The National Institutes of Health reports that, in 2009, approximately 7.5 million Americans suffered from psoriasis, a chronic disease of the autoimmune system that presents itself on the skin. None of the five types of psoriasis is contagious. Psoriasis causes dry, itchy skin that, when left untreated, is not only uncomfortable but can also create infection. Knowing how to treat the dry skin that comes with psoriasis will make you more comfortable and keep infections from starting.
Find out if your psoriasis is mild, moderate or severe so you can apply the most effective treatment to your condition. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPS), if your psoriasis covers less than 2 percent of your total body, your case is mild. If it covers 3 to 10 percent, it is moderate. Anything more than 10 percent is considered severe. For reference, an area the size of the palms of your hands is equal to about 1 percent of your total skin surface.
Use the topical ointments and medications that your physician prescribes to treat the problem area. The ointments contain ingredients designed to reduce skin irritation and heal the scaly patches. Read the directions and follow them carefully to get the most benefit from them. Alert your physician to any previous allergic reactions so you can be prescribed the most effective, yet safest, topical treatment for your case.
Practice a light therapy regime. Light therapy has been proven to reduce psoriasis outbreaks as well as speed the recovery from an outbreak, once it happens. You can use natural sunlight or artificial light for treatment. Your doctor should provide you with an appropriate light schedule to give you the most benefit with the least amount of skin cancer risk.
Agree to try the injectable medications, if your light therapy and topical treatment fail to control your psoriasis outbreaks. Injections of medication can be done in your doctor’s office; in some cases, you can be taught to provide your own injections at home.
Maintain all doctor appointments even if your condition appears to be under control. Keep a journal of all outbreaks, problems and concerns regarding your psoriasis and take it with you to medical appointments so you remember what to tell the physician.
- skin care image by anna karwowska from Fotolia.com