ZocdocAnswersHow can I control my psoriasis?

Question

How can I control my psoriasis?

Sometimes it seems to get really bad around my forehead. What can I do other than wearing hats? I've tried using lotions, hasn't helped.

Answer

As you know, psoriasis is a common and chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin in a variety of ways. The range of skin manifestations can vary in size, shape and distribution, and as such the treatment options are also greatly varied. Topical agents include emollients such as coal tar, which can help treat the dryness associated with psoriatic plaques and counter the buildup of skin in those lesions. Steroid creams and ointments can help reduce the inflammation that contributes to the psoriatic lesions. Many patients are also treated with phototherapy, as exposure to certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light has been shown have potential in reducing the amount and duration of symptoms. It is for this reason that many psoriasis patients notice more flaring of their disease in the winter when they do not receive as much exposure to the sun. Lastly, for disease that is not controlled by the less invasive methods noted above, systemic medications can be of use. These agents generally work to suppress the body's immune system, and are either given orally or intravenously. For help in treating your forehead lesions, you should seek out the advice of your dermatologist, who can make recommendations based on the extent and severity of your particular skin disease.

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