How to Care for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic immune condition that primarily affects the skin and nails, but also occasionally effects the joints in the form of psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis causes skin cells to multiply too quickly, resulting in patches of skin that are thick and discolored. The spotty areas are usually red or white and may occur on any part of your body or on your finger or toe nails. When psoriasis affects the scalp, the effect is dandruff. A general practitioner can treat most cases, but advanced cases may require dermatology care.


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    See your doctor if you develop a rash or spotting on your skin. The affected areas may be sore, tender or itchy, or you may not feel them at all.
    • Your doctor may prescribe topical creams you can apply to the affected areas. The most commonly prescribed topical applications include steroids, vitamin D, vitamin A, salicylic acid and tar applications.
    • A doctor may prescribe phototherapy in combination with topical ointments to deliver light to the skin where symptoms are present. Patients usually receive UV light therapy three times a week for three months. This combination method while taking topical treatment like vitamin D analogues has been proven to be effective and preferable by patients in numerous studies. For more information, researcher Griffith and his colleagues presented the specifics of these studies in 2000 in the article "a systematic review of treatments for severe psoriasis". Please contact a health professional for more information
    • Oral medications, such as methotrexate, acitretin and cyclosporine may be prescribed for psoriasis treatment.
    • A doctor may administer injectable therapies, including Amevive, Enbrel, Humira, Raptiva, and Remicade in more severe cases.
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    Treat a mild psoriasis flareup at home if you have seen and been diagnosed by a doctor in the past. If a doctor is currently treating you, check with her before doing any treatments at home.
    • Carefully remove the crusty areas of skin by applying cream or lotion to soften and them, then gently pealing them off. The moisturizer will reach your skin better after they are removed.
    • Moisturize the effected area frequently using creams, lotions and moisturizing bath salts.
    • Expose your skin to the sun 20 minutes a day until the rash clears. Alternately, you could use a tanning bed.
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    Avoid things that trigger flareups of your psoriasis or make your symptoms worse. Known irritants include:
    • Injury to the skin, cuticles or nails may cause an outbreak in the area of the injury, or elsewhere on the body.
    • High levels of anxiety and stress may cause flareups and aggravate symptoms.
    • Infection anywhere in your body or on your skin.
    • Too much exposure to sunlight or sunburn. Although a small amount of ultraviolet light exposure helps treat psoriasis symptoms, damage caused by too much exposure increases your chances of developing psoriasis and worsens symptoms.
    • Alcohol aggravates symptoms.
    • Smoking increases the chances of psoriasis developing.


  • Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be spread to other people.
  • Studies have not found any connection between diet and psoriasis; however, some people have reported that certain foods trigger attacks for them. Food triggers are specific to the individual.
  • Although onset of psoriasis often occurs in childhood or young adulthood, it can occur at any age of life.


  • There is no cure for psoriasis. In most patients, it is a chronic, benign condition that will reoccur throughout life.
  • Psoriasis is a partially genetic condition, and you can pass the predisposition to your children. However, a family member does not have to have psoriasis for you to get it.

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Categories: Conditions and Treatments