Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get rid off psoriasis behind your ears and gluteal cleft?
I have psoriasis behind my ears, scalp, elbows, on one knee & one on gluteal cleft but its small... i wanna get rid of them pls help how can I get rid of dem fast? whats da best thing to do or whats da best cream for it?
ooh, the hard to reach places huh? hmmm, i would try herbal medications and remedies before chemically designed over the counter meds/prescriptions. the skin is especially sensitive behind the ears and u dont wanna scar. try:
The hot Epsom salts bath has been proven valuable in the treatment of psoriasis. Application of olive oil after the Epsom salt bath is also effective and also one of the effective home remedies for psoriasis.
Regular seawater baths and application of seawater over the affected parts once a day is highly beneficial. This is one of the best psoriasis remedy.
Bitter gourd is a valuable home remedy for psoriasis. Take a cup of fresh juice of this vegetable, mixed with a teaspoon of limejuice on an empty stomach daily for four to six months. This is a good diet for psoriasis.
The use of mudpacks is also beneficial for the psoriasis. They absorb and remove the toxins from the affected areas.
Cabbage leaves can be used in the form of compresses. They can be applied on the affected area after removing the thick veins and washing them thoroughly. This is also one of the effective home remedies for psoriasis.
Sunlight is the best and natural remedy for psoriasis.
Vitamin E therapy has been found effective in the psoriasis treatment. A daily dose of 200-800 I.U is recommended as they reduce itching of the area.
Lecithin is also considered as a remarkable remedy for the psoriasis treatment.
Psoriasis cure - 6-9 lecithin capsules in a day are recommended.
Application of Aloe Vera gel and garlic oil on the affected area is also beneficial and is good natural remedy for psoriasis
Application of cashew nut oil on the affected areas at night after a thorough wash of the face is highly beneficial and is one of the effective home remedies for psoriasis.
Has anyone ever cleared up plaque psoriasis?
I've had plaque psoriasis on my legs arm and scalp for a long time now. Its now growing on my back and slowly on my forearms and i'm really worried. Its hard to cover up the forearm thats why. I just want to know if anyone has ever cleared it up and what did you do/ apply/ or drink. Thanks.
by the way im 16 and i've had it for more than half my life.
Hi David L
Psorias may be connected with Vitamin D deficiency.
Here are some ideas for both an internal and an external approach.
Many people who find that their condition gets better when they spend plenty of time in the sun get relief in the winter by going to a tanning salon and using the UVB booth.
Others have found other ways to get UVB treatment at home without prescription such as buying UVB lights meant for reptiles kept as pets. Since your psoriasis is mostly on your extremities, that might be a good solution for you.
The Vitamin D Council is a good site to find out more about how much Vitamin D3 to take internally during the parts of the year when you don't get enough sunshine. They will also provide information about how to be properly tested to see whether you're Vitamin D deficient.
The combination of salt water and UVB (simulated beach!) seems to work especially well for some. Either regular cooking salt or epsom salts are effective when dissolved in a tub full of water.
Finally, while researching gallbladder and liver problems I came across studies which found that taking bile salts to aid digestion can help psoriasis. That would make sense from the standpoint that a diseased or sluggish liver can often manifest itself in various skin conditions.
I hope that helps some!
Does anyone know what helps Psoraisis of the skin and scalp???
I was just recently diagnoised with this...I have lil red bumps on different parts of my body and on my scalp, I know there is no cure for this but does anyone know how to make them go away???
All the answers above may help, coal tar soaps, cortisone creams, controlled sunlight.
You can also try the following home treatments: soaking in epsom salts, intense moisturizing (like Eucerin or petroleum jelly type salves), there are even homeopothy treatments.
I achieved some limited succes with these home treatments, and even a little more success with medications prescribed by doctor. I finally achieved an almost total success (98% clearing of plaques from skin, 100% clearing of scalp and ears) from a medication called Enbrel. Ebrel was first prescribed for psoriatic arthritis. It is now being prescribed for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. It is administered via injection once a week. I do my own injections. It was hard at first, but now I am not bothered by them. The injections are intradural (under the skin, not into the muscle) so the pain is minimal. I am so grateful that I found Enbrel. Psoriasis was beginning to impact my quality of life in a big way, now it is just a mild nuisance. Good Luck!
