Psoriasis is a common chronic skin condition characterized by flare-ups of rashes, skin inflammation, and itching. Psoriasis triggers can vary from person to person based on immune response and stressors, so it makes sense that different people will respond differently to psoriasis treatments. At Premier Dermatology in Alpharetta, GA, we offer several common treatments to manage psoriasis.
How Fast Do Psoriasis Treatments Work?
So, how fast will your psoriasis treatments take to work? To be honest, the speed of your treatment will be determined by different factors, such as the type of psoriasis you are diagnosed with, the severity of your condition, and how well you can avoid possible triggers. For example, the treatment of plaque psoriasis typically involves the use of topical corticosteroids, so you can generally see the results of this treatment within two to four weeks.
However, because psoriasis flare-ups can happen simultaneously and on different areas of the body, it’s possible to treat one area successfully and then need to treat another area. To treat all of your breakouts, it may take more time. The treatment of psoriasis is continual and may take months or even years to successfully manage. This is why the condition is considered chronic.
What Are the Most Common Treatments?
Even after you have successfully treated one flare-up, psoriasis can come back at any time in response to a variety of triggers. It’s also common for people to require progressively stronger treatments or alternate between treatments to keep outbreaks under control. Your treatment plan will be structured around the type of psoriasis you are diagnosed with, the degree of your flare-ups, and how well you can manage your triggers.
That said, most treatments for psoriasis are designed to treat the symptoms visible on the skin rather than the root cause of the condition, which is likely an overactive immune system. Treatments generally try to slow the growth of skin cells, reduce skin inflammation, and remove scaly or itchy patches of skin. The most common treatments include:
Most skin experts like to start treating psoriasis with conservative topical therapy as a first line of defense. Topical treatments are any prescription cream, gel, or ointment that is applied to the psoriasis outbreak. Corticosteroids are the most common topical treatment since prescription-strength creams can be applied to all areas of the skin. Different strengths of corticosteroids may be applied to different areas of the skin to treat flare-ups more efficiently.
That said, the use of corticosteroids is generally temporary so the treatment does not lose effectiveness. Other topical treatments may be used to treat or manage your condition, such as Vitamin D analogs for slowing cellular growth, retinoids to exfoliate the skin, salicylic acid to reduce scaly skin, or calcineurin inhibitors for inflammation.
Using lightwave therapy to treat psoriasis is also fairly common as an initial treatment option. Light therapy can be done alone or in conjunction with other topical and oral medications to adequately manage psoriasis. Research shows that psoriasis flare-ups respond positively to specific light waves, such as exposure to natural sunlight, UVB and UVA lights, or PUVA treatments.
For long-term management of psoriasis breakouts, other treatment options can be explored to limit flare-ups. Medications may include oral antibiotics or other biologics that are meant to address issues with an overactive immune system. However, using oral medications to manage psoriasis may not be appropriate for you because of other medications you may be taking, your age, or the severity of your skin condition. Incorporating medications in addition to other treatments may not be necessary.
Many patients also like to combine at-home treatments with prescription and in-office treatments to achieve better results. Some in-home treatments are recommended to soothe the skin and promote better skin health in a way that might prevent flare-ups. Keeping the skin moisturized with aloe vera gel or lotion can reduce itching and inflammation of the skin. Your dermatologist may recommend specific over-the-counter products to soothe the skin.
You and your dermatologist may work together to create an ongoing treatment plan so you can manage your condition at home if you have another flare-up. Some recommendations may include taking colloidal oatmeal baths, using colloidal oatmeal creams, having Epsom salt soaks, and even wrapping your treatment area at night to keep creams and ointments in place while you sleep.
What About Lifestyle Changes?
In the long term, it’s in your best interest to adopt lifestyle habits that will manage or prevent future psoriasis breakouts. Reducing alcohol consumption and stress maybe two keys to preventing flare-ups. Other lifestyle changes you can make may include regular exercise, adequate daily hydration, and eating a balanced diet. You can always speak with your dermatologist and your regular physician about ways to promote a healthier immune system.
Relief Is Quick With the Right Psoriasis Treatment
Using psoriasis treatments that are appropriate for you is the best way to get results more quickly. With the right treatment plan, you can significantly improve the condition of your skin in just a few short weeks. Please contact Premier Dermatology in Alpharetta, GA to schedule your psoriasis consultation today.