Psoriasis Non Systemic Therapies
Topical therapies are treatments that are applied directly on the affected skin and requires daily application. They include emollients (moisturisers); tar preparations; Vitamin D analogues and Vitamin A analogues; ditranol and non-prescription over-the-counter medicines like topical steroidsii. Medicated shampoos and lotions are also available for the treatment of scalp psoriasis..
Topical therapies are usually the initial treatment for most patients and may be sufficient for managing mild to moderate conditions.
Like all options, there are pros and cons. Topical therapies are applied right at the affected area and have few side effects. However, some can have unpleasant odours and be messy when applied, while some others can stain and be time consuming to use.
Phototherapy using Ultraviolet Light
Phototherapy involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light using special light machines under medical supervision. There are two types of phototherapy – Ultraviolet B (UVB) and Psoralen plus Ultraviolet A (PUVA). PUVA, combines exposure to UVA light with the use of psoralens, chemicals that are either applied to the skin or taken in a tablet form, to make the skin more sensitive to the UV light.ii
Phototherapy is usually only available in specialist skin departments. Like all treatment, phototherapy comes with its risks and benefits. Talk to your doctor and remember to tell them about all the medications you are taking, including any over-the counter medications or supplements. Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to light and increase the risk of sunburn.