A link between psoriasis and allergies?
I have pretty bad allergies, and I get white dry patches on my head. I've tried dandruff shampoo thinking it was dandruff & it didn`t help. I've read somewhere that there is a link between allergies and psoriasis. Is this true? Is it treatable? What kind of treatments are available besides the creams? I hate putting the creams on my scalp because they make my hair oily.
The link between them is the immune system and the ways that it sometimes under-reacts or overreacts.
One of the reasons psoriasis gets worse during the winter may be its connection with Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D has important connections to immunity and protecting us from autoimmune diseases.
Others have found other ways to get UVB treatment at home without prescription such as buying UVB lights meant for reptiles kept as pets. Since you might have psoriasis on a small area on your head, that might be a particularly good solution for you. The UVB lights for pets apparently are not as strong as the prescription type, but use caution and look into the proper dosage. You don't want to burn.
The Vitamin D Council is a good site to find out more about how much Vitamin D to take internally during the parts of the year when you don't get enough sunshine. They will also provide information about how to be properly tested to see whether you're Vitamin D deficient.
The combination of salt water and UVB (simulated beach!) seems to work especially well for some. Regular cooking salt or epsom salts can be effective when dissolved in a tub full of water.
Finally, while researching gallbladder and liver problems I came across studies that found that taking bile salts to aid digestion can help psoriasis. That would make sense from the standpoint that a diseased or sluggish liver can often manifest itself in various skin conditions and allergies.
I hope that helps some!
Is there a treatment for Psoriasis?
A friend of mine has it and he says there is no treatment for it. I don't believe so. There must be something that reduces the red marks on his body, right?
There are medications available to reduce the spots on body; but no permanent cure. it can always come up during periods of extreme stress and so on. However here are a few things that you could do:
1. Reduce stress. Psoriasis is significantly aggravated by stress.
2. Apply topical ointments, twice each day, to slow down the overactive growth of skin cells. Ointments that contain tar preparations, anthralin and salicylic acid work well. Try corticosteroid creams. These are most effective when covered with a piece of saran wrap. It enhances the drug's penetration into the skin. Use it twice a day, wipe it off at bedtime, and then apply the tar preparation or anthralin at night.
3. Avoid injuring the skin. This aggravates psoriasis.
4. Avoid exposure to cold. This also aggravates psoriasis.
5. Keep your skin from drying out. Dry skin causes psoriasis to worsen.
6. Avoid washing your skin excessively. This makes skin feel sore and scaly. Use lukewarm water when washing.
7. Reduce itching by soaking for 15 minutes in water containing a tar solution or Epsom salts.
8. Remove thick scalp plaques by applying a 10 percent salicylic acid in mineral oil with a toothbrush before going to bed. Wear a shower cap when you sleep. Wash out the 10 percent acid with a tar-based shampoo the next morning.
9. Consider a more aggressive treatment if your condition is severe. Exposure to ultraviolet light or a course of drug therapy are options.
Anthralin can stain sheets.
Exposure to the sun must be absolutely avoided when you are receiving treatment with ultraviolet light.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet.
Who has psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis? And what best work for your in terms of treatments?
Specialist dermatologists generally treat psoriasis in steps based on the severity of the disease, size of the areas involved, type of psoriasis, and the patient's response to initial treatments. This is sometimes called the "1-2-3" approach. In step 1, medicines are applied to the skin (topical treatment). Step 2 uses ultraviolet light treatments (phototherapy). Step 3 involves taking medicines by mouth or injection that treat the whole immune system (called systemic therapy).
Over time, affected skin can become resistant to treatment, especially when topical corticosteroids are used. Also, a treatment that works very well in one person may have little effect in another. Thus, doctors often use a trial-and-error approach to find a treatment that works, and they may switch treatments periodically (for example, every 12 to 24 months) if a treatment does not work or if adverse reactions occur.
Treatments applied directly to the skin may improve its condition. Doctors find that some patients respond well to ointment or cream forms of corticosteroids, vitamin D3, retinoids, coal tar, or anthralin. Bath solutions and moisturizers may be soothing, but they are seldom strong enough to improve the condition of the skin. However they help with the penetration of additonal stronger remedies and so maximise the effectiveness of combination therapy. In additon steroids and calcipotriol may cause an initial burning sensation if applied to dry skin.
