Monday, September 12, 2011

Using Topical Treatments For The Treatment of Psoriasis

Treating psoriasis can be a complex process and the treatment regimen varies from one sufferer to another. Drug therapies can be used, home remedies for psoriasis can also be used, following a psoriasis diet can also be beneficial and this article discusses the use of topical treatments for the treatment of psoriasis.

Topical Treatments Commonly Used For Psoriasis

1. Moisturizer

Most people with psoriasis usually start with ensuring that they keep the skin moisturized to prevent it drying out and leading to psoriasis flare-ups. Using moisturizer liberally is possibly one of the best home remedies for psoriasis. It is definitely the easiest and least expensive way to control psoriasis. Using a moisturizer that contains an ingredient such as salicylic acid may also help to not only moisturize the skin but to remove the scales that are associated with psoriasis flare-ups.

As mentioned, consistent use of moisturizer is one of the best home remedies for psoriasis and a sufferer should try to apply it to slightly damp skin immediately after a bath or shower to help lock in the moisture on the skin.

2. Coal Tars and Anthralin

These are probably the oldest methods for treating psoriasis symptoms and a generally effective. Shampoos that contain tar are quite effective at treating scalp psoriasis and are generally available over the counter.

Some products containing tar may only be obtained with a prescription such as crude coal bars in up to a 2% ointment base. They are quite messy and may stain in addition to having a strong odor which is why they are mainly used in medical centers.

Refined tar in preparations such as liquor carbonis detergent can be added to various body and scalp ointments and lotions to treat the symptoms of psoriasis.

Anthralin is usually used for treating patches of psoriasis that are isolated. It does stain the skin and clothing and its application may be tedious but can still be used in the comfort of your home. It is also used in combination with light therapy for psoriasis for greater results.

3. Corticosteroids

Topical corticosteroids are excellent for psoriasis treatment because they help to slow the rate at which skin cells turnover as well as reduce skin inflammation. Sufferers usually use topical steroids at different strengths and they come in the form of lotions, gels, creams, foams, sprays, tape, ointments, etc. Topical steroids are not only effective but easy to use and greatly help the skin to look better which builds confidence in the sufferer.

Another way to apply topical steroids is by a doctor injecting low concentrations directly into the lesions.

The good results from topical corticosteroids do not last for very long however unless a high potency steroid is used. A high potency steroid can only be used on limited skin areas for a short period of time otherwise it could lead to various side effects such as thinning skin and stretch marks. Excessive use can also make psoriasis worse.

When you decide to stop using topical corticosteroids, it is important to not stop cold turkey. Slowly wean yourself off the steroids to prevent making lesions worse if you abruptly stop.

4. Tazorac

Vitamin A has been used for a long time to treat various skin problems from acne to wrinkles and fine lines. Consuming Vitamin A supplements on the other hand has resulted in sometimes fatal results or other health problems in some people. In order to effectively use the vitamin A without the negative side effects, synthetic topical forms were developed that are safe to use.

Tazorac is one such form and frequently used to treat the symptoms of psoriasis and requires one daily application only and can help to prevent psoriasis flare-ups in many patients for up to twelve weeks or longer.

Available in two strengths, Tazorac dries quickly, does not have an odor and does not stain skin or clothing. It effectively slows down the growth rate of the skin cells associated with psoriasis flare-ups in most patients. It is powerful enough to be used to treat tough types of psoriasis such as scalp psoriasis and psoriasis that affects the nails.

It can be effectively used in combination with other medications such as light therapy for psoriasis and high potency steroids for even better results.

The main side effect associated with its use is that is can cause skin irritation in some patients enough to stop treatment. Avoiding skin irritation can be done by using very small amounts and applying it correctly. Only small amounts are needed anyway. It is also not recommended for delicate areas of the skin such as the genitals or skin around the eyes.

While on the treatment, sun exposure is usually discouraged as it can increase the risk of having severe sunburn. It is also quite drying so applying a moisturizer first before the treatment and allowing it to dry is recommended.

