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Psoriasis: Medications and light therapies

To treat psoriasis, most people apply medication directly to their skin. If you need stronger treatment, your dermatologist may prescribe light treatments or medication that works throughout the body. Find information about the many different psoriasis treatments here.

Anguished woman with psoriasis on elbow
Should I treat psoriasis?

Treating psoriasis can benefit your body and mind. Find out how.

woman shopping for product
Can I treat psoriasis without prescription medication?

Most treatments that you buy without a prescription are meant to treat mild psoriasis. There is one that dermatologists recommend everyone who has psoriasis use.

woman applying lotion
How long will I have to treat psoriasis?

Find out how dermatologists answer this question, along with related questions, such as “What happens if I stop treatment?”

Concerned look on older woman.
How concerned should I be about my psoriasis?

Board-certified dermatologist Steve Feldman, MD, PhD, FAAD, is often asked this question. See what he tells them.

physician at laptop
What can treat pustular psoriasis?

A dermatologist will tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs. Here’s what the treatment plan can include.

What dermatologists want you to know about psoriasis treatment

Happy woman at laptop
Protect your health when buying psoriasis treatment online

Board-certified dermatologist Steve Feldman, MD, PhD, FAAD, tells you the one thing you need to do before buying any psoriasis treatment online.

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Financial help available for psoriasis treatment

If you cannot afford the treatment that your dermatologist prescribes, you may still be able to take it. See what financial help is available.

Female physician taking blood pressure of female patient.
Treating psoriasis reduces risk of heart attack and stroke

Treating psoriasis can do more than clear your skin. These psoriasis treatments may benefit your heart and blood vessels, too.

Psoriasis medication you apply to your skin

applying lotion to hands
Corticosteroids: A common psoriasis treatment

Dermatologists often include a corticosteroid in a psoriasis treatment plan. Find out why it’s prescribed and how to get the best results.

writing prescription
Coal tar: An age-old psoriasis treatment

Your dermatologist may prescribe coal tar alone or add it to a treatment plan that includes other medicines or phototherapy. Make sure you know where to never apply it.

Close-up of cream on tip of finger
Synthetic vitamin D can treat skin, scalp, and nails

This strong medication can flatten thick psoriasis, remove scale, and treat your nails. Find out how often most patients need to apply it.

Man caring for his skin
TCIs: An option for facial psoriasis

Prescribed to treat plaque and inverse psoriasis, these medications can be applied to sensitive areas, such as the face and armpits. Find out what to avoid if a TCI is part of your treatment plan.

Woman outside working in the garden wearing a hat, gloves, and long-sleeve shirt to protect from the sun
Tazarotene requires protecting your skin from the sun

Dermatologists often prescribe tazarotene along with a corticosteroid that you apply to your skin. Find out what this combination can do for psoriasis.

Light therapy that can treat psoriasis

Phototherapy treatment on the hand
Phototherapy can treat skin, scalp, and nails

If other treatment fails to work or proves unsafe for you, phototherapy may be a treatment option. See what’s involved.

Man holding an FDA approved sign
Wearable blue light has FDA approval

Approved to treat psoriasis at home, this device has some limitations. Find out what you should know before buying one.

Psoriasis medication that works throughout the body

Man taking medication
Apremilast: A pill taken twice a day

Apremilast provides strong treatment for plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. You’ll find information about how to take it, possible side effects, and more here.

Doctor fills a syringe with a biologic treatment medication
Biologics: Many approved to treat psoriasis

A biologic is an important treatment option for people with moderate-to-severe psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, or both. Get the facts.

Dermatologist showing patient printed information about biosimilars
Biosimilars: Highly similar to a biologic

This information can help you understand what a biosimilar is, why your dermatologist may prescribe one, and when your pharmacist may give you a biosimilar instead of the biologic your dermatologist prescribed.

person with pill in hand
Cyclosporine: A fast-acting medication

This medication can treat extensive or disabling psoriasis. Find out how long people typically take it, what to avoid, and more.

woman taking pill
Methotrexate: Used for years to treat severe psoriasis

If this medication is an option for you, you should not drink alcohol while on methotrexate. Here’s what else you should know.

Doctor holding prescription pad
“Off-label” medicine can be effective

Finding the right treatment can be challenging. Sometimes, a medication used to treat another condition works best, such as one of these.

Mature woman with hand on chin reading label on prescription medicine bottle
Oral retinoid: Acitretin

Approved to treat severe psoriasis, this strong medication has proven effective for treating different types of psoriasis. Learn more.