When applied regularly over a long period, moisturizers have a soothing effect. Preparations that are thick and greasy ([[ointment]s]) usually work best because they seal water in the skin, reducing scaling and itching.
People with psoriasis may find that adding oil when bathing, then applying a moisturizer, soothes their skin. Also, individuals can remove scales and reduce itching by soaking for 15 minutes in water containing a coal tar solution, oiled oatmeal, Epsom salts, or Dead Sea salts.
Salicylic acid is a peeling agent, which is available in many forms such as ointments, creams, gels, and shampoos, can be applied to reduce scaling of the skin or scalp. Often, it is more effective when combined with topical corticosteroids, anthralin, or coal tar.
Preparations containing coal tar (gels and ointments) may be applied directly to the skin, added (as a liquid) to the bath, or used on the scalp as a shampoo. Coal tar products are available in different strengths, and many are sold over the counter (not requiring a prescription). It is less effective than corticosteroids and many other treatments and, therefore, is sometimes combined with ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy for a better result. Coal tar has an effect on some of the enzymes involved in psoriasis, and it increases the skin's sensitivity to light. The most potent form may irritate the skin, is messy, has a strong odor, and may stain the skin or clothing. Thus, it is not popular with many patients.
These drugs reduce inflammation and the turnover of skin cells, and they suppress the immune system. Available in different strengths, topical corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone) are usually applied to the skin twice a day. Short-term treatment is often effective in improving, but not completely eliminating, psoriasis. Long-term use or overuse of highly potent (strong) corticosteroids can cause thinning of the skin, internal side effects, and resistance to the treatment's benefits. If less than 10 percent of the skin is involved, some doctors will prescribe a high-potency corticosteroid ointment (e.g. Clobetasol propionate). High-potency corticosteroids may also be prescribed for plaques that don't improve with other treatment, particularly those on the hands or feet. In situations where the objective of treatment is comfort, medium-potency corticosteroids may be prescribed for the broader skin areas of the torso or limbs. Low-potency preparations are used on delicate skin areas. Cortisol (a.k.a. hydrocortisone) is an inexpensive corticosteroid available over the counter (without a prescription) in strengths that may be effective on very mild and emerging plaques.
Other side effects of corticosteroids are stretch marks in the skin, and rosacea that can affect the facial skin.
When using corticosteroids, it is important to follow the doctor's advice. Corticosteroids are very useful in the treatment of psoriasis, and used the correct way, side effects are seldom a problem. It is possible, however, for the condition to be aggravated on ceasing steroidal treatment, particulary after overuse (rebound effect). It is therefore essential that they are used in the correct way and instructions carefully followed.
Calcipotriol (Calcipotriene (USAN)) is a synthetic form of vitamin D3 that can be applied to the skin. Applying calcipotriol (for example, Daivonex®/Dovonex®) once to twice a day controls the speed of turnover of skin cells. It is sometimes combined with topical corticosteroids to reduce irritation. It is available as cream, ointment and scalp solution. As well as causing skin irritation, especially if applied to dry un-moisturised skin, it may worsen the psoriasis and cause the onset of facial psoriasis amongst other side-effects. It should not be used on folds of skin, and should never be used on the face. Some countries require blood testing before and during use to monitor any changes in the levels of calcium in the blood. Hands should be washed thoroughly after use.
Combined calcipotriol and corticosteroid
Calcipotriol is usually not to be mixed with corticosteroids at the same time due to problems with the active substances interfering with each other. Lately a product has appeared that combines Betamethasone dipropionate, a steroid based product and calcipotriol (Daivobet®/Dovobet®). This product is characterized by its rapid onset of action. The product is also more effective than the two products used separately. A third advantage with this product over most other products used to treat psoriasis is that its applied only once daily. Due to its rapid release of psoriasis symptoms it is suitable as an initial treatment.
Topical retinoids are synthetic forms of vitamin A. The retinoid tazarotene (Tazorac) is available as a gel or cream that is applied to the skin. If used alone, this preparation does not act as quickly as topical corticosteroids, but it does not cause thinning of the skin or other side effects associated with steroids. However, it can irritate the skin, particularly in skin folds and the normal skin surrounding a patch of psoriasis. It is less irritating and sometimes more effective when combined with a corticosteroid. Because of the risk of birth defects, women of childbearing age must take measures to prevent pregnancy when using tazarotene.
