The types of psoriasis medications used for treatment depends on how severe the case of psoriasis is, and how the person has responded to previous medications and treatment. Most of the time, psoriasis medication starts with topical creams, ointments and salves, then moves on to Ultraviolet (UV) light treatment. Sometimes the UV light treatment is combined with topical creams and ointments to enhance their effects too. With severe cases of psoriasis however, and those cases which haven’t responded to other treatments, injection drug medications are used.
Now, psoriasis is a skin condition or disease which is not contagious. It’s actually caused by an over reaction of the body’s own immune system, and often that reaction is caused by triggers of some kind. Common triggers include severe stress, trauma or injury, and severe illnesses such as strep throat.
When the body is subjected to a trigger, the immune system starts generating new skin cells rapidly, and pushing them to the surface in just a few days time. Normally skin cells take thirty days or so to rise to the surface though, and this gives the existing surface skin time to die off and shed. Since psoriasis sufferers have new skin rising rapidly though, that skin piles up in the form of thick skin plaques which can be red, itchy and flaky.
Since psoriasis is considered uncurable, and in fact doctors are not entirely sure what causes the disease yet, treatment and medicine is focused on reducing or controlling the symptoms of psoriasis. Not all psoriasis medications work the same for everyone though, so sometimes multiple types of treatment are needed.
The first step in treating psoriasis is to use topical psoriasis medications. Topical medications are creams, salves and ointments which have ingredients in them designed to soften the psoriasis plaques, thin them out, and in some cases slow down the skin growth response.
Many non-prescription psoriasis medications have herbs in them, or they use natural and herbal ingredients which are known to help soften and heal skin problems. Examples can include aloe vera, oatmeal, and jojoba. Other psoriasis creams and ointments contain coal tar or retinoic acid. Prescription based creams often contain Vitamin D derrivatives, and steriods which can help slow down the rate of skin growth.
When topical psoriasis medications don’t work by themselves, doctors often introduce UV light therapy as well. Sunlight can clear up mild cases of psoriasis, because the sun helps kill surface skin cells more quickly and this helps them shed faster. Doctors and dermatologists however, use a more targeted, focused form of light therapy to treat the psoriasis plaques themselves. Often this is used in combination with the topical psoriasis medications.
When neither of those psoriasis treatments work though, doctors sometimes use special immune supressing drugs which are given by IV in the hospital, or through injection with a needle. These psoriasis medications are very powerful and work to supress the body’s immune system, but they can have dangerous side effects too so they’re often only used for the most severe cases of psoriasis.