Topical treatments for Psoriasis are applied directly to the skin. These are the first medications most often prescribed by doctors for patients with psoriasis. These treatments for Psoriasis are used on their own for mild forms of the disease, or in combination with phototherapy or systemic therapy for moderate to severe cases. Topical indications are typically used when psoriasis is only a few localized areas and not severe and uncomfortable for the patient.
Tips for Topical Steroid Therapy Treatment of Psoriasis
. If you have very thick, scaly lesions you may need to apply salicylic acid (as in combination with a topical steroid, or in a topical cream or ointment, as prescribed by your doctor) to reduce the
scales and enable the active medication to absorb the skin better.
. If you are applying to very thin skin (such as the genitals or face), check with a doctor or pharmacist that the potency / strength of the steroid you are using is right one for you.
. Avoid applying stronger steroids to the face or skin folds unless instructed by a doctor. Also, make sure you know the duration your doctor wants you to use them, especially when applied to these sensitive areas.
The most common side effects reported with prolonged use of potent corticosteroids are stretch marks (striae) and thinning of the skin (atrophy). Both of these side effects occur with continued use of treatment (after at least one month of continuous use), and tend to occur in areas where the skin is more sensitive or thin, especially the armpits and groin. Thinning of the skin is normally reversible if found early and treatment is ceased. Stretch marks can also occur and are usually irreversible. Other side effects include:
. inflammation of the hair follicle (folliculitis)
. increased blood vessel formation
. rebound of psoriasis (on stopping the treatment, usually abruptly)
. Acne (perioral acne)
. acne-like eruptions (rosacea)
. increased darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation)
. increased lightening of the skin (hypopigmentation)
. contact or irritant dermatitis
. easy bruising (purpura)
. loss of response (tachyphylaxis)
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