Anthralin reduces the increase in skin cells and inflammation. Doctors sometimes prescribe a 15- to 30-minute application of anthralin ointment, cream, or paste once each day to treat chronic psoriasis lesions. Afterward, anthralin must be washed off the skin to prevent irritation. This treatment often fails to adequately improve the skin, and it stains skin, bathtub, sink, and clothing brown or purple. In addition, the risk of skin irritation makes anthralin unsuitable for acute or actively inflamed eruptions.
Natural ultraviolet light from the sun and controlled delivery of artificial ultraviolet light are used in treating psoriasis.
Much of sunlight is composed of bands of different wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) light. When absorbed into the skin, UV light suppresses the process leading to disease, causing activated T cells in the skin to die. This process reduces inflammation and slows the turnover of skin cells that causes scaling. Daily, short, nonburning exposure to sunlight clears or improves psoriasis in many people. Therefore, exposing affected skin to sunlight is one initial treatment for the disease.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy
UVB is light with a short wavelength that is absorbed in the skin's epidermis. An artificial source can be used to treat mild and moderate psoriasis. Some physicians will start treating patients with UVB instead of topical agents. A UVB phototherapy, called broadband UVB, can be used for a few small lesions, to treat widespread psoriasis, or for lesions that resist topical treatment. This type of phototherapy is normally given in a doctor's office by using a light panel or light box. Some patients use UVB light boxes at home under a doctor's guidance.
A newer type of UVB, called narrowband UVB, emits the part of the ultraviolet light spectrum band that is most helpful for psoriasis. Narrowband UVB treatment is superior to broadband UVB, but it may be less effective than PUVA treatment (see next paragraph). It is gaining in popularity because it does help and is more convenient than PUVA. At first, patients may require several treatments of narrowband UVB spaced close together to improve their skin. Once the skin has shown improvement, a maintenance treatment once each week may be all that is necessary. However, narrowband UVB treatment is not without risk. It can cause more severe and longer lasting burns than broadband treatment.
Psoralen and ultraviolet A phototherapy (PUVA)
This treatment combines oral or topical administration of a medicine called psoralen with exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) light. UVA has a long wavelength that penetrates deeper into the skin than UVB. Psoralen makes the skin more sensitive to this light. PUVA is normally used when more than 10 percent of the skin is affected or when the disease interferes with a person's occupation (for example, when a teacher's face or a salesperson's hands are involved). Compared with broadband UVB treatment, PUVA treatment taken two to three times a week clears psoriasis more consistently and in fewer treatments. However, it is associated with more short term side effects, including nausea, headache, fatigue, burning, and itching. Care must be taken to avoid sunlight after ingesting psoralen to avoid severe sunburns, and the eyes must be protected for one to two days with UVA-absorbing glasses. Long-term treatment is associated with an increased risk of squamous-cell and, possibly, melanoma skin cancers. Simultaneous use of drugs that suppress the immune system, such as ciclosporin, have little beneficial effect and increase the risk of cancer.
Computerized tunable targeted light systems
Newly developed tunable targeted multiwavelength system claim to supersede classical phototherapy. These systems use narrow band UVB targeted selectively to the psoriatic lesions through a fiber optic delivery system. Since by using these systems light targets only the psoriatic lesions there is no damage to surrounding normal skin. Since normal skin is not exposed, high intensity may be used allowing clearing of psoriatic plaques in 8-10 treatments instead of 30 to 40 treatments with the classical full body phototherapy units.
Light therapy combined with other therapies
Studies have shown that combining ultraviolet light treatment and a retinoid, like acitretin, adds to the effectiveness of UV light for psoriasis. For this reason, if patients are not responding to light therapy, retinoids may be added. UVB phototherapy, for example, may be combined with retinoids and other treatments. One combined therapy program, referred to as the Ingram regime, involves a coal tar bath, UVB phototherapy, and application of an anthralin-salicylic acid paste that is left on the skin for 6 to 24 hours. A similar regime, the Goeckerman treatment, combines coal tar ointment with UVB phototherapy. Also, PUVA can be combined with some oral medications (such as retinoids) to increase its effectiveness.