The above are only a few topical medications for the treatment of the symptoms of psoriasis. Combining these treatments with other psoriasis therapies such as other home remedies for psoriasis, drug therapies, etc, may also produce even more positive results. Since there isn't a psoriasis sure, a sufferer may have to try various treatment combinations to find what works the best for him or her.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Top Alternative Therapies For The Treatment of Psoriasis

Many psoriasis sufferers use various drug therapies for the treatment of the symptoms of psoriasis with varying degrees of success making it necessary to look for treatment alternatives including the use of home remedies for psoriasis. Many sufferers usually have to use a combination of various treatment methods in order to obtain relief from this chronic skin condition. Listed below are the top alternative therapies for the treatment of psoriasis.

Use Of Herbs

Many home remedies for psoriasis use various herbs to treat the symptoms of psoriasis. The use of herbs is probably one of the oldest forms of medicine dating back many centuries. In China for instance, the use of herbs is just as popular if not more so than conventional treatment methods.

Usually the herbal treatment is tailor made for each patient which makes sense especially for psoriasis patients for whom treatment usually varies from one patient to another because there isn't a psoriasis cure at the present time and what works for one sufferer may not work for another.

Herbs are also popular with psoriasis sufferers because they are usually much cheaper than prescription medications and other medications. The use of herbs is also very popular because the herbal industry usually emphasizes going beyond the treatment of the symptoms and seeks to deal with the root cause. 

Common herbs that are used to treat skin conditions including psoriasis that can be implemented in various home remedies for psoriasis include, aloe, witch hazel, milk thistle extract also known as silymarin and capsaicin (obtained from hot peppers).

Before implementing herbal treatments, it is important to use caution and discuss the use of this alternative treatment with your doctor. Some herbs may cause an allergic reaction, increase the risk of liver damage, etc, so you need to be cautious. You can also obtain information on various herbs by contacting various institutions such as the American Holistic Medical Association.

Use of Holistic Medicine

Used for many centuries by Hindus and Greeks, this approach seeks to not only address the physical manifestations of disease but also seeks to address the patient as a whole and his or her physical, emotional and spiritual needs using powers of natural therapy. Holistic medicine relies on the patient being able to heal him or herself by healing the mind and body in order to restore balance and harmony thereby eradicating all disease sine the environment in the body will no longer be conducive for the development of sickness and disease.

Use of Acupuncture

This is an ancient Chinese practice that views the body as a system of energy pathways and treatment usually involves determining where the discrepancy is located in these energy pathways as well as where energy is blocked and fixing it using various needles at inserted into the areas where the blockages are located.

Acupuncture with psoriasis sufferers is usually used in combination with herbal treatments. Acupuncture is especially beneficial for patients that suffer from psoriatic arthritis and can help to alleviate the joint pain associated with this condition.

Use of Homeopathy

This treatment therapy was started over two centuries ago by a German pharmacist and physician named Samuel Hahnemann. Homeopathy is used with the goal of being able to stimulate the body's defenses against sickness and disease. This is accomplished by administering small doses of certain substances that are like the disease such as gold, sulphur, copper, etc.

When using homeopathy, patients are usually advised against taking other strong medications such as prescription medications. How and why this therapy works remains unknown. It simply follows a philosophy of like cures like.

Before being given a dosage, the patient will usually be asked many questions such as their lifestyle, needs, feelings, etc. This treatment method is usually slower and also tailored to each patient's individual needs. While on this therapy, some psoriasis patients may get worse before seeing any improvements which many practitioners believe means that the treatment is working.

Use of Naturopathy

This form of treatment dates back to Hippocrates (400 B.C) and follows a philosophy that the body can heal itself by following the proper nutrition and right lifestyle and has the belief that toxins are the cause of disease and sickness in the human body.

In order to remove toxins, a patient may be advised to do various things such as consume more water, alter eating habits (follow a psoriasis diet for psoriasis sufferers), reduce or eliminate the consumption of sugar, alcohol and caffeine, quit smoking if a smoker, adopt an exercise regimen, use various supplements, reduce stress using various relaxations techniques, etc. As you can see, the emphasis is on health and not necessarily fighting the various symptoms of the disease.

These are some of the top therapies for the treatment of psoriasis that have been shown to be very effective with many sufferers either used alone or in combination with other treatments including home remedies for psoriasis