Psoriasis Treatments

Printer-friendly version

Main treatment areas

Although psoriasis is a chronic long term condition with no cure, it can be controlled and go into remission (go away). Not all people will be affected in the same way and doctors will class the condition as mild, moderate or severe. The following are the different types of treatments you may be offered.(Please note these are listed alphabetically and not in the order use, and is for reference only. Always follow your health care provider's advice)


The use of antifungal agents in psoriatic care tends to revolve around the treatment of seborrhoeic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis... read more

Coal Tar

Coal tar therapy has been used for well over a century in dermatology.

It is a topical treatment mostly used for acute scalp psoriasis. It has anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in chronic plaque psoriasis; it also has antiscaling properties. Crude coal tar (coal tar, BP) is the most effective form, typically in a concentration of 1 to 10% in a soft paraffin base, but few outpatients tolerate the smell and mess... read more

Combination Therapies

Sometimes clinicians will prescribe a product containing one or more active ingredients with different functions. This may be in order to simplify the number of treatments being applied at any one time or because the agents combined together have been shown to act better than when used more


Dithranol has been used for over 100 years in the treatment of psoriasis. It is a chemical of plant origin, taken from the bark of a South American tree... read more


Emollients soothe, smooth and hydrate the skin and are indicated for all dry or scaling disorders. Their effects are short-lived and they should be applied frequently even after improvement occurs. They are useful in dry and eczematous disorders, and to a lesser extent in psoriasis... read more

Immunosuppressants and Biologics

Methotrexate was discovered to be effective in clearing psoriasis in the 1950s and was eventually approved for this use in the 1970s. In psoriasis, methotrexate works by preventing the excessive division and multiplication of skin cells that causes the skin scaling and raised plaques in this more


The light produced by the sun can be split into the colours we see in a rainbow – at one end of the spectrum are the ultraviolet (UV) rays, further divided into ultraviolet A, B, and C. Phototherapy for psoriasis is the use of artificially generated ultraviolet light A and B rays via specialist equipment... read more


Retinoids are a derivative of vitamin A and can be used both orally and by direct application to the skin. They should not be confused with the vitamin A products that are bought from chemists or supermarkets as vitamin supplements.

Oral acitretin is an effective vitamin A based treatment for psoriasis. It is only prescribable by more


Topical corticosteroids are used for the treatment of inflammatory conditions of the skin (other than those arising from an infection).

They are effective in conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. They are of no value in urticaria or Pruritus (itch) and will make the symptoms of rosacea and acne more

Vitamin D analogues

Vitamin D analogues , calcipotriol, calcitriol and tacalcitol, should not be confused with vitamin tablets or liquids that you may take as dietary supplements. Whilst their chemical structure may be based on a vitamin D3 molecule they have been modified to have a completely different more

Resources | About Psoriasis | Psoriasis Treatments | About Psoriatic Arthritis | Psoriatic ArthritisTreatments | Articles | Further informationImage Gallery | Downloads | A-Z encyclopaedia | Other Diseases | Skin ‘n’ Bones Connection | References | Misspell | FAQs