Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are there any over the counter medications if I have psoriasis?"
I think I might have some psoriasis but it is nothing too major. Is there some kind of over the counter medication I can take to help me? I don't think I need to see a doctor.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that occurs due to the skin cells being attacked by the immune system in an auto immune process. This is due to a defective chemical signal transmission mechanism which sees the skin cells as foreign. Because of this the most effective and reliable medications are the kind of medications that affect this or other similar aspects of the immune system. The most common form of psoriasis is known as plaque psoriasis, and generally manifests itself as scaly patchy areas that appear silvery white. These areas are mainly around the elbow and knee joints but can also occur elsewhere (for example, the scalp). Typically depending on the diagnosis and the severity of the condition, there are several different treatment options. Some things that people often try at home for minor psoriasis include topical moisturizing solutions and mineral oils. Sometimes over the counter medications and creams such as steroid creams are also helpful in reducing the severity. For scalp psoriasis, shampoos containing coal tar can be helpful, such as Neutrogena T Gel, which can be obtained over the counter. However, it is important to make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible to determine an accurate diagnosis of psoriasis prior to starting any medications because other skin conditions which may appear similar to psoriasis can actually be made worse by the above mentioned agents. Good luck.
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