What Are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?
A chronic skin condition, psoriasis shows up as thick raised skin lesions that are red in color and often covered with scales.
What Causes Psoriasis?
While the condition is easy for doctors to identify, understanding what causes psoriasis has proved difficult for medical science. The condition seems to occur when the immune system begins to attack the skin, causing the body to produce extra cells that lead to a build-up of tissue; however, why or how this occurs remains a mystery.
What to Do for Psoriasis
Because scientists are still investigating the causes of psoriasis, no cure has been discovered for the condition. As a result, the goal of psoriasis skin care is to alleviate discomfort caused by outbreaks and help flare-ups subside as quickly as possible when they occur. If you're not sure what type of skin care products are the best choice to help you manage psoriasis symptoms, your doctor can provide you with advice.
Is Coal Tar Good for Psoriasis?
Some over-the-counter skin care products for psoriasis are intended to help diminish the appearance of the thickened skin that develops during outbreaks. One ingredient used for this purpose is coal tar, a by-product of coal. When applied to a psoriasis rash, coal tar appears to help slow down the overproduction of skin cells that leads to psoriasis.
While coal tar produces results for many people, the substance has a very strong smell and can stain clothing.
How Does Salicylic Acid Help Psoriasis?
Another ingredient found in products used to address outbreaks is salicylic acid, which exfoliates the skin in areas where plaques have formed.
Can Hydrocortisone Help Psoriasis?
If itching is your biggest concern when psoriasis outbreaks strike, you can use topical products to alleviate the discomfort. Many of the anti-itch creams, ointments and lotions made for psoriasis sufferers contain hydrocortisone. This over-the-counter medicine works by suppressing the actions of inflammatory substances in the body that can irritate the skin. This helps ease some of the redness, swelling and itching that accompanies an outbreak.
Are there Any Natural Remedies for Psoriasis?
Some psoriasis sufferers prefer to use natural products to manage symptoms instead of medicinal treatments. While medical science is still studying the benefits of these types of products, many people do get relief from symptoms with their help.
A number of herbs have historical use as folk remedies for psoriasis, including Oregon grape, avocado oil, aloe vera and oregano oil. These and other herbal ingredients are now available in creams, ointments and lotions for psoriasis.
You can also find topical products that are formulated using the principles of homeopathy, an alternative medical system developed during the late 18th century. Ingredients often used in homeopathic psoriasis products include Apis mellifica, calendula, sulfur and Rhus toxicodendron. back to top »