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Topical Creams for Psoriasis How They Work and What to Look for

by Gada
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Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the skin, causing red, scaly patches. It can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, and finding relief can be a challenge. Many people turn to topical creams as a first-line treatment for their psoriasis. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know which one is best for you.

In this article, we will dive into the world of topical creams for psoriasis. We will discuss how they work, what ingredients to look for, and various types of creams available. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of topical creams and be able to make an informed decision on which one may be right for you.

Different Types of Topical Creams for Psoriasis

Topical Creams for Psoriasis How They Work and What to Look for

When it comes to treating psoriasis, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each person’s condition is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. That being said, there are various types of topical creams available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Steroid Creams

One of the most commonly prescribed treatments for psoriasis is steroid creams. These creams contain corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory drugs that can reduce redness, itching, and scaling associated with psoriasis. They work by slowing down the production of skin cells, which can help improve symptoms.

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While steroid creams can be effective in managing psoriasis, they do come with some potential side effects. Long-term use of these creams can cause thinning of the skin, stretch marks, and even more severe flare-ups when stopped abruptly. Therefore, it’s essential to use them under the guidance of a doctor and follow the recommended usage instructions.

Ingredients to Look for: Hydrocortisone, betamethasone, clobetasol.

Recommended Products:

  • CeraVe Psoriasis Cream
  • Aveeno 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream
  • Dermarest Psoriasis Medicated Moisturizer

Vitamin D Analogues

Psoriasis is linked to a deficiency in vitamin D, and therefore, using creams that contain this vitamin can be beneficial. Vitamin D analogues work by slowing down the production of skin cells and reducing inflammation. They are often prescribed for mild to moderate psoriasis and can be used in combination with other treatments.

While vitamin D analogues are generally well-tolerated, they can cause skin irritation, burning, and itching in some people. It’s essential to monitor your skin’s response and speak to your doctor if you experience any adverse reactions.

Ingredients to Look for: Calcipotriene, calcitriol, tacalcitol.

Recommended Products:

  • Dovonex (Calcipotriene) Cream
  • Taclonex (Calcipotriene and betamethasone dipropionate) Topical Suspension
  • Enstilar (calcipotriol and betamethasone dipropionate) Foam

Coal Tar

Coal tar has been used for centuries to treat various skin conditions, including psoriasis. It works by slowing down the rapid growth of skin cells and reducing inflammation. Coal tar is available in various forms, including creams, ointments, and shampoos.

While coal tar can effectively manage psoriasis symptoms, it does come with some downsides. It has a strong odor and can cause staining of clothes and skin. Additionally, long-term use may increase the risk of skin cancer. It’s crucial to use coal tar under the guidance of a doctor and limit sun exposure when using it.

Ingredients to Look for: Coal tar extract, crude coal tar.

Recommended Products:

  • MG217 Psoriasis Medicated Multi-Symptom Cream
  • Psoriasin Deep Moisturizing Ointment
  • Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

Natural Topical Treatments for Psoriasis

 

Topical Creams for Psoriasis How They Work and What to Look for

 

 

 

While traditional topical creams can be effective in managing psoriasis symptoms, some people prefer to use natural treatments. Here are two popular options:

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, and it’s no surprise that it’s also beneficial for treating psoriasis. Its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties can help soothe redness and scaling associated with psoriasis. Aloe vera is available as a gel, cream, or lotion, and you can even grow the plant at home and use the sap directly on your skin.

While aloe vera is generally safe, there is limited research on its effectiveness for treating psoriasis. It may not be as potent as traditional topical creams, but it can be a good option for those looking for a natural alternative.

Benefits of Aloe Vera:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Safe for long-term use

Recommended Products:

  • Seven Minerals Aloe Vera Gel
  • Amara Beauty Organic Aloe Vera Gel
  • Nature Republic Soothing Moisture Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is another popular natural remedy for various skin conditions, including psoriasis. This oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for managing psoriasis symptoms. It can help reduce inflammation and itching and promote wound healing.

While tea tree oil is generally well-tolerated, it’s essential to dilute it before applying it to the skin. Using it in its pure form can cause irritation and allergic reactions. It’s recommended to mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil before applying it to the skin.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Antibacterial and antifungal effects
  • Can promote wound healing

Recommended Products:

  • Radha Beauty Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • ArtNaturals Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • Maple Holistics 100% Pure Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tips for Choosing the Right Topical Cream for Psoriasis

Topical Creams for Psoriasis How They Work and What to Look for

With so many options available, it can be challenging to know which topical cream is best for your psoriasis. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a topical treatment:

  1. Severity of Psoriasis: The severity of your psoriasis will determine what type of cream you need. For mild cases, over-the-counter products may suffice, while more severe cases may require prescription-strength creams.
  2. Ingredients: Look for active ingredients that are proven to be effective in treating psoriasis, such as corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, and coal tar.
  3. Skin Type: Consider your skin type when choosing a topical cream. If you have sensitive skin, opt for milder products to avoid irritation.
  4. Consult with a Doctor: It’s always a good idea to consult with a doctor before starting any new treatment. They can evaluate your condition and recommend the best course of action for you.
  5. Cost: Some topical creams can be expensive, especially if they require a prescription. Consider your budget when choosing a treatment option.

FAQs about Topical Creams for Psoriasis

Topical Creams for Psoriasis How They Work and What to Look for

Q: Can I use multiple topical creams at the same time?

A: It’s generally not recommended to use multiple topical creams at the same time, as they may interact with each other and cause adverse reactions. It’s best to consult with your doctor before combining treatments.

Q: How often should I apply my topical cream?

A: The frequency of use will vary depending on the product and your doctor’s recommendations. Generally, topical creams are applied once or twice a day.

Q: Can I use topical creams during pregnancy?

A: It’s always best to consult with your doctor before using any medication or treatment during pregnancy.

Q: Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help manage my psoriasis?

A: Yes, certain lifestyle changes can improve psoriasis symptoms, such as managing stress levels, avoiding triggers, and maintaining a healthy diet.

Q: How long does it take for topical creams to work?

A: This will vary from person to person, but generally, you should see some improvement in your symptoms within a few weeks. If you don’t see any improvement after several weeks, speak to your doctor about adjusting your treatment plan.

Conclusion

Topical Creams for Psoriasis How They Work and What to Look for

Topical creams are a popular option for managing psoriasis symptoms. They come in various forms and contain different active ingredients that work in different ways to alleviate redness, itching, and scaling. It’s crucial to choose a cream that suits your unique needs and consult with a doctor before starting any new treatment. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another, so be patient in finding the right solution for you. With the right topical cream and proper care, you can effectively manage your psoriasis and improve your overall quality of life.

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