Psoriasis – what topical creams are out there?

Learn how to take more control

Although psoriasis is a lifelong condition, there are a wide range of treatment options available. Used properly, treatments can help you to effectively manage your psoriasis, and plaques may even be cleared with the right treatment and care.

Treating psoriasis can be a burden. However positive you try to be, there will inevitably be times when your condition makes you feel stressed, isolated or just plain fed up – and when you feel that way, applying a topical treatment is probably the last thing you feel like doing.

Remember, too, that everyone is different and some people take longer to respond to treatments than others, and that any early improvements may be hard to notice immediately.

Researchers have found that many people with psoriasis who have been prescribed a topical treatment don’t use it as directed by their doctor.

Using topical treatments

Many people with psoriasis who have been prescribed a topical treatment don’t use it as directed by their doctor.

To get the best results:
  • Try to apply the treatment directly to your psoriasis, avoiding the surrounding skin. 
  • Don’t apply too much, but also be aware that it won’t be as effective if you apply too little.
  • Make the treatment part of your daily routine – for example, by applying it at the same time each day. 
  • Moisturising daily with an emollient cream can help to soften the skin. Use the moisturiser in between your treatments.

Other psoriasis treatments

There are lots of different treatments available, and they all have a common goal: to improve your psoriasis. Whichever one you use, it’s important that you use it as prescribed by your doctor and know that each psoriasis treatment works differently. Some therapies start to work faster than others.

No matter which treatment you are prescribed, the following advice always applies: 

  • Read the patient information leaflet that comes with your treatment.
  • Use the treatment in exactly the right quantity and for the full length of time prescribed by your doctor.
  • Discuss when you should stop using the treatment with your doctor. With several medications, stopping suddenly can cause problems, so he or she may advise you to cut down gradually.
If you do happen to miss the treatment, just make sure you get back into a routine as quickly as possible, following your doctor’s instructions.

Key treatment questions you may want to ask a healthcare professional

If you are in any way unsure about how to use your treatment, it may be helpful to write out a list of questions to ensure that all your concerns are covered. You might like to consider:
  • How should I apply my treatment?
  • How often do I need to use my treatment?
  • How does it work?
  • How soon might I see results?
  • How long will I need to use my treatment?
  • What are the possible side effects of my treatment? 
  • Can I combine this treatment with another medication?
  • What is it about this treatment that makes it the most suitable one for me?


UK/IE 2013b/00073, Date of prep: April 2015

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