​Treatment options for psoriasis are:
Treatment can refer to medical and non-medical intervention. 
Non-medical treatment can include alternative therapies which are sometimes explored by psoriasis patients instead of medication or to compliment medication. A key difference between the two is that medical treatment is based on scientific results and alternative treatment is often anecdotal; this does not mean that is ineffective but the degree to which it will be affective varies considerably. Medical treatment is the primary focus at HMC. 
Medical treatment is prescribed or recommended by your physician depending on your symptoms, the location, what type of psoriasis you have and how severe it is. They may also take into consideration other factors which are individual to you; existing health conditions or allergies etc. 
There are three main medical treatments for psoriasis: creams and ointments that are applied to your skin; phototherapy, or controlled exposure to certain types of ultravio​let light; and medicine that reduces the production of your skin cells, including treatments that target specific parts of the immune system. It is not uncommon for people to have to try different treatments until they find one that is most effective for them. It is very difficult to determine immediately what will be the best treatment for each individual case.

Treatment Option 
Key facts 
Details of Use
Topical (medicine applied to the skin)
  • Creams and ointments
  • Can be prescription only
  • Some can be bought over the counter
  • May or may not contain steroids
  • Steroid creams are the most common treatment for psoriasis
  • Topical treatment can be very effective
  • Topical treatment is usually considered for small areas

Creams and ointments are applied directly onto the affected areas and are primarily used to reduce inflammation, slow excessive cell production, reduce redness, moisturize flaky skin and control lesions. Each cream/ointment will have different instructions for use, but there are a variety of topical creams and ointments available and can often be applied to multiple areas of the body (always read instructions/follow physician instructions).


Phototherapy (Controlled exposure to ultraviolet light)
  • Phototherapy most commonly uses UVB (ultraviolet light B) to treat psoriasis
  • UVB, UVA and laser treatments are available
  • UVA is ineffective in treating psoriasis unless it is combined with Psoralen. This is known as PUVA
  • Consistency is key to phototherapy and its effectiveness
  • Controlled exposure to natural sunlight can be used as treatment as it emits UVB
  • UVB phototherapy can be done at home or in a medical environment
  • Sunbeds are not recommended for treatment as they emit UVA rather than UVB

Phototherapy uses ultraviolet light directly on the affected area to reduce the growth of skin cells and reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. Treatments using phototherapy must be scheduled and controlled so that they are effective and safe. Phototherapy treatments can be used across the body, however some areas are more responsive to certain types of treatment; this may lead the course of action suggested by your physician. Phototherapy can be undertaken in combination with other treatments as will be indicated by your doctor. Note that some medications affect the skins tolerance to UV light.

Prescription Drugs (systemic medications)
  • Traditional prescribed medication
  • Liquid, tablet or injected form
  • Work throughout the body/targeting all of the immune system
  • This form of treatment has been used for many years
  • For moderate to severe cases of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis
  • Prescription medications are usually more effective than topical ones and may have more side effects

Traditional prescribed medication which is ingested in liquid or tablet form (or injected). It is commonly prescribed for people with moderate to severe psoriasis. This treatment can be for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.


Intravenous/ subcutaneous/ injected drugs (Biologic medication)
  • Relatively new form of treatment
  • Targets specific parts of the immune system
  • Administered intravenously, subcutaneously or by injection
  • For moderate to severe cases of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis
  • Restrictions for people who have a weak immune system or infection
  • Can be safer than prescription drugs

Administered by intravenous infusion or injection, this type of treatment may be prescribed for psoriasis patients with moderate to severe symptoms. This treatment can be for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Some varieties allow the patient to self-inject and others have to be administered by a professional. Injection frequency can also vary according to type – it could be anything from twice a week to once every 12 weeks.