Topical treatments for psoriasis
Mild psoriasis can usually be treated effectively using medication applied directly to the skin (topical treatments). Corticosteroids and vitamin D analogues have proven to help and be well tolerated.
The treatment options for psoriasis include medication applied to the skin, phototherapy, and medication that is swallowed or injected. Topical (externally applied) treatments are often effective in mild to moderate cases of psoriasis. The medications are applied to the affected areas of skin (plaques) in the form of ointments, creams, solutions or foams. The type of product used will depend on various factors, including the location of the plaque and the condition of the skin.
Some people only use the medication during acute episodes of psoriasis, while others use it regularly as a long-term treatment. It is then applied to the affected areas of skin during "quieter" phases too, with the aim of preventing further flare-ups. In order to avoid side effects, steroid medications aren't applied every day, but rather on two days per week – for instance at weekends.
In addition to using medicated topical treatments, people are advised to take good care of their skin, for instance by using lipid-replenishing ointments or creams (emollients) to moisturize it. The aim of this continuous basic treatment is to relieve itching and prevent the skin from drying out.