Psoriasis Prevention & Treatment

Published: February 5, 2012

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How to Prevent Against This

There is no cure for psoriasis. The condition is chronic and will produce symptoms throughout a person's life. Nothing will conclusively end flare-ups permanently, and there are no routine treatments available to reduce the condition's severity. Antibiotics and antiviral medications cannot alleviate symptoms since psoriasis is not caused by bacteria or viral infections.

Even though psoriasis has no cure, treatments are available to minimize flare-ups and provide relief from itching, scratching, burning, and pain.

If you have psoriasis, and you are experiencing a flare-up, a doctor will work with you to determine a specialized and targeted regimen. Medical research has focused on determining effective treatments that help relieve symptoms.

What works for some people won't work for others, and each patient will need to work with a doctor to determine a routine. For the most part, it's rare that a "cookie cutter" psoriasis treatment plan will be effective. Be patient, and be pared for some trial and error, no matter whether you have Be patient. You should be prepared for some trial and error, no matter whether you have plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, seborrheic psoriasis, palmoplantar psoriasis, erythroderma psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, skin fold psoriasis, or genital psoriasis. Stay optimistic, and work with your primary care physician or dermatologist to find a treatment plan, regimen, or routine that is most effective for your unique symptoms.

Doctors may go in steps when prescribing treatments. If a medication doesn't work, the doctor will test out a stronger treatment. You may need to take a combination of oral and topical medications in addition to other forms of therapy.

The first step includes ointments and creams, the second includes radiation treatment, and the third is an oral or injected medication. Doctors will select treatments based on a combination of factors including age, sex, medical history, and flare-up severity. A combination of treatments might also be necessary. When prescribing treatments, doctors will try to minimize any possible side effects.

Flare-ups

Psoriasis cycles from periods of remissions through flare-ups that can last for days, weeks, or months. In general, if you have experienced one flare-up, you should expect to experience others throughout your life. You may not be able to predict flare-ups, and you may be unable to explain why they occur.

Many psoriasis patients notice that certain environmental conditions can trigger symptoms or cause the flare-up to become worse. You can try to prevent potential flare-ups by making lifestyle medications that can help you avoid certain triggers. Stress, sunburns, and alcohol consumption are examples of factors that can instigate psoriasis flare-ups.

Mild to Moderate

If the disease is mild and has not spread, topical creams, moisturizers, and sprays will be relatively effective. For some people, the flare-ups may be more severe in some areas of the skin than others. The doctor may identify areas of the skin that are more difficult than others. These parts of the skin may require steroid injections for effective, localized treatment. Cortisone is a commonly prescribed cream and injection that helps relieve itching, burning, and swelling.

Psoriasis that is moderate may require oral medications or therapy in addition to topical creams, injections, and sprays. If twenty percent or more of the skin is affected, medications and injections are typically prescribed. Cortisone is a commonly prescribed topical cream and injection. If you have psoriatic arthritis, you'll likely need a systemic medication.

Moderate to Severe

Treatment will also vary based on the areas of the body that are affected with psoriasis. For example, there is a specialized treatment and topical ointment that is available for psoriasis of the scalp. Sometimes, these treatments will work sporadically or for a short period of time. If treatments stop working, then the doctors will prescribe an FDA-approved phototherapy radiation treatment that is effective in treating psoriasis by emitting ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Some severe cases of psorosiasis will require surgery. With pustular psoriasis for example, the organs may become affected, and serious complications may occur as a result. People might be hospitalized and might need surgery.

Rotating Treatments

The medications for psoriatic arthritis can carry heavy risks and side effects. Prolonged steroid use can make them ineffective. For best results, treatments should be rotated. Again, be patient: dermatologists might need to try out a couple of options before finding a treatment that works for you.

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