The Best New Treatments (And Tips) For Psoriasis

Reduce Alcohol Consumption Alcohol consumption can increase inflammation in the body, which can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms. Alcohol can also interfere with the effectiveness of some psoriasis… Alexander Gabriel - May 7, 2023

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition that causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, forming thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry, and red patches. Psoriasis affects about 2-3% of the global population. This condition can occur on any part of the body, including the scalp, face, hands, and feet. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors that trigger an overactive immune response, leading to inflammation and an excessive growth of skin cells. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are various treatments available to manage symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective treatments for psoriasis.


Apollo Dermatology

Narrowband Ultraviolet B Therapy

Narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) therapy works by exposing the skin to a specific wavelength of ultraviolet light. This ultraviolet light slows down the growth of skin cells and reduces inflammation. During an NB-UVB session, a person stands in a light booth or sits in front of a light panel while their skin is exposed to UVB light. The skin is exposed for a short period of time, gradually increasing in duration over several weeks. The treatment is typically administered two to three times a week, and significant improvement can be seen after several weeks of treatment. NB-UVB therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for psoriasis and can be used alone or in combination with other therapies, such as topical medications or systemic treatments.

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Topical Retinoids

Retinoids are a form of vitamin A that work by slowing down the growth of skin cells and reducing inflammation. They are available in various forms, such as creams, gels, and ointments. They are typically applied directly to the affected area of the skin. Topical retinoids can help to reduce scaling and inflammation, as well as improve the overall appearance of psoriasis lesions. They are often used in combination with other topical medications or light therapy to achieve the best results. However, retinoids can cause skin irritation and dryness, and they are not suitable for everyone.


Oral Retinoids

Oral retinoids work in a similar way as topical retinoids. This form of retinoid is taken in pill form, and treatment typically lasts for several months. While they can be effective in treating psoriasis, oral retinoids also have potential side effects, including dry skin, chapped lips, nosebleeds, and liver damage. These medications require careful monitoring by a healthcare provider. In addition, oral retinoids are not recommended for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as they can cause birth defects. Therefore, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits of using oral retinoids with a healthcare provider before starting treatment. Oral retinoids are only suggested for those with severe psoriasis. Severe psoriasis is generally defined as having psoriatic plaques on more than 30% of the body or on large portions of the face, palms, or soles.


Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor is an over-the-counter moisturizing ointment. This product contains petrolatum, mineral oil, and other ingredients that help to seal in moisture, soothe dry and irritated skin, and reduce itching and inflammation. Aquaphor can be applied directly to psoriasis plaques to help soften and hydrate the skin,. This can reduce the appearance of scales and improve the overall comfort of the affected area. Because Aquaphor is a gentle and non-irritating product, it is suitable for use on even the most sensitive skin. While Aquaphor may not be a cure for psoriasis, it can be a helpful tool in managing symptoms and improving quality of life for those with this condition.


Stress Reduction

Stress can cause the body to release certain hormones and chemicals that can disrupt the immune system, leading to potentially worsening psoriasis symptoms. Therefore, incorporating stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or exercise may help to reduce stress levels and improve psoriasis symptoms. Seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist can help people with psoriasis to better cope with the emotional impact of the condition and reduce stress.

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Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a relatively new treatment option for psoriasis that has shown promise in managing symptoms. This type of therapy uses focused beams of light to target psoriasis plaques, reducing inflammation and slowing down the growth of skin cells. There are several types of lasers that can be used for psoriasis treatment. These include excimer lasers, pulsed dye lasers, and fractional lasers. Laser therapy can be especially helpful for hard-to-treat areas, such as the scalp, palms, and soles of the feet. The benefits of laser therapy for psoriasis include faster clearing of plaques, longer periods of remission, and fewer side effects compared to traditional systemic treatments. Laser therapy can also be expensive and may require multiple sessions to achieve desired results.

Debra Lee Baldwin

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a plant that has been used for centuries for its healing properties. In the case of psoriasis, aloe vera can be beneficial in managing symptoms like itching, scaling, and inflammation. The gel-like substance found in the aloe vera plant contains active compounds, such as polysaccharides and glycoproteins. These can reduce inflammation and promote healing. Aloe vera can be applied as a gel or cream directly to psoriasis plaques to help soothe and moisturize the affected area. Some people may experience skin irritation or an allergic reaction. It is important to test a small patch of skin first before using aloe vera as a treatment for psoriasis.


