called light therapy, this method involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light. This process slows skin cell growth and can be quite effective. Phototherapy treatments usually take place three days a week for a duration of two to three months. Of course, it’s dangerous to be exposed to too much UV light, you will need some sort of protection, such as sunscreen. It is also possible that your doctor may suggest phototherapy combined with an additional form of therapy for maximum results.
Systemics are prescription drugs that can be taken orally or via injection. This treatment is used for patients with severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It is also a great option when topical medications or UV light therapy have not worked. Systemics are typically used when psoriasis covers 5 to 10% of your body. Although this method is effective, it does come with potential side effects, such as serious birth defects and skin breakouts.
Topical medications, or those applied to the skin, are usually the first choice patients opt for in treating psoriasis. Topicals slow down the excessive cell reproduction and reduce inflammation caused by the skin condition. Although some topical medications can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC), others are available only through a prescription. Usually, topicals will contain corticosteroids, which help reduce the swelling and redness of skin bumps. Other ingredients such as Anthralin and synthetic vitamin D3 are used to control the skin lesions.
Although there are many new advances in treating psoriasis, these are the most common and tested forms of treatment. Dealing with psoriasis can impact you physically, mentally, and even socially. Exposed swelling and redness in the skin throughout the day can be infuriating and embarrassing. Elias Dermatology wants to help you solve this. Contact us now to get started.