Psoriasis Treatment without Steroids or TarPrescription "topicals"—medications applied to the skin—are usually the first line of defense in treating psoriasis. Prescription topicals slow down or normalize excessive cell growth and reduce inflammation associated with psoriasis. They may or non steroid cream for psoriasis not include steroids. Many psoriasis treatments require special precautions before and during pregnancy. It steroir important to consult with your doctor to verify your psoriasis treatments are safe for pregnancy and nursing.
Psoriasis Treatment without Steroids - Corticosteroids Side Effects
Psoriasis treatments reduce inflammation and clear the skin. Treatments can be divided into three main types: Used alone, creams and ointments that you apply to your skin can effectively treat mild to moderate psoriasis.
When the disease is more severe, creams are likely to be combined with oral medications or light therapy. Topical psoriasis treatments include:. These drugs are the most frequently prescribed medications for treating mild to moderate psoriasis. They reduce inflammation and relieve itching and may be used with other treatments.
Mild corticosteroid ointments are usually recommended for sensitive areas, such as your face or skin folds, and for treating widespread patches of damaged skin. Your doctor may prescribe stronger corticosteroid ointment for smaller, less sensitive or tougher-to-treat areas. Long-term use or overuse of strong corticosteroids can cause thinning of the skin. Topical corticosteroids may stop working over time. It's usually best to use topical corticosteroids as a short-term treatment during flares.
These are vitamin A derivatives that may decrease inflammation. The most common side effect is skin irritation. These medications may also increase sensitivity to sunlight, so while using the medication apply sunscreen before going outdoors. The risk of birth defects is far lower for topical retinoids than for oral retinoids.
But tazarotene Tazorac, Avage isn't recommended when you're pregnant or breast-feeding or if you intend to become pregnant. Calcineurin inhibitors — tacrolimus Prograf and pimecrolimus Elidel — reduce inflammation and plaque buildup. Calcineurin inhibitors are not recommended for long-term or continuous use because of a potential increased risk of skin cancer and lymphoma.
They may be especially helpful in areas of thin skin, such as around the eyes, where steroid creams or retinoids are too irritating or may cause harmful effects. Derived from coal, coal tar reduces scaling, itching and inflammation. Coal tar can irritate the skin. It's also messy, stains clothing and bedding, and has a strong odor. Coal tar is available in over-the-counter shampoos, creams and oils. It's also available in higher concentrations by prescription. This treatment isn't recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
This treatment uses natural or artificial ultraviolet light. The simplest and easiest form of phototherapy involves exposing your skin to controlled amounts of natural sunlight. Other forms of light therapy include the use of artificial ultraviolet A UVA or ultraviolet B UVB light, either alone or in combination with medications. This form of photochemotherapy involves taking a light-sensitizing medication psoralen before exposure to UVA light.
This more aggressive treatment consistently improves skin and is often used for more-severe cases of psoriasis. Short-term side effects include nausea, headache, burning and itching. Long-term side effects include dry and wrinkled skin, freckles, increased sun sensitivity, and increased risk of skin cancer, including melanoma.
If you have severe psoriasis or it's resistant to other types of treatment, your doctor may prescribe oral or injected drugs. This is known as systemic treatment. Because of severe side effects, some of these medications are used for only brief periods and may be alternated with other forms of treatment.
Although doctors choose treatments based on the type and severity of psoriasis and the areas of skin affected, the traditional approach is to start with the mildest treatments — topical creams and ultraviolet light therapy phototherapy — in those patients with typical skin lesions plaques and then progress to stronger ones only if necessary. Patients with pustular or erythrodermic psoriasis or associated arthritis usually need systemic therapy from the beginning of treatment.
The goal is to find the most effective way to slow cell turnover with the fewest possible side effects. There are a number of new medications currently being researched that have the potential to improve psoriasis treatment. These treatments target different proteins that work with the immune system. A number of alternative therapies claim to ease the symptoms of psoriasis, including special diets, creams, dietary supplements and herbs. None have definitively been proved effective.
But some alternative therapies are deemed generally safe, and they may be helpful to some people in reducing signs and symptoms, such as itching and scaling. These treatments would be most appropriate for those with milder, plaque disease and not for those with pustules, erythroderma or arthritis. If you're considering dietary supplements or other alternative therapy to ease the symptoms of psoriasis, consult your doctor. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons of specific alternative therapies.
Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease. Although self-help measures won't cure psoriasis, they may help improve the appearance and feel of damaged skin.
These measures may benefit you:. Coping with psoriasis can be a challenge, especially if the disease covers large areas of your body or is in places readily seen by other people, such as your face or hands.
The ongoing, persistent nature of the disease and the treatment challenges only add to the burden. You'll likely first see your family doctor or a general practitioner. In some cases, you may be referred directly to a specialist in skin diseases dermatologist. Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment and to know what to expect from your doctor. Psoriasis care at Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version.
This content does not have an Arabic version. Diagnosis In most cases, diagnosis of psoriasis is fairly straightforward. Physical exam and medical history. Your doctor usually can diagnose psoriasis by taking your medical history and examining your skin, scalp and nails.
Rarely, your doctor may take a small sample of skin biopsy. He or she will likely first apply a local anesthetic. The sample is examined under a microscope to determine the exact type of psoriasis and to rule out other disorders. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. References Bolognia JL, et al.
Longo DL, et al. Eczema, psoriasis, cutaneous infections, acne, and other common skin disorders. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. The McGraw-Hill Education; Papadakis MA, et al. The McGraw-Hill Companies; Weigle N, et al. Feldman SR, et al. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of psoriasis. Comorbid disease in psoriasis.
Picard D, et al. Increased prevalence of psoriasis in patients with coronary artery disease: Results from a case-control study. British Journal of Dermatology. Hjule K, et al. Increased prevalence of coronary artery disease in severe psoriasis and severe atopic dermatitis. American Journal of Medicine. Honigsmann H, et al. UVB therapy broadband and narrowband.
Zhu TH, et al. The patient's guide to psoriasis treatment. Gibson LE expert opinion. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Lifestyle changes can make a difference in psoriasis. Alternative psoriasis treatments Scalp psoriasis vs. Can changing your diet treat psoriasis? Living better with psoriasis Pregnancy and breast-feeding with psoriasis Ease stress to reduce your psoriasis flares Slide show: Caring for your skin when you have psoriasis Gluten sensitivity and psoriasis: What are the risks of vaccinations for people living with psoriasis?
Stress management Relaxation techniques Ground flaxseed White patch on skin: A cause for concern?