Ask your dermatologist about oral and
injectable treatment options FR

Find your fit

Treatments for plaque psoriasis generally fall into two categories: treatments that are applied to the surface of the skin (such as topicals or light therapy) and treatments that work from the inside of the body (like oral and injectable, biologic medications).

Not sure which treatment is right for you? Choose a path below.

I want a treatment that:

I prefer:

I prefer:

Based on your choices, you might want to consider: Topical treatments

See the table of topical treatments below.

What it is What it does How it's used Monitoring required Common side effects*
Salicylic acidHelps to soften and remove psoriasis scales

Relieves flaking
Applied directly to skinAt the discretion of dermatologistReddening of the skin
Peeling of the skin
Itching
Sharp pain
CorticosteroidsReduces redness, scaling, and itchingApplied directly to the affected areas of the skinAt the discretion of dermatologistApplication site burning or itching
RetinoidsThe exact mechanisms of action are not known. May help skin cells grow normally and reduce inflammationApplied directly to the affected areas of the skinAt the discretion of dermatologist

Not suitable for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant
Burning and redness of the skin
Itchy and irritated skin
Skin pain
Worsening of psoriasis
Skin peeling
Dry skin
Skin swelling
Rash
Stinging sensation of the skin

Not sure topical treatments are right for you?

*Always talk to your doctor before trying a new treatment. The above chart does not include an exhaustive list of side effects. Refer to the product information for each treatment to see the full list of warnings, precautions, and treatment considerations.

Based on your choices, you might want to consider: UV light therapy

See the table of UV light therapy treatments below.

What it is What it does How it's used Monitoring required Common side effects*
UVB phototherapy Slows the growth of affected skin cells Skin is exposed to artificial light source for set length of time At the discretion of dermatologist Redness
Itchiness
Temporary flare-ups
Psoralen + UVA (PUVA) Slows down the growth of affected skin cells Skin is exposed to artificial light source in combination with light-sensitizing medicine psoralen At the discretion of dermatologist Increased sensitivity to natural sunlight
Nausea
Redness
Itchiness
Laser treatments Targets select areas of the skin Areas of skin are exposed to high-intensity beam of UVB At the discretion of dermatologist Reddening of the skin
Darkening of the skin
Blistering of the skin

Not sure light therapy is right for you?

*Always talk to your doctor before trying a new treatment. The above chart does not include an exhaustive list of side effects. Refer to the product information for each treatment to see the full list of warnings, precautions, and treatment considerations.

Based on your choices, you might want to consider: Oral treatments

See the table of oral treatments below.

What it is What it does How it's used Monitoring required Common side effects*
ApremilastReduces the activity of the enzyme, PDE4, which results in a reduction of inflammationTaken orally as a pillRegular weight checksDiarrhea
Nausea
Headache
Migraine
Depression
Weight loss
MethotrexateBlocks an enzyme needed by body cells to live. This interferes with the growth of skin cells in psoriasisTaken orally as a pillRegular blood tests to reduce risk of infection or bleedingUpset stomach
Stomach pain
Vomiting
Nausea
Loss of appetite
Dizziness
Chills and fever
Diarrhea
Sores on lips or mouth
A fall in the number of white blood cells
Tiredness
Sore throat
Swelling of the glands
CyclosporineSuppresses the immune system to slow the growth of skin cellsTaken orally as a pill or liquidBlood pressure

Kidney function

Liver function

Blood lipids
High blood pressure
Kidney or liver problems
Headache
Increased levels of lipids
Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
Acne or oily skin
Slight trembling of the hands
Increased growth of fine hairs on the body
Muscle or joint pains or cramping
Weakness, anxiety
Tingling in the fingers, toes, or mouth
Night sweats
Hearing loss
Swelling of the face
Increased potassium in the body (your doctor may instruct you to avoid high dietary potassium intake)
Tender or swollen gums
Decreased ability to fight infection
AcitretinHelps to control the multiplication of skin cells, which leads to a more normal pattern of growthTaken orally as a pill Regular pregnancy tests

Cholesterol

Triglycerides

Blood sugar levels

Liver function
Dry eyes
Dry mouth, chapped lips, runny or dry nose
Dry skin, peeling of fingertips and/or palms and soles, itchiness, rash, sticky skin, brittle nails
Chills, joint pain, increased sensitivity to touch
Hair loss or abnormal hair texture

Not sure oral treatments are right for you?

*Always talk to your doctor before trying a new treatment. The above chart does not include an exhaustive list of side effects. Refer to the product information for each treatment to see the full list of warnings, precautions, and treatment considerations.

