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Topical Treatments For Psoriasis

Treating psoriasis can be a complex process and the treatment regimen varies from one sufferer to another. Drug therapies can be used, home remedies for psoriasis can also be used, following a psoriasis diet can also be beneficial and this article discusses the use of topical treatments for the treatment of psoriasis.

Psoriasis Home Remedy #1: Fish Oil
Eating a couple of servings weekly of salmon, albacore tuna, and other fatty fishes that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation, the hallmark of psoriasis. In addition, studies have suggested that patients with psoriasis have an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Consuming fatty fishes or taking fish oil supplements can both decrease heart disease risk and improve psoriasis symptoms. Fish oil supplements are available over the counter in capsule form at many food markets and drugstores. Some studies have also found that fish oil can boost the immune system. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, so this natural psoriasis treatment could help improve symptoms.
Psoriasis Home Remedy #2: Diet Modification
Multiple studies have suggested that people who have celiac disease may be at higher risk for psoriasis, in part because gluten can cause inflammation, and psoriasis is an inflammatory disease. That connection may explain why some psoriasis patients report that eating a gluten-free diet — which eliminates wheat, barley, and rye — helps them feel better. “Anecdotally, it works,” Weiss says, “but it has never been proven scientifically.” If a gluten-free diet makes your psoriasis feel better, however, that’s great. “There is certainly no danger in trying it,” Weiss adds.

Topical Treatments Commonly Used For Psoriasis

1. Moisturizer

Most people with psoriasis usually start with ensuring that they keep the skin moisturized to prevent it drying out and leading to psoriasis flare-ups. Using moisturizer liberally is possibly one of the best home remedies for psoriasis. It is definitely the easiest and least expensive way to control psoriasis. Using a moisturizer that contains an ingredient such as salicylic acid may also help to not only moisturize the skin but to remove the scales that are associated with psoriasis flare-ups.

As mentioned, consistent use of moisturizer is one of the best home remedies for psoriasis and a sufferer should try to apply it to slightly damp skin immediately after a bath or shower to help lock in the moisture on the skin.

2. Coal Tars and Anthralin

These are probably the oldest methods for treating psoriasis symptoms and a generally effective. Shampoos that contain tar are quite effective at treating scalp psoriasis and are generally available over the counter.

Some products containing tar may only be obtained with a prescription such as crude coal bars in up to a 2% ointment base. They are quite messy and may stain in addition to having a strong odor which is why they are mainly used in medical centers.

Refined tar in preparations such as liquor carbonis detergent can be added to various body and scalp ointments and lotions to treat the symptoms of psoriasis.

Anthralin is usually used for treating patches of psoriasis that are isolated. It does stain the skin and clothing and its application may be tedious but can still be used in the comfort of your home. It is also used in combination with light therapy for psoriasis for greater results.

3. Corticosteroids

Topical corticosteroids are excellent for psoriasis treatment because they help to slow the rate at which skin cells turnover as well as reduce skin inflammation. Sufferers usually use topical steroids at different strengths and they come in the form of lotions, gels, creams, foams, sprays, tape, ointments, etc. Topical steroids are not only effective but easy to use and greatly help the skin to look better which builds confidence in the sufferer.

Psoriasis Home Remedy #3: Turmeric
Some people with psoriasis have found relief with turmeric as a natural psoriasis treatment. Turmeric is part of the ginger family; you’ll find it in foods such as curry powders, mustards, and cheeses. Other supplements that have been tried for psoriasis home remedies include evening primrose oil, milk thistle, and oregano oil, which are available in various forms, including capsules and teas. Though a few people report some success with turmeric and other supplements because of their anti-inflammatory properties, keep in mind that there are no scientific studies to back up these claims, Weiss cautions.
Psoriasis Home Remedy #4: Water
Here’s an easy natural psoriasis treatment you may not have thought of: Drink water. Drinking plain water helps keep you hydrated, and when you have psoriasis, being well hydrated will keep your skin from getting too dry. Your body is up to 60 percent water, and you need to constantly replenish it. Using a humidifier is another easy psoriasis home remedy that will help keep your skin moist, especially in winter.

Another way to apply topical steroids is by a doctor injecting low concentrations directly into the lesions.

The good results from topical corticosteroids do not last for very long however unless a high potency steroid is used. A high potency steroid can only be used on limited skin areas for a short period of time otherwise it could lead to various side effects such as thinning skin and stretch marks. Excessive use can also make psoriasis worse.

When you decide to stop using topical corticosteroids, it is important to not stop cold turkey. Slowly wean yourself off the steroids to prevent making lesions worse if you abruptly stop.

4. Tazorac

Vitamin A has been used for a long time to treat various skin problems from acne to wrinkles and fine lines. Consuming Vitamin A supplements on the other hand has resulted in sometimes fatal results or other health problems in some people. In order to effectively use the vitamin A without the negative side effects, synthetic topical forms were developed that are safe to use.

Tazorac is one such form and frequently used to treat the symptoms of psoriasis and requires one daily application only and can help to prevent psoriasis flare-ups in many patients for up to twelve weeks or longer.

Available in two strengths, Tazorac dries quickly, does not have an odor and does not stain skin or clothing. It effectively slows down the growth rate of the skin cells associated with psoriasis flare-ups in most patients. It is powerful enough to be used to treat tough types of psoriasis such as scalp psoriasis and psoriasis that affects the nails.

It can be effectively used in combination with other medications such as light therapy for psoriasis and high potency steroids for even better results.

The main side effect associated with its use is that is can cause skin irritation in some patients enough to stop treatment. Avoiding skin irritation can be done by using very small amounts and applying it correctly. Only small amounts are needed anyway. It is also not recommended for delicate areas of the skin such as the genitals or skin around the eyes.

While on the treatment, sun exposure is usually discouraged as it can increase the risk of having severe sunburn. It is also quite drying so applying a moisturizer first before the treatment and allowing it to dry is recommended.

Psoriasis Home Remedy #5: Aloe Vera
Pure aloe gel is rich in anti-inflammatory and healing compounds, and provides a nice cooling sensation for itchy skin. If you have eczema or psoriasis, consider growing your own aloe plant so you can take the gel straight from its natural source. Pure aloe vera gel can also be found at most drug stores and health food stores.
Psoriasis Home Remedy #6: Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and they help block a chemical in your body called arachidonic acid which causes inflammation. Grind up a few tablespoons of flaxseed and add to smoothies, oatmeal, granola, or salads. You can also use flaxseed oil as a dressing for salads and veggies.
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