How to get rid of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a long-lasting disease. Here are some things you can do that will help you take control.
- Learn about psoriasis. Knowledge really is power. Learning about psoriasis will help you manage the disease, make informed decisions about how you treat psoriasis, and avoid things that can make psoriasis worse. It will also help you talk about psoriasis with others.
- Take good care of yourself. Eating a healthy diet, exercising, not smoking, and drinking very little alcohol will help. Smoking, drinking, and being overweight make psoriasis worse. These also can make treatment less effective. People who have psoriasis also have an increased risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases, so taking good care of yourself is essential.
- Be aware of your joints. If your joints feel stiff and sore, especially when you wake up, see a dermatologist. Stiff or sore joints can be the first sign of psoriatic (sore-EE-at-ic) arthritis. About 10% to 30% of people who have psoriasis get this type of arthritis.
Treatment is essential. This type of arthritis can eat away the joints. Treatment can prevent deformed joints and disability.
- Notice your nails. If your nails begin to pull away from the nail bed or develop pitting, ridges, or a yellowish-orange color, see a dermatologist. These are signs of psoriatic arthritis.
- Pay attention to your mood. If you feel depressed, you may want to join a psoriasis support group or see a mental health professional. Depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior are more common in people who have psoriasis. Getting help is not a sign of weakness.
- Learn about treatment for psoriasis. Some people choose not to treat psoriasis, but it is important to know your options. This will help you make an informed decision and feel in control.
- Tell your dermatologist if you cannot afford the medicine.You may be eligible for financial assistance. To learn more about this assistance, visit Financial Assistance Available for Psoriasis Medication.
- Talk with your dermatologist before you stop taking medicine for psoriasis. Immediately stopping a medicine for psoriasis can have serious consequences. It can cause one type of psoriasis to turn into another, more serious type of psoriasis. Let’s say a person who has plaque psoriasis takes a medicine called methotrexate. If the person just stops taking methotrexate, this can cause the plaque psoriasis to turn into guttate psoriasis or erythrodermic psoriasis. This can be very serious.
Psoriasis tip: How to apply medicine
Do you use a psoriasis medicine to treat your skin? If so, the instructions likely tell you how many milligrams of medicine to apply. This can make it difficult to know how much to use.
To help patients figure out how much medicine to apply, dermatologists developed an easy-to-use approach called the “fingertip unit.” All you need to use this approach is your medicine and a clean fingertip. A fingertip unit equals the amount of medicine that you can spread on your fingertip, as shown in the photo below.
Each part of the body requires a specific number of fingertip units. For example, if you have psoriasis on most of your scalp, you need to apply three fingertip units of medicine to your scalp. If psoriasis covers most of your elbow, you’d apply one fingertip unit.
The next time you need to apply psoriasis medicine to your skin, be sure to look at the following table. It shows you how many fingertip units to apply to each part of the body where you have psoriasis.
|Area to be treated |
|No. of fingertip units |
|Scalp ||3 |
|Face and neck |
|One hand (front and back) including fingers |
|One entire arm including entire hand |
|Elbow (psoriasis covers most of elbow) |
|Both soles |
|One foot (top and bottom) including toes |
|One entire leg including entire foot |
|Buttocks ||4 |
|Knees (psoriasis covers most of knee) |
|Trunk (from bottom of neck to hipbones) |
|Genitals ||0.5 |
Different parts of the body require a different number of fingertip units.
Chart reproduced from the Psoriasis Guidelines of Care developed by the American Academy of Dermatology. (Menter A, Korman NJ, et al. “Guidelines of care for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.” J Am Acad Dermatol 2009;60:643-59.)