Psoriasis Cream: How to Pick The Right One
by Michael Marenick on May 24, 2017
Choosing the right treatment for psoriasis for the fastest results.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that not only causes symptoms such as redness, scaling, dryness, itching and irritation, it can also be a social impairment. Living with the embarrassment that is often associated with psoriasis can sometimes be worse then the actual symptoms themselves. Unfortunately there is no cure for psoriasis. However, huge advancements have been made in topical applications formulated to treat and control the symptoms of psoriasis. By choosing a psoriasis cream that has the right active ingredient together with other effective ingredients can make the difference between getting results and not working at all.
What Is The Severity of Your Psoriasis?
Before choosing the right psoriasis treatment you first need to determine the severity of your psoriasis condition. Typically psoriasis severity is determined by the amount of surface area on the body that is affected and the thickness, redness and scaling of the skin. Your condition is considered mild if your psoriasis covers less than 3% of the surface area on your body. If your condition covers 3% to 10% of your body than it is considerate moderate. A severe psoriasis condition is where over 10% of the body is affected. In addition, there are other physical and emotional aspects of this disease that should be considered when determining the severity of a patients case. The emotional impact of having to deal with the embarrassment of psoriasis can often be worse than the disease itself.
Psoriasis Treatments Should be Picked Based on Your Severity
Psoriasis can be quite debilitating even when it only occurs on a small portion of your body. Many individuals who have psoriasis scaling only in small patches on their elbows and/or knees will try to hide their skin to avoid embarrassment. Wearing long sleeves or long pants in the summer just to hide your psoriasis is not the answer. If you have mild or moderate psoriasis the answer to your problem could be right at your local pharmacy. Over-the-counter drug products specifically formulated to treat the symptoms of psoriasis do work for many individuals. The FDA has studied and recognizes several active ingredients that have shown to be effective in the treatment of psoriasis. These include:
Salicylic acid is a natural exfoliating ingredient. You may already be familiar with salicylic acid. It is often called Sal Acid and has been widely used at lower concentrations in anti-wrinkle products for years. In higher concentrations this active ingredient can help remove the build up of dead cells that is associated with psoriasis. Salicylic acid penetrates into the skin and loosens the bond that holds the cells together so they can more quickly be exfoliated from the body.
Coal tar has been widely used in psoriasis treatments for years and you will find it in many over-the-counter products. Coal tar also comes in different strengths and some strengths may require a doctors prescription. There are actually two types of tar that are used to treat psoriasis, coal tar and wood tar. Coal tar is the ingredient that is recognized by the FDA.
While tar is an effective medication, it can stain bedding. In addition it has a very strong odor that some people find quite offensive. If you choose to use a tar based product you will likely find that it will also have a fragrance added to help mask the smell of the coal tar.
There are also several other (not as popular) ingredients that you may find in over-the-counter treatments such as Zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole and Blue Lagoon algae.
You should look for a psoriasis cream that contains one of these FDA recognized ingredients. You cannot simply look at the front of the packaging and look for something that has the word psoriasis on the front. There are still many products on the market that label themselves as good for psoriasis but are only moisturizing creams. You can identify the effective products be looking at the back of the packaging. Here you will find a “Drug Facts” box that will list at the very top the active ingredient that is used and the percentage of the ingredient. Since the FDA only provides a recommended range for the active ingredients you will see that some psoriasis creams will have a lower percentage than others. As long as your body does not have any type of reaction to the cream you should start with the highest percentage you can find to achieve the fastest results.
What Else Should You Look For in a Psoriasis Cream?
Since there are only a few recognized active ingredients and many different products on the market what makes one different from another? Aside from the percentage of the active ingredient there are other ingredients in these creams that can take them to a whole other level of effectiveness. The active ingredients are added to the
formulation to help you remove the dry dead skin cells. However, once they are gone it is very common to see that you are left with a red blotch on your skin. To help get rid the redness you need to provide your skin with the nourishment that it needs to heal and look normal again. This includes vitamins, minerals and proteins that our body naturally needs. There are some products that include these ingredients by using synthetic vitamins or minerals. However, some of the more effective products source this nourishment from plant extracts such as aloe or food based ingredients like eggs. That’s right eggs. The common chicken egg contains over 70 vitamins minerals and proteins. In fact, they contain every nutrient necessary for life. If you think about it a baby chick survives on whats inside an egg until it hatches. The protein is typically found in the egg white and the yolk contains the vitamins and minerals.
What if a Psoriasis Cream is Not Enough?
If you have a severe psoriasis condition you may not have any other option than to try a doctor prescribed treatment. However, this should always be a last resort. Prescription psoriasis treatments can have serious side effects that can harm your immune system. If you are seeing some results from a psoriasis cream but you need something more, there are some psoriasis body washes that can be added to your daily treatment to help accelerate the process. If you have scalp psoriasis you may want to add a psoriasis shampoo or scalp oil.
Often picking the right psoriasis cream can involve some trial and error. What works for one person may not work well for another. Also, remember that there are differences between these products and the difference between a cheap product and a more expensive one could make the difference in whether it works for you or not.
Also, it is important to compare quantity with price when purchasing an over-the-counter psoriasis treatment product. You may find some products that sell for $6.99 and others that cost $29.99. The packaging may look the same in size but the contents may be very different. Most of the products with lower prices are only for a 1/2 ounce or 1oz container. If you have a large area to treat a 1oz tube is not going to last very long. Some times the better value is the larger size. It is very important that you read the packaging carefully of any psoriasis cream you are purchasing so you know exactly what you are getting.