There are three main categories of psoriasis treatment options: topical treatments, light therapy and systemic medications. Physicians recommend topical treatments in less severe cases and can combine them with light therapy or medication for cases that are moderate or severe. The goal of these treatment options is to smooth the skin, remove scales, and slow the growth of skin cells, as explained by Mayo Clinic.
Most psoriasis treatments begin with the application of topical treatments, such as corticosteroids, retinoids or moisturizers, notes Mayo Clinic. If topical treatments are not sufficient, the physician may recommend oral or intravenous medications. Medications such as methotrexate, retinoids, and immune-system altering drugs can be highly effective but can also negatively affect liver functions, the digestive system, immunity or cancer risk.
Physicians may also prescribe light therapy treatment, which does not have severe side effects. There are several types of light therapy treatments that involve exposing the skin to natural sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light, as reported by Mayo Clinic.
Psoriasis can be a difficult disease to treat as it affects each individual in a different way. The disease can go through periods of severity or improvement at random. Flexible treatment plans are necessary as some individuals can become resistant to psoriasis medications or experience severe side effects, according to Mayo Clinic.