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Treating Psoriasis with Over-the-Counter Creams

by Gada
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Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin, which can be both uncomfortable and unsightly. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are many treatment options available, including over-the-counter creams. These creams can help to alleviate symptoms and improve the overall appearance of the skin. In this article, we will explore the different types of otc psoriasis creams and how they can be used effectively in managing psoriasis.

Types of OTC Psoriasis Creams

Treating Psoriasis with Over-the-Counter Creams

There are several types of otc psoriasis creams available on the market, each with its own set of active ingredients and benefits. They can be classified into three main categories: emollients, topical corticosteroids, and vitamin D analogues.

Emollients

Emollients are moisturizing creams that help to hydrate and soothe dry, itchy skin. They form a protective barrier on the skin, preventing moisture loss and keeping the skin soft and supple. Emollients are especially beneficial for people with psoriasis as they have a tendency to have dry skin.

Some common ingredients found in emollient creams include petrolatum, mineral oil, and lanolin. These ingredients work by trapping moisture in the skin, making it less susceptible to irritation and flare-ups. Emollients can also be used in combination with other psoriasis treatments to enhance their effectiveness.

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Topical Corticosteroids

Topical corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory creams that help to reduce redness, itching, and inflammation associated with psoriasis. They work by suppressing the immune system, which plays a role in the development of psoriasis. Topical corticosteroids come in different strengths, ranging from mild to potent. The potency of the cream will depend on the severity of the psoriasis and the area of the body affected.

Some common topical corticosteroids used to treat psoriasis include hydrocortisone, betamethasone, and clobetasol. These creams should be used sparingly and for short periods to avoid potential side effects such as thinning of the skin and discoloration.

Vitamin D Analogues

Vitamin D analogues are synthetic forms of vitamin D that help to regulate the growth and development of skin cells. In psoriasis, skin cells reproduce at an accelerated rate, leading to the buildup of scales and patches. Vitamin D analogues work by slowing down this process, reducing the thickness and severity of lesions.

Calcipotriene and calcitriol are two common vitamin D analogues used in psoriasis creams. They can be used alone or in combination with other treatments, such as topical corticosteroids, for better results.

Benefits of OTC Psoriasis Creams

Treating Psoriasis with Over-the-Counter Creams

Using over-the-counter creams for psoriasis has several advantages:

  • Convenience: OTC creams can be purchased without a prescription, making them easily accessible and convenient for people with mild to moderate psoriasis.
  • Cost-effective: Compared to prescription medications, otc creams are more affordable, making them a cost-effective option for long-term use.
  • Minimal side effects: Otc creams typically have fewer side effects compared to prescription drugs, making them safer for use in the long term.

How to Use OTC Psoriasis Creams Effectively

 

 

Treating Psoriasis with Over-the-Counter Creams

To get the most out of your otc psoriasis cream, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Read the Label Carefully

Before using any otc cream, it is essential to read the label carefully. This will help you understand the active ingredients, their purpose, and any potential side effects.

2. Test on a Small Area First

To avoid adverse reactions, it is recommended to test the cream on a small area of skin first. This will help to determine if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.

3. Follow Instructions

Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when using otc creams. These instructions may vary depending on the type of cream and severity of psoriasis.

4. Be Patient

It takes time for otc creams to work, so be patient and consistent with your treatment. It may take several weeks or even months to see visible improvements in your psoriasis.

5. Use in Combination with Other Treatments

For more severe cases of psoriasis, otc creams may need to be used in combination with other treatments, such as prescription medications, to effectively manage symptoms.

FAQs about OTC Psoriasis Creams

Treating Psoriasis with Over-the-Counter Creams

1. Are OTC creams safe to use for long periods?

Yes, otc creams are generally safe to use for extended periods. However, it is best to consult with your doctor if you plan on using them for an extended period.

2. Can I use otc creams on my face?

It is not recommended to use otc creams on your face unless specifically stated on the label. Facial skin tends to be more sensitive and may react differently to the active ingredients in the cream.

3. Can I use otc creams during pregnancy?

It is always best to consult with your doctor before using any medication or cream while pregnant. Some ingredients in otc creams may be harmful to the baby.

4. How often should I apply otc creams?

The frequency of application will depend on the type of cream and the severity of psoriasis. Generally, otc creams can be applied once or twice daily.

5. Can otc creams cure psoriasis?

No, otc creams cannot cure psoriasis, but they can effectively manage symptoms and improve the appearance of the skin.

Conclusion

Treating Psoriasis with Over-the-Counter Creams

OTC psoriasis creams can be a valuable tool in managing this chronic skin condition. They offer convenience, affordability and have minimal side effects compared to other treatments. However, it is essential to understand the different types of otc creams available and use them properly for best results. If your psoriasis symptoms persist or worsen, it is always best to consult with a doctor for further treatment options.

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