Biologic Medications

Biologic agents are drugs that work by targeting specific molecules in the immune system that contribute to psoriasis symptoms. These medications are administered by injection or infusion and are designed to be more targeted and less toxic than traditional systemic medications. Biologics can also improve patients’ quality of life by reducing pain, itching, and social embarrassment that is sometimes associated with psoriasis. While biologic agents are generally considered safe, they can have potential side effects. These include an increased risk of infection, reactions at the injection site, and the development of certain types of cancers. A few of the biologic medications available are Cimzia, Enbrel, Humira, and Remicade.


Vitamin D Supplementation

Some studies have suggested that vitamin D may help to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, which are key factors in psoriasis development. Vitamin D can be obtained through sun exposure and dietary sources such as fatty fish and fortified foods, but many individuals with psoriasis may have lower levels of vitamin D due to limited sun exposure or dietary restrictions. As a result, some people with psoriasis choose to take vitamin D supplements to help manage their symptoms. While the evidence for vitamin D supplementation in psoriasis is still emerging and more research is needed, some providers may recommend vitamin D supplementation as a complementary therapy for those with psoriasis.


MG217 Psoriasis Medicated Conditioning Shampoo

This shampoo contains 3% salicylic acid, which helps to gently exfoliate and remove scaling on the scalp, while also helping to reduce inflammation and itchiness. The formula also contains coal tar, which has been shown to slow down the production of skin cells, helping to reduce the thick, scaly patches associated with psoriasis. In addition to treating psoriasis symptoms, this shampoo also contains conditioning agents to help moisturize and soothe the scalp.


Goeckerman Therapy

Goeckerman therapy is a type of treatment for psoriasis that developed in the 1920s by Dr. William Goeckerman. It involves the application of coal tar to psoriasis plaques, followed by exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) light. The coal tar helps to reduce inflammation, while the UVB light slows down the growth of skin cells. Goeckerman therapy is typically administered in a hospital or clinic setting. Treatment sessions can last several hours each day for several weeks. Goeckerman therapy can be effective in treating psoriasis, but it can also be messy and time-consuming. It may also cause temporary staining of clothing and bedding.


Calcipotriene Cream

Calcipotriene is a synthetic form of vitamin D. This medication works by slowing down the growth of skin cells in the affected areas. Calcipotriene is available in the form of a cream, ointment, or solution that can be applied directly to psoriasis plaques. It is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, with minimal side effects. However, in some cases, it may cause skin irritation or a burning sensation. Calcipotriene is often used in combination with other psoriasis treatments, such as topical corticosteroids, to enhance their effectiveness. It may take several weeks to see noticeable improvement.

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Exposure to Sunlight

Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can slow down the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation in the affected areas. Sunlight can also help improve mood and mental health, which may be especially important for people living with chronic skin conditions like psoriasis. It is important to use caution when exposing the skin to sunlight. Overexposure can increase the risk of sunburn and skin damage, which can worsen psoriasis symptoms. Healthcare providers may recommend controlled sunlight exposure or phototherapy, a type of medical treatment that involves exposure to UV light under controlled conditions, as a treatment for psoriasis.

Everyday Health

Scalp Oil for Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis can be a particularly challenging form of the condition to manage, as it can cause itchiness, scaling, and flaking on the scalp. One treatment option for scalp psoriasis is the use of scalp oil. Scalp oil products contain a variety of ingredients that can help to moisturize and soothe the scalp, and break down and remove scales. These ingredients may include natural oils such as coconut oil, tea tree oil, and argan oil. They may also include ingredients like salicylic acid, which can help to exfoliate the scalp. Scalp oil products may be applied directly to the scalp, left on for a period of time, and then rinsed off with shampoo.

Tilted Map

Shaving Wet Rather Than Using an Electric Razor

For people with psoriasis, shaving can be a difficult and uncomfortable task. However, choosing the right type of razor and shaving technique can help to minimize irritation and reduce the risk of exacerbating psoriasis symptoms. One strategy that may be helpful is to shave wet using a traditional razor, rather than using an electric razor. Wet shaving allows for a closer shave and may be less likely to cause skin irritation than electric shaving. It is important to use a sharp razor and to be gentle when shaving, as pressing too hard or using a dull blade can cause skin damage and worsen psoriasis symptoms. It is also important to follow up with a moisturizing lotion or oil after shaving to soothe and hydrate the skin.

Medical News Today


Methotrexate is typically taken orally once per week, and healthcare providers may adjust the dosage based on an individual’s response to the medication and any potential side effects. While methotrexate can be effective in managing psoriasis symptoms, it may take several weeks to see noticeable improvement. It is important to follow a healthcare provider’s instructions carefully when using methotrexate, as the medication can have serious side effects if not used properly. Regular check-ups and blood tests may be necessary to monitor progress and potential side effects. Some common side effects of methotrexate include nausea, fatigue, and headaches. In rare cases, methotrexate can cause liver damage, so it is important to avoid alcohol and to inform a healthcare provider of any other medications or supplements being taken while using methotrexate.

