Psoriasis Australia

Can psoriasis be treated?

There is no cure for psoriasis, but it can be treated and managed.

Although there is no cure for psoriasis, the condition can be managed by a wide variety of treatment options depending on the severity of your condition.

Each person’s experience of psoriasis is unique to them, and a treatment that works for one person might not be the right treatment for you. Therefore, treating psoriasis can be a frustrating process as it is trial and error to find the right treatment for the severity of your condition.

When determining what treatment option is right for you, your GP or dermatologist will consider a number of factors with you, such as: severity of your psoriasis, type of psoriasis, its location, how it is affecting your qualifty of life, environmental factors such as lifestyle and other medical conditions you may have. 

 

Topical treatments

Topical treatments are treatments that are applied directly to the skin to assist in slowing down the production of excess skin cells and/or to reduce inflammation. They are commonly provided to patients who are considered to have mild to moderate psoriasis. 

They include a wide varitey of creams, ointments, gels and lotions. Some are available over-the-counter while others are only available via prescription from your GP or dertmatologist.

Types of topical treatments are:

Moisturisers and Emollients

Mositurisers are creams and ointments that can be bought over-the-counter. Emollients are said to me medical creams that are only available by prescription.

Vitamin D based topicals

Vitamin D treatments slow the production of skin cells and encourage normal skin growth and have an anti-inflammatory affect. They commonly come in gel, ointment, lotion and scalp solutions.

Dithranol

Dithranol treatments work in a similar way to Vitamin D treatments by slowing the production of skin cells and encouraging normal skin growth and usually comes in the form of an ointment.

Topical steriods

Topical steriods are steriod based medications know as 'corticosteriods': an artificial verion of hormones that are produced inside the body. They are used to reduce skin inflammation and irratation and commonly come in the form of gels, creams, ointments, and foams.

Coal Tar

Coal tar treatment has been used to treat psoraisis for many years and involves the application of a thick heavy oil, that is said to have anti-inflammatory and anti-scaling properties.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a peeling agent that causes the outer layer of the skin to loosen and shed. It is commonly used on a wide variety of skin conditions. For psoriasis, it acts as a scale lifter, helping to soften and remove psoriasis scales.

Phototherapy

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Narrow band UVB

Narrow band UVB is used to treat guttate and plaque psoriasis. It uses an articifical light to slow down the production of new skin cells.

Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA)

PUVA is a combination of UVA light and medication called psoralen (tablet or cream). Psoralen makes the skin more sensitive to light allowing the UVB light to penetrate more deeply.

It is commonly used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis.

Systemic Treatments

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Acitretin

Apremilast

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Cyclosporin

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Methotrexate

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Biologic Treatments

Biologic treatments work by targeting specific parts of the immune system.  Biologics used to treat psoriatic disease block the action of a specific type of immune cell called a T-cell or they block proteins in the immune system, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin 17-A, or interleukins 12 and 23. These cells and proteins all play a major role in developing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA).  

Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor

Decrease inflammation by blocking part of the communication system between (TNF) that calls for an immune system response.

Interleukin 12/Interleukin 23 (IL-12/23) inhibitor

Interleukin 17A (IL-17) Inhibitor

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Interleukin 23 (IL-23) Inhibitor

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