Psoriasis is considered an autoimmune condition that is generally chronic. It would cause a very fast skin cell build-up which would then cause scaling in the surface of the skin. It is treatable and with some over-the-counter psoriasis treatment medications, you can fight off this condition through time. You can expect that their redness and inflammation in the skin will be fairly common. It will also develop thick and red patches which will eventually bleed and crack. It’s not something that you would want but given that it’s a common condition in the US, it’s a sigh of relief that there are multiple ways on how you can treat it.
According to recent statistics released about psoriasis, at least 8 million of the American population is suffering from psoriasis and it’s at 125 million across the globe. That means that 3 or 4% of the human population is suffering from this autoimmune condition. From 125 million, 40 to 50% may also develop psoriatic arthritis. The silver lining about this is that psoriasis is not contagious and you cannot transfer the condition from a person to another just by touching or being around them. Sit tight as we read more about psoriasis, the options for over-the-counter psoriasis treatment, and the trigger factors that you must avoid to prevent having this condition moving forward.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common skin condition in the US and across the world but not everyone knows what it is and how it happens. Years of research and study show that the patches appear because the production of skin is being sped up. The skin cells would typically grow below the skin’s surface and would eventually rise slowly to the skin’s surface. Due to many factors, it would then eventually fall off. A skin cell’s life cycle would last for at least a month but it’s a different story when you have psoriasis.
The production of skin cells would occur for a few days and because of this overproduction, the previous skin cells would not have the time to naturally fall off. It would then lead to the skin cell buildup that’s why you would see patches showing and falling off. The scale would develop anywhere in your body including:
- The area in the genitals
Psoriasis is most commonly associated with health conditions that include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Heart Disease
- Psoriatic Arthritis
Five types are most common and depending on the type that you may have, the over-the-counter psoriasis treatment medications may also differ. Despite the many types, the symptoms are all but the same and it may include:
- Raised, inflamed, and red skin patches
- Dry skin that could bleed and crack
- White silver plaques or scales that could be found in the red patches
- Swollen and painful joints
- Burning and itching sensation in the patches
- Pitted, thick nails
- Soreness in and around the patches
Over the Counter Psoriasis Treatment
It’s important to note that there is no known cure for psoriasis. However, most treatments aim to slow down the growth of skin cells, remove the patches and plaques, and reduce the scales and inflammation. The most common kind of remedy is over-the-counter psoriasis treatment as these are mostly topical ointments and creams that can be directly applied to the skin for those suffering from mild to moderate cases. Note that it may irritate the skin so it’s recommended to do a skin test first. The most recommended are the following:
- Coal Tar
It is an active ingredient that could be found in many ointments, creams, bath solutions, and bath shampoos for psoriasis and it can help to:
- Reduce the swelling, scaling, and redness.
- Lessen the flaking and itching
- Slow down the rapid skin cell growth
- Hydrocortisone ointments and creams
This is one of the most effective over-the-counter psoriasis treatment options as this helps in decreasing inflammation and reducing the itch.
Since most people with psoriasis experience scaly and dry skin, moisturizers can help in cleaning water and moisture in the skin which could help in healing the skin and relieve the skin’s dryness altogether.
Dermatologists say that if you have the condition, you should apply it at least once a day or more than once if the skin is super dry. When you purchase a moisturizer, you must consider these factors:
- Fragrance-free products
- Heavy ointment or cream rather than regular lotion
- Products that you will use and like
- Scale softeners or Salicylic Acid
This is often used in many skincare products as it helps in gently removing the dead skin cells that are found on the skin’s surface which would then promote increased absorption of topical medications and treatments.
When the patches and scales are removed, it would help other medicines that you will be applying to work better. It’s vital to follow instructions on the product that you will be buying as it may worsen psoriasis condition if not taken with caution.
- Anti-itch products
For those who have psoriasis, they say that itch is their worst enemy. Do not be tempted to scratch as it may cause infection. Look for products that would contain menthol, calamine, or camphor to help ease the itchiness.
- Analogs of Vitamin D
These are man-made vitamin D versions that could help in the overproduction of skin cells. They can be found in many cleansing foams, creams, and topical ointments.
- Alternative and complementary treatments
There are supplements available that are not FDA regulated but have signs of helping treat psoriasis. The cons in using it are that you may not know if it’s generally safe as there is no regulatory board checking that but if you find a product you trust, go for the gold!
You may notice that most of them the counter psoriasis treatment options listed above are either applied topically or in the form of a supplement. That is because any heavy drug medications would need a doctor’s regulation. Also, psoriasis is a skin condition so it’s just common that most of the treatments available are applied topically.
The options above may work for some and may not for others because just like any product, the effectiveness would vary from one person to another. You can ask your pharmacist to recommend the best over-the-counter psoriasis treatment for you and if you find that none of these products help you with the symptoms you are getting, it may be high time to visit your dermatologist and ask for professional advice to keep the symptoms at bay.