Are There Alternative Therapies For Psoriasis
Conventional therapy is one that has been tested with clinical trials or has other evidence of clinical effectiveness. The FDA has approved several drugs for the treatment of psoriasis as described above. Some patients look to alternative therapy, diet changes, supplements, or stress-reducing techniques to help reduce symptoms. For the most part, alternative therapies have not been tested with clinical trials, and the FDA has not approved dietary supplements for the treatment of psoriasis. There are no specific foods to eat or to avoid for patients with psoriasis. However, some other therapies can be found on the National Psoriasis Foundation website. Individuals should check with their doctors before starting any therapy.
What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
Talk With Others Who Understand
MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 87,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis.
Has psoriasis in the ears impacted your life? What treatments work for you? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on MyPsoriasisTeam.
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Is There A Test For Psoriasis
To see if you have psoriasis, your doctor usually examines your skin, scalp, and nails for signs of the condition. They may also ask questions about your health and history.
This information can help the doctor figure out if you have psoriasis, and, if so, identify which type. To rule out other skin conditions that look like psoriasis, your doctor may take a small skin sample to look at under a microscope.
Psoriasis Of The Ears
Plaque psoriasis may appear in the external ear canal, but is very rare inside the ear or behind the eardrum. A buildup of scale in the ear may cause temporary hearing loss and debris should be carefully removed by a doctor, says the National Psoriasis Foundation. The safest treatment for psoriasis in this sensitive part of the body is prescription steroid solutions, which may be applied directly to the external ear canal or dripped into the ear canal.
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Tips From Mypsoriasisteam Members
MyPsoriasisTeam members often share their tips for managing psoriasis on the eyelid.
One member wrote, I am applying Aquaphor in the morning and right before bed. When the itching gets intense, I use hydrocortisone 2.5 percent. I have to do it religiously to keep it at bay.
Other members suggest coconut oil, cold-pressed castor oil, or A& D ointment for their eyelid psoriasis. Another member shared her tip: Johnsons Baby Shampoo. It’s the only soap product I will use on my eyelids. It seems to help.
Other members look beyond over-the-counter products for relief. Try betamethasone cream 0.05 percent, available by prescription, a member wrote. I use it for sensitive areas, like around my eyes.
The Link Between Psoriasis And The Immune System
No one ever really considered that the immune system had any real role in psoriasis, or its painful outbreaks. Not until a new drug Cyclosporine was offered to arthritis patients. What happened next was both surprising and unexpected. Patients who were prescribed the immune suppressing drug for their arthritis symptoms , began to report a decrease in their skin attacks. Without warning, researchers were faced with the theory that the immune system could be causing psoriasis.
It didnt take long before researchers began to figure out the mystery of psoriasis in regards to how the immune system can impact it.
The Role of the Immune System on the Skin
The immune system is responsible for standing guard and attacking any invaders which penetrate the body. Since the skins main job is to act as the bodys first defense mechanism against invasion, it is no wonder that the immune system works in close connection with each layer of the skin. Heres how it all works:
1. Immune cells patrol the entire body for dangers. Rs11652075 Psoriasis
2. When an invader is detected, these immune send out chemical and nervous system messages to the immune system to ready itself for an attack
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Psoriasis Of The Scalp
The scalp is one of the most common body parts to be affected by psoriasis, says the National Psoriasis Foundation. Scalp psoriasis may range from small patches of fine scales to a thick, crusty covering over the whole scalp. In severe cases, scalp psoriasis may extend onto the forehead, down the back of the neck, and over the ears. Common scalp psoriasis treatments are coal tar and salicylic acid-medicated shampoo. More serious cases may be treated topically with Dritho-Scalp or Dovonex .
Can I Still Have Sex If I Have Genital Psoriasis
The short answer is yes if it feels good. It all depends on the severity of your flare-up and personal preference. Genital psoriasis doesnt spread by sexual contact, nor does it affect fertility.
If youre having a genital psoriasis flare-up, friction from sexual contact can be painful and might worsen your symptoms. Ask your doctor if condoms or lubricants are advisable and which kinds are best. After having sex, gently clean and pat dry the area completely.
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How Psoriasis Is Diagnosed
A GP can often diagnose psoriasis based on the appearance of your skin.
In rare cases, a small sample of skin called a biopsy will be sent to the laboratory for examination under a microscope.
You may be referred to a specialist in diagnosing and treating skin conditions if your doctor is uncertain about your diagnosis, or if your condition is severe.
If your doctor suspects you have psoriatic arthritis, which is sometimes a complication of psoriasis, you may be referred to a doctor who specialises in arthritis .
You may have blood tests to rule out other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and X-rays of the affected joints may be taken.
What Does Genital Psoriasis Look Like
In general, psoriasis looks like patches of red skin with thick, shiny scales. When it develops in the genital area, the patches may be a brighter red, but you usually wont see the classic scales of psoriasis.
