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How to Treat Psoriasis Effectively

Looking into the causes, treatments and available support for those with Psoriasis

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How to Treat Psoriasis Effectively
Written byAmelia CranstounContent Editor
Start your 2 minute skin quiz today and one of our aestheticians will create a personalised skincare routine for you!Take the skin quiz

Psoriasis affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterised by red, scaly patches that can be itchy, painful, and even emotionally distressing. There is no cure for psoriasis, but understanding its causes, the treatment options, and essential skincare ingredients to consider will help those who need it, find ways to manage this condition effectively.


What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder, meaning the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, triggering an accelerated skin cell production cycle. Normally, our skin cells mature and shed in about a month, but in psoriasis, this process takes only a few days, leading to a buildup of skin cells on the surface.


Causes of Psoriasis

The exact cause of psoriasis remains unclear, but it is believed to be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Family history plays a significant role, as individuals with a family member affected by psoriasis have a higher risk of developing the condition themselves. Certain triggers like increased inflammation, stress, infections, injuries, and even certain medications can also exacerbate psoriasis symptoms.


Treatment for Psoriasis 

Topical Treatments

Mild to moderate psoriasis is often managed with topical treatments which can be prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist. These include:

  1. Corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory creams or ointments help reduce redness and itching.
  2. Vitamin D Analogues: A synthetic form of vitamin D that is known to slow down skin cell renewal. If satisfactory control is not achieved after using a Vitamin D ointment for 8–12 weeks (twice daily), GPs may refer you to a stronger form of treatment
  3. Salicylic Acid: Otherwise known as beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), it helps remove scales and improve absorption of other medications.


This involves exposing the affected skin to specific wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) light under medical supervision. UVB phototherapy is commonly prescribed for treating psoriasis, as it slows down skin cell production and reduces inflammation.


Systemic Medications 

In severe cases, where topical treatments and phototherapy are ineffective, oral or injectable medications can be prescribed by a dermatologist. Systemic medications may have potential side effects, so they are reserved for cases where psoriasis is severe and the benefits of the treatment outweigh the risks.


Skincare Ingredients to Look for and Avoid with Psoriasis

When dealing with psoriasis, it's essential to use skincare products that are gentle on the skin and do not exacerbate inflammation or interfere with any prescription topicals. Here are some ingredients to consider.

Ingredients to Use: 

  • Aloe Vera: Known for its soothing properties, aloe vera can help alleviate itchiness and redness associated with psoriasis.

  • Jojoba Oil: Non-comedogenic, jojoba oil can moisturise without clogging pores and helps reduce scaling. Some people also swear by coconut or olive oil

  • Hyaluronic Acid: Those with psoriasis who have tried Hyaluronic acid say it significantly reduced redness, itching, and flaking on the eyelids and under-eye area.

  • Ceramides: The role of ceramides in the maintenance and repair of epidermal barrier function is believed to be valuable in the treatment of psoriasis.

  • Glycerin: Glycerin is known to have skin-soothing properties, and it can draw more moisture into the skin. Researchers have studied glycerin to treat a variety of skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis and eczema but there is more research to be done specifically on psoriasis.

Ingredients to Avoid: 

  • Fragrances and Dyes: These can irritate sensitive skin, leading to worsening psoriasis symptoms.

  • Harsh Cleansers: Avoid using soaps or cleansers with sulphates, as they can strip the skin of natural oils and cause dryness.

  • Alcohol: Skincare products containing alcohol can dry out the skin, aggravating psoriasis.

When to speak to a professional

While not every person with psoriasis requires immediate professional attention, it is highly advisable to consult with a dermatologist or doctor if you suspect you have psoriasis or if you experience concerning symptoms. Here are some reasons why seeking professional help is essential:

Accurate Diagnosis: Psoriasis can sometimes be mistaken for other skin conditions, such as eczema or fungal infections. A dermatologist can provide a proper diagnosis, ensuring you receive appropriate treatment for your specific condition.

Personalised Treatment Plan: A dermatologist can assess the severity of your psoriasis and recommend the most effective treatment options tailored to your needs. For ongoing support alongside any prescribed treatment, a Renude aesthetician would be able to build you a gentle routine to best support your skin. A dermatologist or doctor on the other hand will be able to refer you to topical treatments, phototherapy, systemic medications, or a combination of therapies.

Monitoring and Management: Psoriasis is a chronic (long-term) condition, and its severity can fluctuate over time. Regular check-ups with a dermatologist or doctor will allow for ongoing monitoring of your skin's condition and adjustment of your treatment when it’s needed.

Lifestyle Advice: In addition to medical treatments, a dermatologist can offer lifestyle recommendations, such as stress management, dietary adjustments, and skincare tips, to improve your overall well-being and manage psoriasis symptoms.

Remember, every case of psoriasis is unique, and what works for one person may not be suitable for another. Professional guidance can make a significant difference in managing psoriasis effectively and improving your quality of life. If you suspect you have psoriasis or experience concerning skin symptoms and would like to speak to a medical professional, you can read our guide to getting medical advice here. today by taking our skin quiz. 



Amelia CranstounContent Editor
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Amelia CranstounContent Editor
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