Plaque Psoriasis (cont.)
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What Is the Treatment for Plaque Psoriasis?
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It must be remembered that psoriasis is not curable in the usual sense. The disease is characterized by exacerbations and remissions that often seem to occur spontaneously. Patients often relate some incidental environmental event or psychological stress to changes in their disease's activity. This can complicate treatment.
Since psoriasis is incurable, physicians treat the condition to enhance the patient's sense of well-being and independence. Treatment options are chosen that are appropriate to the severity of the condition. Mild, localized psoriasis is treated with topical therapy while more extensive, severe disease will require systemic, expensive, and potentially hazardous treatment.
Are There Plaque Psoriasis Home Remedies?
The good news is that there is a lot that can be done for mild cases of psoriasis. There are many over-the-counter products available that are effective for psoriasis -- 1% hydrocortisone cream (Cortaid, Caldecort) is very safe topical steroid that can suppress mild disease. Preparations containing tar (that gunky, smelly stuff that is a byproduct of oil extraction) can be beneficial. Tar can be found in many ointments and shampoos so it can be effective in treating scalp disease. Sunlight has well-documented beneficial effects on psoriasis. Careful sunbathing (no sunburns) can be quite effective in controlling the disease during seasons when sunlight is abundant and the weather is tolerable. When treating this disease, it must be remembered that topical medications and light will have difficulty penetrating through thick layers of scale. This scale must be removed by gentle washing techniques so as to minimize irritation. In plaques of psoriasis, the small cutaneous vessels are very close to the surface of the skin, just under the scale. If the scale is removed, bleeding may occur, producing irritation and trauma that actually tends to activate psoriasis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/21/2016
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