Want to ditch the painful itch of psoriasis? It’s a genetic disease that causes the rapid growth of skin cells, resulting in dry, red lesions covered in white, flaky, dead skin. Here’s a shopping list of the best psoriasis treatments to do at home, along with tips on how to get the best results from using them. Before you get your hands on one, though, remember to consult a dermatologist.
“It is absolutely essential for a psoriasis patient to be seen by a board-certified dermatologist for an individualized assessment and treatment plan,” says Dr. Marnie Nussbaum, a Charlotte’s Book Premier Provider and Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Some of the treatments here “may include antikeratolytic agents, retinoids or topical corticosteroids,” she adds.
Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash, $13, and Sebamed Moisturizing Body Lotion, $20
Dr. Nussbaum strongly recommends that her psoriasis patients bathe daily to cleanse their skin. She says to use “lukewarm water and a wash that is soap-free and pH balanced. Regular soap can strip the skin of moisture and essential oils,” she says. Sebamed, a product line specially formulated to keep skin at its ideal pH of 5.5, includes gentle cleansers, lotions, and creams that all work together to heal and regulate the epidermis.
Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, this lightweight cream gel contains some of the most effective ingredients for the gentle exfoliation of dead skin cells. This includes salicylic acid, lactic acid, and urea. The treatment is best used on individual psoriasis patches to reduce dryness, slough off dead skin cell buildup, and soften thick lesions. While strong, in studies the formulation has been show to be non-irritating and safe for daily use.
Many psoriasis sufferers experience lesions on the scalp, requiring them to adjust their haircare regimen as well. This hair and body wash soothes skin with antioxidants and protects with the antimicrobial ingredient, monolaurin. Dr. Nussbaum recommends patients to “avoid using products with sulfates, parabens, and high fragrance or alcohol contents as these can further irritate the skin.” Thankfully, this shampoo fits the bill.
“Coal Tar is the most commonly used treatment for psoriasis as it can help slow the rapid growth of skin cells and restore the skin’s appearance. It can help reduce the inflammation, itching, and scaling of psoriasis,” Dr. Nussbaum says. That’s reason enough to pick up and try this time-tested treatment.
“Salicylic acid is a peeling agent that works to shed the outer layer of skin, helping to soften and remove psoriatic scales,” explains Dr. Nussbaum. Fragrance-free, CeraVe’s SA Renewing Lotion uses time-released ceramides to continually protect skin’s natural barrier. It locks in hydration, nourishes skin with Vitamin D, and helps to slough off dead skin cells with salicylic acid. The moisturizer is safe for all skin types but majorly effective for those battling psoriasis.