Take the Psoriasis Quiz
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that affects millions of Americans. It can affect people of any age, but it occurs mostly in young adults. It can also show up in people in their 50s. Find out more about this disease by taking this quiz.
8. How is psoriasis treated?
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Healthcare providers often use a 1-2-3 approach in treating psoriasis. They start with topical treatment. Then they use light therapy, followed by medicine that treats the entire immune system. Topical treatments include:
- Corticosteroids or anthralin to reduce inflammation and turnover of skin cells
- Calcipotriene, a synthetic form of vitamin D
- Retinoids, a form of vitamin A
- Coal tar
- Salicylic acid
- Clobetasol propionate
- Bath oil and moisturizers
Phototherapy, in the form of sunlight or an ultraviolet B light box, causes the activated T cells to die. This eases the inflammation and slows the turnover of skin cells. Light therapy also may include the topical medicine psoralen combined with ultraviolet A rays. This combo is called PUVA. For more severe forms of psoriasis, healthcare providers may prescribe medicines that suppress the immune system. These include methotrexate, retinoids, cyclosporine, 6-thioguanine, hydroxyurea, and biologic response modifiers such as etanercept and adilumimab.
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