Medications and light treatments for psoriasis

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. You’ll find information about the different psoriasis treatments below. Within these pages, you’ll also find dermatologists’ tips to help you get the best results.

ointmentMedication applied to the skin

psoriasis light therapyLight treatments

 

pharmacistMedication that works throughout the body

If you cannot afford the medicine that your dermatologist prescribes, these resources may help: I cannot afford my psoriasis medication! Now what?

How to find the best treatment for your psoriasis

When you see a board-certified dermatologist, you receive a treatment plan created for your individual needs. Those needs include how psoriasis affects your life, the type of psoriasis you have, and the severity. Your dermatologist will also consider where the psoriasis appears on your body. For example, treatment for scalp psoriasis differs from that for psoriasis on the genitals.

You can play an important role in helping your dermatologist decide which treatment goes in your treatment plan. For treatment to be effective, you must use it. And you must use it as directed. If your dermatologist prescribes a medication that you apply to your skin twice a day, you must have the time to apply it. Should phototherapy be an option, you’ll need to go to a treatment center 2 or 3 times per week.

The above links take you to pages that explain what each treatment involves.

Board-certified dermatologists have expertise in treating psoriasis

During their medical training, dermatologists learn which psoriasis treatments can be:

  • Used to treat a patient and for how long
  • Safely used when a patient has another medical condition
  • Used to treat both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
  • Safely combined — and which can be risky when used together
  • Combined to reduce side effects

You can learn more about treatment for psoriasis by watching these videos, which feature dermatologists answering common questions about treating psoriasis:


Explore the Psoriasis Resource Center


References
Menter A, Korman NJ, et al. “Guidelines of care for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, Section 3. Guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis with topical therapies.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009; 60:643-59.

Menter A, Korman NJ, et al. “Guidelines of care for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Section 6. Guidelines of care for the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: Case-based presentations and evidence-based
conclusions.” J Am Acad Dermatol 2011; 65:137-74.


Medical reviewers
Meet the board-certified dermatologists who reviewed this content. Each has conducted research that gives us a better understanding of psoriasis.