Types of psoriasis
- psoriatic arthritis
As there are several kinds of Psoriasis, finding a treatment that works for you might be a challenge, but not impossible. It is hard to predict what will work, however, it is important to be open-minded and be willing to work with your doctor.
What are the Options?
When it comes to treating Psoriasis, doctors tend use a Stepwise approach. This means that there are a series of stages and methods available – if one is ineffective, another is implemented but they won’t be done consecutively.
There are three steps of treatments available.
1. Topical Agents
This is medication that goes on the surface of your skin and not intravenously. There are several options available, namely:
- Steroids – very effective, however, high doses and long-term use can thin your skin
- Coal Tar – combined with light therapy, however not cosmetically appealing
- Dithranol – effective for short-term use
- Tazarotene – less effective than steroids and can cause healthy skin to become irritated
- Vitamin D3 analogues – ideal for long-term use
- Tacrolimus – not effective for plaque psoriasis but ideal for facial psoriasis
Psoriasis is caused by skin cells moving rapidly to the surface within days, as opposed to the usual cycle of weeks. Therefore, it builds up and forms thick patches of plaque.
Phototherapy, or UV treatment, involves exposing the affected areas to UV light. Ultraviolet light slows the growth of the affected skin cells, reducing the build-up.
This treatment is ideal to be used in conjunction with topical agents.
3. Systemic Medication
Reserved for extreme cases where the Psoriasis covers 10% or more, these treatments ordinarily affect your whole body.
It curbs your immune system, in order to reduce the growth of your cells. There are several types available within this criteria, including:
- Soriatane (acitretin)
- Hydrea (hydroxyurea)
Each of these are very intense for the body and require you to be monitored by your doctor.