When it occurs within the folds of your skin, also known as inverse psoriasis, the color may be more of a reddish-white or reddish-grey. Your skin can become cracked and sore and may bleed. When it occurs in the skin folds, psoriasis can also look a lot like a yeast infection. Learn more about what inverse psoriasis looks like.
The genitals are a sensitive area, so your skin is likely to be tender. Genital psoriasis can cause itching, burning, and discomfort. It can even become painful.
Many items can aggravate symptoms, including:
- tight clothes
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Psoriasis In Ears: Causes Symptoms And Treatment
The ear is among the most frustrating places to experience symptoms of psoriasis, whether around the ear, behind it, or in the ear canal. When psoriasis affects the ears, it can lead to a particular set of symptoms including temporary hearing loss and require specialized treatment.
I can’t believe it: in my ears, shared one member of the MyPsoriasisTeam. I thought this was an external skin thing only. Arghh!
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that can affect many areas of the body, including the ears. Among its most prominent symptoms are areas of painful, itchy, discolored, dry, or scaly skin.
How Would You Describe Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. These patches normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body. Most people are only affected with small patches.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Psoriasis
Psoriasis plaques can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. The diseases symptoms and appearance vary according to the type and severity of psoriasis.
Some common signs and symptoms include:
- Discolored patches or raised plaques of skin that are covered with scales
- Burning, itching, or soreness near the affected areas
- Pitted or thickened fingernails or toenails
Continuing Taking Your Medications
People with psoriasis should continue their current biologic or immunosuppressive therapy when they are vaccinated. The only exception is in people age 60 and older who take methotrexate. This group should discuss whether to hold their medication with their healthcare provider.
Although research studies have not been conducted, experts think that a person’s ability to develop immunity probably depends on the specific immunosuppressive agent being taken.
For instance, patients who take methotrexate have a harder time building immunity with other vaccines, like influenza and pneumococcal, whereas people who take tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors develop strong immunity with vaccination.
Overall, experts recommend complete vaccination for people with psoriasis. Some immunity is better than none.
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Psoriasis Beyond The Basics
There are many different types of psoriasis, including chronic plaque psoriasis, types of pustular psoriasis , guttate psoriasis, scalp psoriasis, flexural psoriasis, napkin psoriasis, nail psoriasis and erythrodermic psoriasis .
For those that have psoriasis around 1 in 4 may develop an associated psoriatic arthritis , which is about 325,000 people, or around 0.5% of the UK population. PsA causes pain and swelling in the joints and tendons, accompanied by stiffness particularly in the mornings. The most commonly affected sites are the hands, feet, lower back, neck and knees, with movement in these areas becoming severely limited.
Not all people will be affected in the same way and doctors will class the condition as mild, moderate or severe.
Remember, although psoriasis is a chronic condition, it can be controlled and go into remission .
Foods High In Added Sugar
Added sugars in soda, fruit juices, candy, baked goods and other sweets are different from natural sugars in food such as fruit. Our bodies produce insulin to process sugar, but too much added sugar forces our bodies to store that extra energy in fat cells and inflame the fat tissue. Foods with lots of added sugars can also lead to increased levels of inflammatory proteins called cytokines. Some studies suggest that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame may also lead to chronic inflammation.
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What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have psoriasis, ask your healthcare provider:
- How can I prevent outbreaks and control symptoms?
- What medication will work best for me?
- What else should I do to improve symptoms?
- What are my options if creams dont work?
- Will psoriasis ever go away?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Psoriasis, an itchy skin condition, can come and go throughout your life. Its related to an overactive immune response and is not contagious. If you have skin changes that arent going away, talk to your healthcare provider. There is no cure for psoriasis, but psoriasis treatments can improve symptoms. Your provider may prescribe a special cream or moisturizer or medications. Other therapies are available if creams or medicines dont work. Maintaining your overall health will also help improve symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/17/2020.
Intimacy Can Still Be Possible
If you are feeling anxious about sexual activity because of psoriasis, talk to your partner and educate them about psoriasis. Let them know that psoriasis isnt contagious and help to put them at ease. It is always a good idea to discuss psoriasis before you are intimate, so it is not a surprise.
To reduce friction and pain during sexual activity, use lubricants during sex. Choose products labeled cooling over warming lubricants. Warming lubricants often contain ingredients that inflame sensitive skin and might trigger psoriasis flares.
You can also make your own lubricant using olive oil, aloe vera, or coconut oil. However, oil-based lubricants should not be used with latex condoms, as they can degrade the latex and lead to condom failure.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following ways to reduce irritation with sexual intercourse.
- Postpone sex when the skin around the genitals is raw or inflamed.
- Before sex, gently cleanse intimate areas using mild, fragrance-free cleansers.
- During sex, use lubricated condoms to reduce irritation in intimate areas affected by psoriasis.
