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The Painful Truth About Psoriasis--Traditional Medical Treatments

As previously posted, psoriasis is a chronic immune mediated disorder that causes raised red scaly patches to appear on the skin.  You might not think of it as a chronic pain disorder, but it's not exactly comfortable to be living with this condition all the time. If left untreated, psoriasis can develop into psoriatic arthritis. Other possible complications include eye issues, type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease and more.  So it makes sense to manage and treat it, because it certainly is much more than a simple skin condition.

There are several methods that are used to manage psoriasis in traditional medical practice. Here are some examples:

Biologics--usually administered via IV infusion, these drugs are usually used for more severe cases or cases in which other treatments have been ineffective.

Systemics--these are for moderate to severe cases of psoriasis.  Some are injectable and some are oral medications. They include drugs such as cyclosporine and methotrexate and are usually reserved for people who don't respond to topical medications and/or phototherapy.

A new oral treatment, Otezla® is in a class of its own.  It is an enzyme inhibitor that works by inhibiting certain molecules involved in the inflammatory process.

Topicals are usually the first-line therapy for psoriasis patients.  These include topical steroids, coal tar products, and derivatives of salicylic acid.  Some of them are available over the counter.

Phototherapy involves exposing the affected skin to ultraviolet light. This is usually done under medical supervision at a doctor's office or clinic.

Sources:; Mayo Clinic; Wikimedia


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