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What is the cure for psoriasis?

What is the cure for psoriasis

Can psoriasis be cured?

Before going any further, it is important to emphasize certain facts. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease. It means that there is no cure for it – no drug or other treatment method can make the condition go away completely. Nevertheless, available treatment strategies help to manage and control the condition, reduce the duration and frequency of outbreaks.

There are several important factors, which need to be considered before starting your treatment:

  • Type of the disease. Treatment of scalp psoriasis, guttate psoriasis and plaque psoriasis might slightly differ. For example, some topical drugs work best on unhairy skin, so they’re not suitable for scalp psoriasis treatment. 
  • Severity of the disease. This factor greatly contributes to the choice of your treatment strategy. It is easier to manage mild psoriasis. It can even be done at home with over-the-counter medicine or natural remedies. In cases of moderate or severe psoriasis, systemic agents, biological drugs are prescribed. Severity of psoriasis is determined by assessing the affected body surface. The surface of one’s palm equals to 1% of the body surface.

­ Mild psoriasis affects

­ Moderate psoriasis affects 3- 10 % of your body surface

­ Severe psoriasis affects >10% of our body surface

  • Localization of rashes. Nail psoriasis management differs from scalp psoriasis or inverse psoriasis treatment strategies.
  • Past treatments. It is important to consider previously administered treatment, especially which measures appeared to be ineffective and which granted satisfactory results.
  • Patients’ expectations and requests. Each patient has its own preferences that should be considered. Some people may require natural remedies, homeopathy. Others want to try biological drugs. Not every request can be fulfilled, but it is important to discuss every available option, since psoriasis treatment is a teamwork between the patient and his doctor.

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Topical drug therapy for psoriasis

Topical treatment for psoriasis includes moisturizers, topical corticosteroids, retinoids, vitamin D analogues and coal tar. The best results are achieved when administering topical corticosteroids and vitamin D analogues in combination. Coal tar and retinoids are also an option, but the effect of the treatment is insignificant. Some studies show that they’re as effective as placebo.

Topical creams with these active agents are applied once or twice a day.

Are biological drugs a miracle cure for psoriasis?

Since psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, there are some biological drugs, which have specific targets in your immune system. In some cases, these biological drugs can be very effective. Yet, they are not a miracle cure for psoriasis.

Biological drugs are only used to treat moderate or severe psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis. They can be given intravenously or by infusion.

Biologics have been used to manage psoriasis since the start of XX century. In the last decade, this treatment method has evolved greatly and become much more available.

Biological medicine is very different from traditional immunosuppressant drugs, which attack the whole immune system. These drugs have specific targets and attack only them. For example, some of biological medicine targets are TNF alpha, interleukin 23, interleukin 12.

Usage of biologics is limited by their cost and side effects. They are generally safe, however, adverse effects such as lymphoma and greater risk of infection is a considerable disadvantage.

Examples of biologics include:

  • Adalimumab (anti- TNF)
  • Secukinumab (anti- IL17A)
  • Etarnecept (anti- TNF)
  • Infliximab (anti- TNF)
  • Ustekinumab (anti- IL12, anti-IL23)

Biological therapy is also used for treating other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis etc.

Scalp psoriasis management

At least half of patients suffering from psoriasis have their scalp involved. The skin in this area renews very quickly and tends to form psoriatic scales. Scalp psoriasis can be mild, moderate or even very severe, spreading to the face. Management strategies depend on the severity of the disease.

Mild to moderate scalp psoriasis can be successfully treated at home using natural remedies and over-the-counter medicine. If you are suffering from severe scalp psoriasis, you should consult a dermatologist. He will examine your skin and prescribe certain medications.

Very mild disease usually goes away on its own, so it does not require any special treatment. Moderate psoriasis needs to be managed, because it can get worse.

Most common treatment methods for scalp psoriasis include topical creams that are applied directly on the scalp skin. It can be difficult to apply the cream because scalp skin is hairy. In addition, some creams can also induce hair loss.

In more severe scalp psoriasis cases, you will need systemic therapy, administered in combination with topically applied medication. Systemic treatment is also helpful if the scalp is not the only affected area. Systemic drugs will simultaneously improve the condition of all affected skin regions.

Topical medications that are used in managing scalp psoriasis:

  • Potent and very potent corticosteroids
  • Vitamin D analogues
  • Dithranol
  • Coal tar shampoo
  • Tarazotene

If scalp skin becomes infected, antibiotics are also added to the treatment plan.

Natural remedies for psoriasis

If your psoriasis is mild to moderate, there are many natural treatment methods to consider. Some of them include:

  • Dietary supplements can help to reduce mild psoriasis symptoms. Try vitamin D and fish oil.
  • A cream with Aloe Vera is a natural cure for psoriasis. It can be bought over-the-counter. The cream must contain at least 0.5% of Aloe vera extract. Some patients report that skincare products with Aloe vera reduce itchiness and redness.
  • Tea tree oil. It is used to manage many skin diseases, including psoriasis. The use of tea tree oil is not scientifically proven, but some patients report positive effect of it.
  • Dead Sea salts can be used as a home remedy for psoriasis. In addition, swimming in the Dead Sea has a positive effect on your skin condition.
  • Turmeric. It is an herbal and natural cure for psoriasis. Some people report that using turmeric as a supplement aided them to achieve good results in treating psoriasis and helped to alleviate outbreaks. Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Yoga.  It improves your general health condition as well as helps to manage psoriasis. Yoga is a perfect method to reduce stress, which is known to induce psoriasis outbreaks. To achieve the best results, practice yoga at least 20 minutes a day.
  • Massage. As well as yoga, massage helps to relieve stress and therefore can be actually good for your skin condition.
  • Sun light. Limited sun exposure has a positive effect on psoriatic rashes. However, it is very important to use sunblock and avoid overindulgence of sunlight, because sunburns will only worsen your condition.

What is the best psoriasis treatment method?

There is no answer to this question. Firstly, each condition is slightly different. Secondly, psoriasis in general is a chronic and therefore incurable disease. However, there are many different treatment options. You just need to consult a dermatologist who will help you to find the most effective methods for your condition.