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Treatments for Psoriasis

Treatment of psoriasis is usually a series of steps, called the 1-2-3 approach, which entails:
Step 1—Topical: Sunlight or medication applied directly to the surface of the skin
Step 2—Phototherapy: Phototherapy (or “light treatment”) using ultraviolet light alone or in combination with medication
Step 3—Systemic: Medicines taken internally (usually oral medication) to treat psoriasis systemically
Your treatment will be based on several factors, including:
  • The severity of the disease
  • The extent and location of the areas involved
  • Your responsiveness to each treatment
  • What type of psoriasis you have
  • Possible concomitant presence of psoriatic arthritis
Often, the body will become resistant to certain types of treatment, and they will lose their effectiveness. When this happens, new treatment methods may be prescribed, and future treatments may be added as needed.
Treatment involves the following:
MedicationsOther treatmentsAlternative and complementary therapies
Surgical procedures are not a treatment option for psoriasis.

References

American Academy of Dermatology web site. Available at: http://www.skincarephysicians.com/psoriasisnet/index.html.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ .

National Psoriasis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.psoriasis.org/home/ .

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