If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis or simply feel you have the symptoms of psoriasis you are likely looking for a psoriasis cream to help treat your condition. A quick google search may leave you with more questions than answers about which psoriasis cream is right for you. Once you learn about how a psoriasis cream works and the best ingredients to look for in a psoriasis cream your search will become much easier.
Do You Have Psoriasis?
The most common location on the body where psoriasis starts is on the elbows and knees. Often it will start as simple dry patches that basic moisturizing creams cannot control. Eventually the area may start to turn white and become thick looking like plaque or buildup of dry dead skin cells. Only a doctor can definitively diagnose your skin condition as psoriasis but if you are seeing some of these basic symptoms there is a good chance you have psoriasis. Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease that does not discriminate. It can occur in people of all ages, of either gender; male or female, of any race and in almost all geographic regions of the world. It is believed to be hereditary however simply having a mother, father or close relative that has psoriasis does not necessarily mean you will get it as well. It is believed that some people who have psoriasis in their family may carry this trait throughout their entire life yet never see psoriasis develop on their body. It is very common to hear people say their psoriasis occurred after some type of trauma in their life. This could be something as simple as a severe sunburn or minor illness. Or something more tragic could trigger it to start. Right now, science simply does not understand enough about what causes or triggers psoriasis to occur on the body. Doctors and scientists are quickly learning more but have not yet found a cure. However, they have made some huge advances in identifying ingredients that are effective in treating psoriasis. Many of these ingredients are now used in psoriasis creams that can be very effective in treating the symptoms of psoriasis anywhere on the body.
Active Ingredients in Psoriasis Creams
For this article we will only be discussing over-the-counter drug products and not doctor prescribed drugs. Any psoriasis cream labeled with the word psoriasis or treatment for psoriasis is considered an over-the-counter drug product and must follow very specific guidelines from the FDA. Since psoriasis is a disease, a simple moisturizing cream should not be labeled as a psoriasis cream because there has been no scientific evidence that the ingredients in these creams will provide any benefit in treating psoriasis. The FDA has developed specific guidelines for the testing and determination of an active ingredient to see if it provides any healing benefit. Once an ingredient is identified and tested then the FDA writes specific guidelines about the percentage to be used in formulations and the specific labeling that is required on the psoriasis cream. Currently there are two main active ingredients that are found in psoriasis creams; salicylic acid and coal tar. Zinc pyrithione is also recognized as an effective active ingredient but it is not as commonly used as the other two. You can find psoriasis creams in most all pharmacies these days. Only true over-the-counter drug psoriasis creams will have a “Drug Facts” panel box on the back. This drug facts panel will list the active ingredient and its percentage right at the top so it will be very easy for you to identify.
Inactive Ingredients in Psoriasis Creams
All three of the active ingredients mentioned above work the same way. They are all ingredients that help the body to exfoliate or remove dead skin cells more quickly. Because psoriasis is a disease where skin cells are produced more rapidly than normal, ingredients like these are used to help prevent the plaque buildup that causes the distinguishable grey/silver blotch appearance associated with psoriasis. But simply removing dead skin cells faster will not be enough to make your skin look normal. Many people complain that after the dead skin cells are gone they are left with red blotches. The red blotches occur due to the new skin cells appearing at the top layer of skin. In normal looking skin, we always have a thin layer of dead skin cells which is constantly being removed and replaced – sort of like a sheading process. However, if you were to scrape yourself and remove the thin layer of dead cells what’s underneath would be red because the thin layer is gone. This is what happens when using a psoriasis cream. For this reason, you need to look for inactive ingredients in the psoriasis cream that will help to nourish and provide all the nutrients that your skin needs to heal and look normal again. These ingredients often include essential oils, herbal extracts and even food based ingredients. One of the best food based ingredients we have found that provides the complete source of nutrition for your skin is eggs. An egg has every vitamin, protein and mineral necessary for life and when used correctly in a psoriasis cream can be very beneficial for your skin.
Is a Psoriasis Cream All You Need?
It’s very possible for some people that a quality psoriasis cream will take care of their problem. After a few short weeks of using a psoriasis cream they may start to see some really improved looking skin. For others, their skin condition may need a little more help. This often involves combining the use of several products. For example, you may use a psoriasis body wash in the shower in addition to using a psoriasis cream. Or, if you have scalp psoriasis you may use a psoriasis shampoo and scalp oil in addition to a psoriasis cream. Often choosing the right psoriasis cream can be a process of trial and error. What works for one person may not work for another. In addition, sometimes our bodies build up a tolerance for a psoriasis cream and over time it begins to not work as well. Many people solve this problem by switching between two products from time to time so their body never becomes immune to one or the other. The good news is that there are many options and with a little bit of testing you should be able to find a psoriasis cream that will work well for you.