Stubborn psoriasis on the scalp can be treated with a form of X-ray radiation called Grenz ray. There is a limit to the number of treatments that can be given. Effect is said to be longer lasting than other treatments. This form of therapy is considered to have unacceptable risks and is no longer used in most countries.
For more severe forms of psoriasis, doctors sometimes prescribe medicines that are taken internally by pill or injection. This is called systemic treatment. Systemic therapy should be instituted under the careful guidance of a specialist dermatologist.
Like ciclosporin, methotrexate slows cell turnover by suppressing the immune system. It can be taken by pill or injection. Patients taking methotrexate must be closely monitored because it can cause liver damage and/or decrease the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, infection-fighting white blood cells, and clot-enhancing platelets. As a precaution, doctors do not prescribe the drug for people who have had liver disease or anemia (an illness characterized by weakness or tiredness due to a reduction in the number or volume of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues). It is sometimes combined with PUVA or UVB treatments. Methotrexate should not be used by pregnant women, or by women who are planning to get pregnant, because it may cause birth defects.
A retinoid, such as acitretin (Soriatane or Neotigason), is a compound with vitamin A-like properties that may be prescribed for severe cases of psoriasis that do not respond to other therapies. Because this treatment may also cause birth defects, women must protect themselves from pregnancy beginning 1 month before through 3 years after treatment with acitretin. Most patients experience a recurrence of psoriasis after these products are discontinued. Common side effects include dry lips, hands and feet. Use of retinoids in conjunction with UV treatments has been found to be very effective for some people.
Taken orally, ciclosporin acts by suppressing the immune system to slow the rapid turnover of skin cells. It may provide quick relief of symptoms, but the improvement stops when treatment is discontinued. The best candidates for this therapy are those with severe psoriasis who have not responded to, or cannot tolerate, other systemic therapies. Its rapid onset of action is helpful in avoiding hospitalisation of patients whose psoriasis is rapidly progressing. Cyclosporine may impair kidney function or cause high blood pressure (hypertension). Therefore, patients must be carefully monitored by a doctor. Also, cyclosporine is not recommended for patients who have a weak immune system or those who have had skin cancers as a result of PUVA treatments in the past. It should not be given with phototherapy.
This drug is nearly as effective as methotrexate and cyclosporine. It has fewer side effects, but there is a greater likelihood of anemia. This drug must also be avoided by pregnant women and by women who are planning to become pregnant, because it may cause birth defects.
Compared with methotrexate and cyclosporine, hydroxyurea is somewhat more effective. It is sometimes combined with PUVA or UVB treatments. Possible side effects include anemia and a decrease in white blood cells and platelets. Like methotrexate and retinoids, hydroxyurea must be avoided by pregnant women or those who are planning to become pregnant, because it may cause birth defects. This is an extremely potent drug that was originally used to treat cancer patients in combination with chemotherapy.
These medications are not indicated in routine treatment of psoriasis. However, antibiotics may be employed when an infection, such as that caused by the bacteria Streptococcus, triggers an outbreak of psoriasis, as in certain cases of guttate psoriasis.
One of the newest classes of treatment for psoriasis are drugs collectively known as "biologics". These in general are types of manufactured proteins that attempt to impact the actual immune pathway of psoriasis, instead of affected skin cells. However, unlike other immunosuppression therapies such as Methotrexate, biologics try to narrowly focus on the one aspect of the immune function causing the psoriasis instead of broad immune system suppression. These drugs have only recently begun to receive approval by the FDA, and their long-term impact on immune function is currently unknown. Examples of biologics would be compounds such as Amevive®, etanercept (Enbrel®), Humira®, infliximab (Remicade®) and Raptiva.
Unproven anecdotal evidence suggests that psoriasis can be effectively managed through a healthy lifestyle. Some sufferers have found that minimizing stress and consumption of alcohol, sugar and other "aggressive" foods, combined with rest, sunshine and swimming in saltwater keep lesions to a minimum. This type of "lifestyle" treatment is effective as a long-term management strategy, rather than initial treatment of severe cases. One sufferer describes his psoriasis as his "barometer" which lets him know when he is getting too stressed and not living "well." This positive attitude and proactive approach can be an effective part of, or short-term replacement for, medical solutions.
Some also cite anecdotal evidence that vegetarianism prevents outbreaks of psoriasis.
OK, OK, I know that was really freakin long, but I hope it helps.