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Over the Counter Psoriasis Cream A Comprehensive Guide

by Gada
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Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects approximately 2-3% of the world’s population. It is characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin that can be itchy and painful. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are various treatment options available to manage its symptoms. One such option is over the counter psoriasis creams. These creams contain active ingredients that help reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. In this article, we will delve into everything you need to know about over the counter psoriasis creams.

1. What is Psoriasis?

 

 

 

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Over the Counter Psoriasis Cream A Comprehensive Guide

 

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, forming thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry patches. It is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, causing inflammation and triggering the rapid growth of skin cells. The exact cause of psoriasis is still unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors.

Types of Psoriasis

  • Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common type of psoriasis, accounting for 80-90% of cases. It appears as raised, red patches with a silvery-white buildup of dead skin cells.
  • Guttate Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis often starts in childhood or young adulthood and appears as small, red, individual spots on the skin.
  • Inverse Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis occurs in areas where skin rubs against skin, such as the armpits, groin, and under the breasts. It appears as smooth, red patches of skin.
  • Pustular Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is characterized by white pustules surrounded by red skin. It can be localized to certain areas of the body or widespread.
  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is the least common but most severe. It covers large areas of the body with red, peeling skin.

2. What are Over the Counter Psoriasis Creams?

Over the Counter Psoriasis Cream A Comprehensive Guide

Over the counter (OTC) psoriasis creams are topical medications that can be purchased without a prescription from a doctor. They contain active ingredients such as salicylic acid, coal tar, and corticosteroids that work to reduce inflammation and slow down the production of skin cells. These creams are usually used for mild to moderate cases of psoriasis and can be used in combination with other treatments for better results.

Common Ingredients in OTC Psoriasis Creams

  1. Salicylic Acid: This ingredient helps soften and remove scales caused by psoriasis.
  2. Coal Tar: This ingredient slows down the growth of skin cells and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  3. Corticosteroids: These are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that reduce redness, itching, and swelling.
  4. Aloe Vera: This natural ingredient soothes and moisturizes the skin.
  5. Vitamin D Analogues: These synthetic forms of vitamin D help regulate skin cell growth.

3. How Do Over the Counter Psoriasis Creams Work?

Over the Counter Psoriasis Cream A Comprehensive Guide

OTC psoriasis creams work by targeting the underlying causes of psoriasis – inflammation and rapid skin cell growth. The active ingredients in these creams penetrate the skin and either slow down the production of skin cells or reduce inflammation, thus improving the appearance of psoriasis lesions. They also help relieve symptoms such as itching and scaling, providing relief to those suffering from psoriasis.

Pros and Cons of Using OTC Psoriasis Creams

Pros

  • Easily accessible: OTC creams can be bought from pharmacies or online without a prescription.
  • Cost-effective: OTC creams are generally cheaper than prescription medications.
  • Effective for mild to moderate psoriasis: OTC creams work well for mild to moderate psoriasis and can be used as a maintenance treatment.
  • Can be used at home: These creams can be applied at home, making it convenient for individuals with busy schedules.

Cons

  • May not work for severe psoriasis: OTC creams may not be effective for severe cases of psoriasis.
  • Potential side effects: Certain ingredients in OTC creams, such as coal tar, may cause skin irritation, dryness, or sensitivity.
  • Not regulated by the FDA: Unlike prescription medications, OTC creams are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so their safety and effectiveness may vary.

4. How to Choose the Right Over the Counter Psoriasis Cream?

Over the Counter Psoriasis Cream A Comprehensive Guide

With an overwhelming number of over the counter psoriasis creams available, choosing the right one can be daunting. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an OTC cream for psoriasis:

Severity of Psoriasis

OTC creams are most effective for mild to moderate cases of psoriasis. If you have severe psoriasis, your doctor may recommend prescription medications.

Active Ingredients

Different OTC creams contain different active ingredients. It is essential to read the label carefully and choose a cream that contains ingredients that target your specific symptoms.

Skin Type

Consider your skin type when selecting an OTC cream. Some creams may not be suitable for sensitive skin, while others may be too oily for those with oily skin.

5. How to Use Over the Counter Psoriasis Creams?

Over the Counter Psoriasis Cream A Comprehensive Guide

Before using any OTC cream, it is essential to read the instructions on the label and follow them carefully. Here are some general guidelines for using OTC psoriasis creams:

Cleanse the Affected Area

Wash the affected area with a mild cleanser and pat dry before applying the cream.

Apply the Cream

Use your fingers or a cotton swab to apply the cream directly to the affected area. Do not rub vigorously as it may irritate the skin.

Be Consistent

For optimal results, use the cream as directed and do not skip applications. Consistency is key when using OTC creams for psoriasis.

6. Are There Any Side Effects of Using Over the Counter Psoriasis Creams?

While OTC psoriasis creams are generally safe, they may cause side effects in some individuals. These include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Dryness
  • Redness
  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Allergic reactions

If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, consult your doctor.

FAQs

Q: Can OTC psoriasis creams cure psoriasis?

A: No, OTC creams cannot cure psoriasis, but they can help manage its symptoms.

Q: Can OTC creams be used for all types of psoriasis?

A: OTC creams are most effective for mild to moderate psoriasis. If you have severe psoriasis, your doctor may recommend prescription medications.

Q: How long does it take to see results from using OTC psoriasis creams?

A: It may take a few weeks to see visible improvements while using OTC creams. Consistency is key for best results.

Q: Can I use an OTC cream if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

A: Consult your doctor before using any medications, including OTC creams, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Q: Are there any natural alternatives to OTC psoriasis creams?

A: Some natural ingredients such as aloe vera, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar may provide relief for psoriasis symptoms. However, always consult with your doctor before using any natural remedies.

Conclusion

Over the counter psoriasis creams can be a convenient and cost-effective option for managing mild to moderate psoriasis symptoms. However, it is essential to choose the right cream for your specific needs and use it as directed for best results. If you have severe psoriasis, consult your doctor for a personalized treatment plan. With proper care and treatment, psoriasis can be managed effectively, allowing individuals to live a comfortable and fulfilling life.

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