Topical treatment is sufficient for mild skin psoriasis. Lotions soften and moisturize the skin of psoriasis patients. While lotions do not treat the disease itself, they are an important part of basic care, because skin dryness maintains psoriasis symptoms. A suitable lotion eases symptoms, for instance itching and skin sensitiveness.
Mild cortisone creams are used to treat psoriasis on thin skin areas (face and intertriginous areas). In other areas, strong or very strong cortisone creams are used. The cortisone creams should be used periodically and according to your doctor’s instructions to avoid side effects.
Cortisone creams and vitamin D creams relieve symptoms, soothe inflammation and relieve itching.
Phototherapy or light therapy is used to treat psoriasis if topical treatment is insufficient. UVB or PUVA phototherapy are always provided on the basis of a referral from a physician.
Phototherapy is ultraviolet radiation, which is obtained from the sun and phototherapy devices. UV radiation relieves skin inflammation. Phototherapy is given as psoriasis treatment periodically, with up to two treatment periods each year. One treatment period generally consists of 15 to 30 treatments. Certain psoriasis associations lease UVB phototherapy devices, which patients who have a referral may use at home. The first treatment session cannot be performed at home. After visiting a hospital or a clinic for phototherapy you may borrow a UVB lamp home. The first referral for phototherapy at home must be provided by a specialist in dermatology.
For more information on borrowing UVB light therapy devices: please call 040 – 9052 543, or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Internal, so-called systemic treatment uses either pills or injections. Systemic treatment differs from topical treatment, because it affects the entire body and not only the area affected by psoriasis. Therefore, systemic therapy is only used for patients with medium or difficult psoriasis, or if other forms of therapies are ineffective. After anti-inflammatory drugs the primary systemic medicine for psoriasis and psoriatic arthiritis is methotrexate. It is well suited for long-term treatment. Methotrexate also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Biological drugs and biosimilars
A biological medicinal product differs from conventional synthetic chemical drug by its manufacturing technology and molecular structure. A biological drug is named after its manufacturing process, which utilises living cells. Their molecules are larger and their structure is more complex than the molecules of traditional drugs that are chemically produced. Biological medicines are used with patients who have moderate and severe psoriasis, especially when other systemic therapies are not sufficiently effective. The use of biological medicines is monitored closely, because available user experience stems from a shorter time period than with chemical medicines.
The method by which a medicinal product is administrated does not determine whether it is a biological or traditional chemical medicine. Biological medicines for the treatment of psoriasis are injectable, but also chemical medicines such as methotrexate can be administered by injection or as a pill.
The patent protection of some biological medicines for the treatment of psoriasis are about to expire, so biosimilars are being developed. Biosimilars mimic the structure and behaviour of the biological product, but they are not identical like traditional synthetic medicines and their generic counterparts.
Treatment of psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is most commonly treated with anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic drugs, the newest of which are biological drugs. Joints and inflamed tendons can also be treated locally with cortisone injections. Exercise can relieve pain and stiffness. Physiotherapist can provide guidance on exercise and sports that are more gentle on the joints. Motion is medicine for the joints.