There are three treatment methods for psoriasis, depending on the severity of the condition. There are topical medicines, which can be spread over the affected areas; phototherapy, which uses ultraviolet light to combat the disorder; and oral medications, which fight the disease from the inside out. In more extreme cases, a combination of treatments may be necessary, and treatments are rotated to keep the immune system from becoming resistant to any one medication [source: American Osteopathic College of Dermatology].
Topical treatments contain steroids or vitamin D3 and work by slowing the growth of excess skin cells. The treatments may cause itchy, dry skin, and they may discolor clothing, towels or anything else that comes in contact with the affected areas [source: National Psoriasis Foundation]. Most doctors recommend trying a topical treatment before phototherapy or oral medications.
Frequent exposure to ultraviolet light can be dangerous, but when used in moderation, phototherapy can be an effective psoriasis treatment. Ultraviolet light penetrates the skin and slows the excessive production of skin cells. There are two types of phototherapy: One uses ultraviolet light B and the other uses ultraviolet light A. UVB can be effective by itself, but UVA must be combined with a light-sensitizing medication [source: National Psoriasis Foundation].
Oral medications are generally prescribed for severe psoriasis cases when other treatments are ineffective. Most of these medicines work by suppressing the immune system, which can be dangerous because the body is more susceptible to disease [source: National Psoriasis Foundation].
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