- After sex, gently wash and dry intimate areas to reduce irritation.
- Reapply topical medications after sexual intercourse.
Following your treatment plan and taking your medications as prescribed can help to improve psoriasis symptoms regardless of where they are located on the body.
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Psoriasis Of The Legs
Plaque psoriasis is also common on the legs and/or knees. Your doctor may prescribe a vitamin D cream, like Dovonex or Rocaltrol , to reduce the rate of skin cell growth, or a topical retinoid, as well as regular application of an over-the-counter cortisone cream or ointment-based moisturizer. If topical treatments are unsuccessful, light therapy may be recommended.
Genital And Anal Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis at the genitals is sometimes called genital psoriasis. A study from 2017 in the journal Dermatology & Therapy reported the prevalence and effect on quality of life of people with plaque psoriasis who had genital involvement. Researchers found that 70% of the study participants had genital involvement.
Among these study participants, 100% reported itch and discomfort, 95% reported redness, burning, and stinging, 85% reported pain, and 75% reported scaling. Many of the study participants reported that itch, stinging, and burning were the most bothersome symptoms.
Inverse psoriasis is a rare form of psoriasis that affects between 3% and 7% of people with psoriasis. It often affects the genital and anal areas at areas where the skin folds or creases.
It can cause ongoing discomfort to the upper thighs, pubis, the folds between the thighs and groin, the vulva, penis, anus, and buttocks. Inverse psoriasis causes dry, red, inflamed patches on the skin of these sensitive areas.
Upper thighs: Inverse psoriasis can cause red, inflamed patches on the upper thighs. This can be especially irritating when the thighs rub together with walking or running.
Pubis: The pubis, also called the pubic bone, is located just above the genitals. In this area, the skin is very sensitive. Itching and scratching can make this area even more inflamed and sore.
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Psoriasis Of The Trunk
Guttate psoriasis, which often flares up suddenly, appears as small, salmon-pink, droplet-shaped bumps on the skin. It is found most often on the trunk, as well as the arms and legs. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, about 10 percent of people with psoriasis have guttate psoriasis. Common triggers include stress, tonsillitis, streptococcal infections, and injury to the skin. Doctors typically prescribe topical treatments or light therapy to treat guttate psoriasis.
What Psoriasis Creams And Topical Agents Can I Use
Medications applied directly to the skin are the first line of treatment options for psoriasis.
The main topical treatments are:
- anthralin, or
For more detailed information on each medication, see Understanding Psoriasis Medications. Generic drug names are listed below with examples of brands in parentheses.
- Corticosteroids: Topical corticosteroids are the mainstay of treatment in mild or limited psoriasis and come in a variety of forms. Foams and solutions are best for scalp psoriasis and other thickly hair-bearing areas, such as a hairy chest or hairy back. Creams are usually preferred by patients, but ointments are more potent than any other vehicles, even at the same percentage concentration.
- Super potent topical corticosteroids such as clobetasol propionate and betamethasone dipropionate augmented are commonly prescribed corticosteroids for use on non-facial, non-intertriginous areas .
- As the condition improves, one may be able to use potent steroids such as:
- mometasone furoate or
- halcinonide or
- mid-potency steroids such as triamcinolone acetonide or betamethasone valerate . These creams or ointments are usually applied once or twice a day, but the dose depends on the severity of psoriasis as well as the location and thickness of the plaque.
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Changes In Nail Shape Or Thickness
In addition to pitting, you might notice other changes in the texture of your nails. Psoriasis can cause lines called Beaus lines to form across your nails.
Weakness of the structures that support nails can cause your nails to crumble. Nails can also become thicker due to a fungal infection called onychomycosis, which is common in people with psoriasis.
Traditional Treatment Cautions Can You Get Eczema Or Psoriasis On Your Scalp
You make an appointment to see your doctor because your psoriasis is flaring. He takes a look and then whips out his prescription pad to order one of the following:
. A prescription strength topical treatment
. oral and injection therapy
. over the counter drugs
Any of these treatments may work fine to relieve your symptoms and make you feel better for now. The trouble with conventional treatment methods is that they rarely work to cure the underlying cause of this skin condition and that can leave you suffering repeat attacks. Still it is important to know what helps are available, and how they may help or hurt your chance of treatment success.
Topical Ointments Can You Get Eczema or Psoriasis on Your Scalp
Topical ointments are used at the first sign of psoriasis. If caught early enough they can sometimes stave off a full-blown attack. Unfortunately, most people report becoming immune to them when used often, which makes them useless for long term use. Still, using the occasional cream or gel can help relieve some of your symptoms. Steroids
Both topical and internal steroids can be prescribed to help ease psoriasis swelling inflammation and itching. Immunomodulators
An immune suppressing drug that was originally used to help transplant patients beat organ rejection, Cyclosporine helps to inhibit T lymphocyte production so that scaly plaque is unable to grow on the surface of the skin.
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