Psoriasis is a skin condition which causes flaking, redness, itching and general irritation. It is chronic in nature and affects around two in 100 UK people.
- Undergoes periods of remission and flare-up
- Thought to be caused by an autoimmune response
- Can be set off by a series of triggers
We do not offer treatment for psoriasis through our site. Speak to your GP if you are seeking treatment, or looking to renew your prescription.
0 treatment(s) for Psoriasis
- Available as a cream and an adhesive tape
- Inhibits the release of inflammatory chemicals
- Reduces redness and irritation
- Fast-acting relief from skin inflammation
- Contains a corticosteroid and an emollient
- Simple to apply
- Simple to use ointment for psoriasis
- Apply it three or four times a day
- Proficient at reducing inflammation
Psoriasis is a condition whereby patches of the skin turn red and become inflamed, leading to itching and feelings of irritation, as well as scaly skin flakes. In addition to the above symptoms, pustules may develop around the affected area of skin too in some cases. It is a chronic condition which goes through periods of flare-up and remission, with attacks usually being set off by certain triggers.
These can vary from person to person, but those more commonly identified as being responsible for an outbreak of symptoms include stress, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, reaction to medication, skin injury, or hormonal changes in the body. Most people will develop signs of psoriasis for the first time prior to the age of 35, although it can occur at any time.
Roughly two in every 100 people in the UK have psoriasis, but it is still a condition which is not fully understood.
In psoriasis, the body’s defences attack the skin cells in the area affected, and cause inflammatory chemicals to travel to this region.
Known as an autoimmune response, the immune system usually does this when it perceives a threat such as an infection. However, in some cases, no threat may be present, and this response may occur for another reason. The inflammatory chemicals the body releases trigger the generation of new skin cells, before the older ones are ready to be shed. This causes the flaking and shedding we associate with psoriasis, along with redness.
Treatment for psoriasis will usually depend on the severity of symptoms, and where on the body the outbreak is located. Psoriasis can occur anywhere, but it more commonly appears on the lower back, elbows and knees, the hands, and the scalp. Most moderate to severe cases are medicated with corticosteroid treatment, such as Betnovate and Modrasone. This works by preventing the action of inflammatory chemicals, thereby reducing redness and irritation and helping the affected area to heal.
Hydromol HC Intensive, as well as containing a corticosteroid, also contains urea. This is a natural constituent which helps the skin to retain moisture, and may be used in cases of excessive dryness.
Synalar N is an example of a treatment which contains both a corticosteroid and an antibiotic. This is sometimes used in instances where signs of a mild infection are present, or if there is a high risk of an infection developing where symptoms are present.
Where skin symptoms have appeared on the skin around the body, cream or ointment may be administered, whereas cases of psoriasis on the scalp may be treated with scalp lotion or a foam such as Bettamousse.
Many of the corticosteroid products used to treat psoriasis are not suitable for use on the face, or will need to be applied to this area will special care. If you have developed symptoms on or around the face, it is better to consult with a doctor first and ask them for their guidance.
Please note that we do not provide psoriasis treatment through our service at this time. If you are developing symptoms for the first time or have not used psoriasis treatment before, you should make an appointment to see your GP in person.
There are four main types of topical treatment available for psoriasis: gels, ointments, creams and scalp lotions.
Also available through our website is Bettamousse, which is a foam applied to the scalp; and Haelan, which is available as a tape.
Most types of treatment for psoriasis contain a corticosteroid agent. Some might contain an additional ingredient.
Synalar N ointment is one example. This contains neomycin, a type of antibiotic. This is used to treat infected cases of psoriasis.
Hydromol contains urea, which helps the skin to retain moisture.
How do they work?
Corticosteroid medicines reduce inflammation caused by autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis by inhibiting the activity of defensive chemicals. This helps to decrease irritation and ease redness and skin shedding.
Antibiotics are used to limit and treat bacterial infections. These can sometimes be a complication of psoriasis, and manifest in the form of pustules.
What are the side effects?
Some of the side effects associated with topical corticosteroids include thinning of the skin and stretch marks, however these are much more likely to occur with prolonged use. Refer to the respective page for each product for more information.
Can I take them with other medications?
It is crucial to tell your doctor during consultation if you are using any other medications, as they may interact with and inhibit the function of the above treatments.
What’s the difference between the medications?
Many of the treatments psoriasis contain an agent called a corticosteroid which helps to reduce the effect of inflammatory chemicals in the body.
Others, including Synalar, contain an additional antibiotic ingredient, which might be used in cases of psoriasis which become infected.
Urea is another ingredient which is present in some of these medications, such as in Hydromol. This softens the skin, so it is easier to moisturise.
Should I take cream, ointment, scalp lotion or gel?
It mostly depends on where your symptoms are situated. Scalp lotion is indicated for use on the scalp only, whereas cream, ointment and gel are used on other areas of the skin. Your GP will provide you with further guidance during your consultation with them.
Are there different side effects?
The side effects are essentially the same for those topical medicines containing just a corticosteroid, and these might include skin thinning and stretch marks. In those products where more than one ingredient is present, such as in those described above, other side effects may also have been recorded. More information can be found on the respective product pages.
Is it right for me?
Which medication you use will be determined by your GP during a face-to-face consultation, and review of your symptoms. They will initiate a prescription as appropriate.
We do not provide psoriasis medication through our pharmacy at this time. Please refer to your GP if you are seeking treatment for the first time or looking to renew your prescription.
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