Font Size
A
A
A
...
11
...

Psoriatic Arthritis (cont.)

Topical Psoriatic Arthritis Medications

In addition to NSAIDs, your doctor may prescribe other psoriasis medications. Medications applied directly to the skin are the first course of treatment options. The main topical treatments are corticosteroids, vitamin D-3 derivatives, coal tar, anthralin, or retinoids. Generic drug names are listed below with examples of brands in parentheses.

Topical medications

  • Vitamin D: Calcipotriene (Dovonex) is a form of vitamin D-3 and slows the production of excess skin cells. It is used in the treatment of moderate psoriasis. This cream, ointment, or solution is applied to the skin two times a day. Oral vitamin D is also recommended for both patients with psoriasis and those with psoriatic arthritis.
  • Coal tar: Coal tar (DHS Tar, Doak Tar, Theraplex T) contains literally thousands of different substances that are extracted from the coal carbonization process. Coal tar is applied topically and is available as shampoo, bath oil, ointment, cream, gel, lotion, ointment, paste, and other types of preparations. The tar decreases itching and slows the production of excess skin cells.
  • Corticosteroids: Clobetasol (Temovate), fluocinolone (Synalar), and betamethasone (Diprolene) are commonly prescribed corticosteroids. These creams or ointments are usually applied twice a day, but the dose depends on the severity of the psoriasis.
  • Tree bark extract: Anthralin (Dithranol, Anthra-Derm, Drithocreme) is considered to be one of the most effective antipsoriatic agents available. It does have potential to cause skin irritation and staining of clothing and skin. Apply the cream, ointment, or paste sparingly to the patches on the skin. On the scalp, rub into affected areas. Avoid the forehead, eyes, and any skin that does not have patches. Do not apply excessive quantities.
  • Topical retinoid: Tazarotene (Tazorac) is a topical retinoid that is available as a gel or cream. Tazarotene reduces the size of the patches and the redness of the skin. This medicine is sometimes combined with corticosteroids to decrease skin irritation and to increase effectiveness. Tazarotene is particularly useful for psoriasis of the scalp. Apply a thin film to the affected skin every day or as instructed. Dry skin before using this medicine. Irritation may occur when applied to damp skin. Wash hands after application. Do not cover with a bandage.

Must Read Articles Related to Psoriatic Arthritis

Arthritis
Arthritis Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Causes include injury, abnormal metabolism (such as gout), inheritance (such as in osteoarthritis), infections (such as...learn more >>
Iritis
Iritis The iris is a circular, pigmented membrane that provides the eye its color and forms the pupil of the eye. The iris is made up of muscular fibers that control ...learn more >>
Joint Pain
Joint Pain Joint pain can be caused by injury or disease affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Pain also occurs with joint inflammation...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Psoriatic Arthritis:

Psoriatic Arthritis - Treatment

What treatment did you receive for psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic Arthritis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with psoriatic arthritis.





Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Psoriatic Arthritis »

In 1964, the American Rheumatism Association listed psoriatic arthritis as a clinical entity.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary