Why Psoriasis Treatments Can Fail


Erin Azuse

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Many treatment options exist for psoriasis, a chronic condition that results in thick, itchy and sometimes painful patches of skin.

Since it is considered an autoimmune disease, treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation and slowing the immune system response.

Though patients are often able to find relief, it’s a very individualized process to discover what works best. And even then, many patients have to cycle through different treatments over time.

Treatment for psoriasis generally falls into a few main categories.

  • Topical: Creams and ointments, such as corticosteroids, are often used for mild to moderate cases.

  • Phototherapy: Sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light treatment can help some cases of psoriasis.

  • Systemic: These drugs work to suppress the entire immune system and are usually given in liquid or pill form. They may be given to those who do not respond to topical treatments or light therapy.

  • Biologic: These treatments target very specific parts of the immune system and are reserved for moderate to severe psoriasis. They are often given via injection or an IV.

If you are someone with psoriasis, it can be frustrating to find that a particular regimen doesn’t work, stops working, or simply can’t be tolerated. Let’s take a look at why this happens.

Psoriasis is a difficult condition to live with—and not everyone knows the whole story. Learn how to separate fact from fiction.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Nov 6, 2015