Psoriasis is a common skin condition in which the life cycle of skin cells is disrupted. Cells end up piling up on top of one another, resulting in patches, scales, discomfort, and sometimes pain on the skin. In addition to a variety of medical treatments, day-to-day lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms of psoriasis. Topical corticosteroids are usually the first treatment recommended for psoriasis.
If used correctly, they can be quite effective. Corticosteroids come in a variety of types. There are sprays, creams, gels, ointments, solutions, and foams. The type you choose depends on personal preference, as well as location of the psoriasis (e.g., use a liquid for psoriasis on the scalp), but if you’re concerned about choosing the right brand talk to your doctor.
Strengths vary. Ideally, you should use stronger types on tough areas like elbows and knees and use a lighter variety on your face and underarms. Creams are usually applied once or twice a day, but you should limit your use of stronger steroids. Overuse can cause rashes and permanent skin thinning and other damages.
Salicylic acid is a topical cream available at most drug stores and supermarkets. If corticosteroids are not improving symptoms to your liking you could try adding salicylic acid to your skin care regimen. Salicylic acid prevents scaling and other rash-like symptoms. You do not need a prescription to buy salicylic acid but you should consult your doctor before adding any additional creams, especially if you are taking other medications.