Psoriasis is a skin condition which creates a thick build up of extra skin on the surface of the body.
These thick skin patches are referred to as psoriasis plaques, and they often develop on the scalp, knees and elbows. Some psoriasis sufferers however, get the scaley psoriasis skin plaques on other places of their body too. In some cases the skin patches can build up on the face, hands, ankles, and feet. In rare cases psoriasis plaques will develop over most of the body too.
Since psoriasis creates very thick patches of skin which is dry, red, itchy and flaky, many people not familiar with the condition will automatically try using extra creams and lotions to treat the skin areas. Unfortunately most of these don’t work very well though, because they’re too thick to penetrate the thick skin plaques psoriasis creates.
There are some creams and lotions however, which can help soften the dry skin area, and some can help reduce redness and itching too. The most effective creams and lotions to use for psoriasis though, contain herbal or vitamin additives which are better able to penetrate the thick skin layers, plus these ingredients tend to work best at helping thin the psoriasis skin plaques out a bit too.
There are also medicated prescription creams and lotions used for psoriasis as well. These can only be prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist though, and they often contain various ingredients which may help thin the psoriasis skin patches, reduce itchiness, or help suppress the new skin growth which causes the problems. Prescription psoriasis creams and lotions may have ingredients such as coal tar or a Vitamin D derrivative. Some also have steriods which help supress the immune system, and this is what helps slow down the growth of new skin.
The reason prescription psoriasis creams and lotions are made to slow down skin growth is because psoriasis is caused by an over reaction of the body’s immune system. Instead of creating new skin about once a month like healthy immune systems do, a psoriasis affected immune system will generate new skin every three to five days. This is too fast for the existing skin to die off and be shed from the surface of the body, so the skin piles up in the form of the thick skin plaques mentioned previously.
Herbal creams and lotions used to treat psoriasis usually contain aloe vera. Using pure aloe vera juice however, tends to work better than using a cream or lotion which simply contains a little aloe vera. Often creams and lotions don’t have enough aloe vera in them to do much good. Aloe vera will help soften psoriasis plaques, plus it can help thin the skin patches out too because it helps remove dead skin. Aloe vera also promotes healing, so it can sometimes help reduce the severity of the psoriasis plaques too.
Creams and lotions which contain oatmeal can also be quite helpful, and plain old fashioned oatmeal by itself is the best for the reasons already stated. Psoriasis creams and lotions which contain oatmeal will help clear off dead skin faster though, because oatmeal is a natural exfoliant. Oatmeal also does a wonderful job of softening skin too, and it can help relieve the itching caused by psoriasis as well.