Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes the immune system to attack human cells which leads to the inflammation of the skin. The symptoms are visible, and some even cause itchiness to the skin.
Psoriasis can be triggered by various factors such as:
- Skin infections or infections like strep throat
- Weather, in particular, chilly, arid circumstances
- Skin damage such as a cut or scrape, an insect bite, or a bad sunburn
- Second-hand smoke exposure and smoking
- Excessive alcohol use
- Medicines such as lithium, blood pressure meds, and antimalarials
- Quick discontinuation of oral or injectable corticosteroids
Psoriasis treatment can help the condition under control. We should consult with the skin dermatologist before proceeding to receive any treatments. There are a few options that can be taken to relieve the pain such as topical, phototherapy, and systemic.
A topical drug is applied directly to the skin or an area of the body. Topical administration, which includes a wide range of categories such as creams, foams, gels, lotions, and ointments, most frequently refers to application to bodily surfaces like the skin or mucous membranes to treat illnesses.
Due to their ability to target the afflicted areas while avoiding systemic adverse effects, topical medicines are essential in treating a variety of skin disorders.
For mild to moderate psoriasis, topical therapies are typically the first line of defence. You apply these creams and ointments to the affected regions. Although it may take up to a few weeks before there is a discernible benefit, some patients discover that topical therapies are all they need to regulate their problem.
Examples of topical drugs are emollients, steroid creams, steroid ointment, vitamin D analogues, calcineurin inhibitors, coal tar, and dithranol.
Phototherapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses a certain type of light with a certain value of light wave which is emitted to the affected skin. It is divided into two types which are natural and artificial light.
Dermatologists often prescribed this therapy because it can slow the process of skin growth, suppress an overly active immune system, help to reduce inflammation, allow the skin to heal, and may also reduce the itch.
The treatment includes the use of:
- UVB light (narrowband or broadband)
- PUVA bath, where you take a bath in water that includes the medication psoralen (sor-ah-len). The skin is more vulnerable to UV rays when taking this medication. You wait for a predetermined amount of time after soaking before receiving UVA light treatment.
- PUVA but with pills, where you eat a psoralen pill and then wait for a few minutes before receiving the UVA light.
- Treatment at home, where dermatologists give you a simple light box to be used for treating any flares or controlling psoriasis.
To put it simply, systemic treatment is a treatment involving chemicals that enter the bloodstream and influence every cell in the body.
How to do this treatment?
It can be through injection, infusion, or oral medication. However, it must be carefully monitored by the doctors to avoid side effects
The drugs that were commonly used are acitretin, cyclosporine, methotrexate, infliximab, ixekizumab, secukinumab and apremilas .
Although phototherapy is thought to be safe, medical procedures can have adverse effects. The potential negative effects of phototherapy may occur right away after treatment. Therefore, it is important to consult a dermatologist on what treatment suits you.
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. (n.d.). Psoriasis treatment: Phototherapy. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/treatment/medications/phototherapy
- Gisondi, P., & Girolomoni, G. (2017). Treatment Approaches to Moderate to Severe Psoriasis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(11), 2427. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18112427
- NHS website. (2022, April 14). Treatment Psoriasis. Nhs. Uk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/treatment/
- Psoriasis – Symptoms, and causes. (2022, June 4). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840
- Rabindranathnambi, A., & Abid, M. (2021). Topical treatments in dermatology. British Journal of Hospital Medicine, 82(8), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.12968/hmed.2020.0567