Based on your choices, you might want to consider: Injections and infusions

See the table of injections and infusions (also known as biologics) below.

What it is What it does How it's used Monitoring required Common side effects*
AdalimunabBinds to a protein called TNF-alpha. This leads to a decrease in the inflammation process and helps reduce the signs and symptoms of psoriasis (such as pain, itching and scaly patches on skin)Self-injected under the skinMonitoring for infections (including tuberculosis)Injection site reaction
Cough and cold symptoms, including sore throat
Headache
Rash
Nausea
Pneumonia
Fever
Abdominal pain
EtanerceptBinds to a protein called TNF-alpha. This leads to a decrease in the inflammation process and helps reduce the signs and symptoms of psoriasis (such as pain, itching and scaly patches on skin)Self-injected under the skinMonitoring for infections (including tuberculosis)Injection site reactions (redness, swelling, itching, or bruising)
Upper respiratory infections (sinus infections)
Headaches
InfliximabBinds to a protein called TNF-alpha. This leads to a decrease in the inflammation process and helps reduce the signs and symptoms of psoriasis (such as pain, itching and scaly patches on skin)IV infusions given in a doctor’s officeMonitoring for infections (including tuberculosis)Shortness of breath
Rash
Headache
Abdominal pain
Back pain
Coughing
Diarrhea
Dizziness
Fatigue
Itchiness
Pain
Upper respiratory infections
Upset stomach
Urinary tract infections
IxekizumabBinds to a protein called IL-17A. This helps reduce the signs and symptoms of psoriasis (such as itching, pain, and scaling)Self-injected under the skinMonitoring for infections (including tuberculosis)Upper respiratory tract infections
Injection site reactions (rash, pain, itch or swelling)
Nausea
Athlete’s foot
Sore throat
SecukinumabBinds to a protein called IL-17A. This helps reduce the signs and symptoms of psoriasis (such as inflammation, pain, itching, and scaly patches)Self-injected under the skinMonitoring for infections (including tuberculosis)Upper respiratory infections
Diarrhea
Cold sores
Itchy rash
Runny nose
UstekinumabBlocks the action of two proteins in the body called interleukin 12 (IL-12) and interleukin 23 (IL-23). This helps reduce the signs and symptoms of psoriasis such as inflammation, pain, itching, and scaly patchesInjections given at the doctor’s office or at homeMonitoring for infections (including tuberculosis)Upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold
Headache
Sore throat, nasal congestion
Allergic reaction (skin rash)

Not sure injections and infusions (biologics) are right for you?

*Always talk to your doctor before trying a new treatment. The above chart does not include an exhaustive list of side effects. Refer to the product information for each treatment to see the full list of warnings, precautions, and treatment considerations.

Treating psoriasis: A doctor’s tale

Starting your new chapter with psoriasis starts with finding the right treatment for you—and to do that, you need to find the right doctor. One who understands where psoriasis starts, and who is aware of all the treatment options available.

Dr. Melinda Gooderham is just that: a dermatologist who understands the ins and outs of life with psoriasis, and the different ways to treat it. We asked her to tell us a little bit about her experience.

On becoming a dermatologist

My grandfather had psoriasis, and though I never met him, I feel like I knew about the disease from a young age. Maybe it contributed to my becoming a dermatologist! I like dermatology because it allows me to treat people of all ages, from the very young to the very old. And of course, there’s the fact that I get to make a significant impact on the lives of my patients. I love it.

On the true cause of psoriasis

Part of being a dermatologist is educating people, helping them understand their disease. In the case of psoriasis, my patients rarely think that psoriasis is something internal. They all think that since it shows up on their skin, it starts on their skin. I tell them psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system—their skin cells are multiplying faster than normal—we can just see it on your skin.

On different ways to treat psoriasis

Usually by the time I see people, they’ve tried multiple topical therapies, which I think are a good option if you only have a few psoriasis patches. Sometimes, people are coming to me because they want to try a different type of treatment, in which case, it’s just a matter of helping them find what’s right for them. But if someone comes to me with psoriasis all over their body, I talk to them about systemic therapy—treatments that work from inside the body—unless there’s some reason that I can’t.

On achieving clear skin

I’ve been treating people with psoriasis for many years, and the common thread among all of them is this: there’s nothing like being able to do what they weren’t before. Going to buy shorts for the first time, taking your kids to Great Wolf Lodge® and going in the pool instead of sitting on the sidelines…they’ve always hidden their skin, and when the time comes that they don’t have to anymore—well, there’s no greater reward than that.

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