Psoriasis Treatment

Light Treatment Combined With Other Therapies
Studies have shown that combining ultraviolet light treatment for psoriasis and a retinoid, like acitretin, adds to the effectiveness of UV light. For this reason, if a person is not responding to light therapy, retinoids may be added. UVB phototherapy, for example, may be combined with retinoids and other psoriasis treatments.
One combined therapy program, referred to as the Ingram regime, involves a coal tar bath, UVB phototherapy, and application of an anthralin-salicylic acid paste that is left on the skin for 6 to 24 hours. A similar regime, the Goeckerman treatment, combines coal tar ointment with UVB phototherapy. Also, PUVA can be combined with some oral psoriasis medications (such as retinoids) to increase its effectiveness.

Systemic Psoriasis Treatment

For more severe forms of psoriasis, healthcare providers may prescribe medicines that are taken internally by pill or injection. This is called systemic psoriasis treatment. Some medications used in this form of treatment can include:
Methotrexate slows cell turnover by suppressing the immune system that triggers the disease. As a psoriasis treatment, it is usually taken once a week, either by pill or injection to treat moderate to severe psoriasis.
People taking methotrexate must be closely monitored because it can cause liver damage and/or decrease the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, infection-fighting white blood cells, and clot-enhancing platelets.
As a precaution, healthcare providers do not prescribe this medication for psoriasis in people who have had liver disease or anemia. It is sometimes combined with PUVA or UVB treatments.
Methotrexate should not be used by pregnant women, or by women who are planning to get pregnant, because it may cause birth defects.
Many healthcare providers recommend taking folic acid 1 mg daily or folinic acid 5 mg weekly to decrease the risk of certain methotrexate side effects, such as upset stomach or a sore mouth.

Information on Psoriasis

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