Verywell Health

Psoralen Plus Ultraviolet A (PUVA) Therapy

Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) therapy is a type of phototherapy that is used to treat different skin conditions. It involves taking a medication called psoralen, either orally or topically, which makes the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation. The skin is then exposed to UVA radiation, typically in a specialized light booth or room. This exposure helps to slow down the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation in the affected areas. PUVA therapy can be effective in managing psoriasis symptoms, particularly for people with more severe cases of the condition. It is important to follow a healthcare provider’s instructions carefully when using PUVA therapy, as the medication and UV radiation can have serious side effects if not used properly.

Reader’s Digest

Avoid Using Fragrance Detergents

One potential irritant that people with psoriasis may want to avoid is fragrance detergents. Fragrance detergents can contain harsh chemicals and fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin and exacerbate psoriasis symptoms. Instead, it may be helpful to use fragrance-free or hypoallergenic laundry detergents and fabric softeners. It is also important to rinse clothing thoroughly after washing to remove any residual detergent or fabric softener that can cause skin irritation. By choosing the right laundry products, people with psoriasis can help to minimize irritation and keep their symptoms under control.

Poison Control

Hydrocortisone Cream

Hydrocortisone belongs to a class of medications called corticosteroids. These work by reducing inflammation where it is topically applied. Hydrocortisone is available in a range of strengths, and healthcare providers may recommend different strengths depending on the severity and location of the psoriasis. It is applied directly to the skin, and may be used once or twice daily or as directed. While hydrocortisone can be effective in managing psoriasis symptoms, prolonged use of corticosteroids can lead to skin thinning, and in some cases, rebound flares of psoriasis symptoms.


Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption can increase inflammation in the body, which can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms. Alcohol can also interfere with the effectiveness of some psoriasis medications, such as methotrexate. By reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption, people with psoriasis may see an improvement in their symptoms. It is important to note that alcohol reduction is just one aspect of a comprehensive treatment plan for psoriasis, and it may not be effective for everyone. Doctors may recommend additional lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction, diet changes, and exercise.

My Dad the Chemist

CeraVe Psoriasis Cream with Salicylic Acid

CeraVe Psoriasis Cream contains a combination of salicylic acid and urea, which work together to exfoliate and hydrate the skin, helping to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis such as redness, itching, and scaling. The cream is also enriched with ceramides, which help to restore and strengthen the skin barrier, and niacinamide, which can help to calm inflammation. CeraVe Psoriasis Cream is non-greasy and fast-absorbing, making it easy to apply and suitable for use on any part of the body. It is fragrance-free, non-irritating, and has been accepted by the National Psoriasis Foundation as a recommended product for people with psoriasis.


Calming Bath Solutions

Bath solutions can be a helpful way to manage psoriasis symptoms and promote skin hydration. One popular option is adding colloidal oatmeal to the bath water. Colloidal oatmeal is a finely ground form of oats that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help soothe itchy skin. Other options include adding oils to bath water, such as coconut or olive oil, or adding Epsom salts, which can promote relaxation. It is important to avoid using hot water, as this can further dry out the skin and worsen psoriasis symptoms. Instead, lukewarm water is recommended. After bathing, it is best to gently pat the skin dry with a soft towel and apply a moisturizer to lock in hydration.

The Spruce

Natural, Breathable Fabrics

When dealing with psoriasis, clothing choices can make a big difference in managing symptoms. It is best to choose loose-fitting, breathable clothing made from soft, natural fabrics such as cotton or silk, which can help to reduce friction and irritation on the skin. Avoid wearing synthetic materials or wool, which can cause itching and further aggravate psoriasis symptoms. It is also important to avoid tight clothing and accessories that can rub against the skin, such as tight waistbands or jewelry. If psoriasis affects the scalp, wearing a soft, breathable hat can provide protection and help to conceal any flaking or scaling.


Reduce Exposure to Cold, Dry Air

The cold, dry air of winter can lead to skin dryness and irritation. This can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms. Exposure to indoor heating can further dry out the skin, making symptoms even more severe. It is important for people with psoriasis to take steps to protect their skin during the winter months. This can include using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, moisturizing regularly with a gentle, fragrance-free lotion, and avoiding hot showers or baths which can dry out the skin further. It may also be helpful to wear protective clothing such as gloves and scarves to prevent skin exposure to cold air.

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