Which Topical Treatments Works Best for Psoriasis?
Last updated: December 2022
I have used topical ointments and creams for my psoriasis for 55 years. While it will not cure the disease, (nothing will) it will help with outbreaks and discomfort. However, knowing which treatments will work best for you, is not always obvious right away. If you are newly diagnosed with psoriasis, then you should know this is a trial and error process. There are varying degrees of psoriasis. It ranges from mild to severe and what works for one person, may not work for another.
Psoriasis can occur at any age
Recently one of my friends noticed a rash on his legs. I told him it looked like psoriasis. He looked at me baffled and said, “I’m 61 years old and I have never had this before.” I told him he should go see his doctor and have it checked out. He then confided in me he had recently suffered a mild heart attack, which I thought triggered his psoriasis. I told him that psoriasis can develop at any stage of your life. I think he knew it was psoriasis because he had another family member who had this disease since they were teenagers and he had been around me for over 30 years, so he knew what psoriasis looked like.
This inspired me to write about simple topical treatments for people who are new to psoriasis. I didn’t want them to try one option and it not work and then they would feel immediately helpless. This was the case of my friend who tried one cream that had zero effect and he became very discouraged. Because of his heart attack, he was scared to try a biologic.
Navigating treatment options when newly diagnosed
Having developed psoriasis late in his life, he had no education about the disease and even less about skin maintenance. I suggested he try a few products with different ingredients and pay attention to what improves the condition of his skin. He could even use a combination of over the counter products (OTC) for better results. There are so many different treatments available from holistic to biologics.
I have put together a list of lotions that I used for years; some worked and some didn’t. You need to keep your skin hydrated. This still doesn’t answer the question what topical treatments help psoriasis best. This is an important question, especially for those that can’t afford the most expensive options or who want to avoid prescription dependence. Also, for those whose psoriasis cases are mild enough OTC treatments can be beneficial by themselves.
A look at some treatment options
Here are the most popular options for people with mild to moderate psoriasis. Keep in mind, trial and error is the way to discover what works best for you. Keep your emotions and stress in check, stay positive, keep hydrating and then hopefully one of these treatments will work best for you. You can also combine certain products for maximum results.
- Coal tar products – This was one of the first treatments that I had used for my psoriasis. This was back in the 60’s. Tar products are still around today.
- Hydrocortisone products (itching and redness) Aveeno has been one I have used for years too.
- Kerotolytic agents - helps loosen flakes, you can get this over the counter.
- Aloe Vera – used real plant gel, open up and aloe leaf and squeeze the gel on your skin.
- Corticosteroids – This is help with the inflammation and slow the growth of the skin cells so they don’t build up.
- Salicylic Acid – This is help get rid of scales. This comes in lotions, gels, soaps and shampoos.
Sometimes there are some side effects with using a topical treatment; such as thinning of the skin, broke blood vessels, bruising and stretch marks.
You can combine some things with vitamin D, fish oil, other emollients and plenty of quality moisturizing lotions. Keep in mind these natural and over-the-counter remedies can help with symptoms and improve the appearance of your psoriasis but may not get rid of it completely. This is why creating a plan of action with your doctor is key.
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?