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Treatments for Psoriasis

En Español (Spanish Version)

Main Page | Risk Factors | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Screening | Reducing Your Risk | Talking to Your Doctor | Living With Psoriasis | Resource Guide

Treatment of psoriasis is usually a series of steps, called the 1-2-3 approach, which entails:

Step 1—Topical:

Sunlight or medication applied directly to the surface of the skin

Step 2—Phototherapy:

Phototherapy (or “light treatment”) using ultraviolet light alone or in combination with medication

Step 3—Systemic:

Medicines taken internally (usually oral medication) to treat psoriasis systemically

Your treatment will be based on several factors, including:

  • The severity of the disease
  • The extent and location of the areas involved
  • Your responsiveness to each treatment
  • What type of psoriasis you have
  • Possible concomitant presence of psoriatic arthritis

Often, the body will become resistant to certain types of treatment, and they will lose their effectiveness. When this happens, new treatment methods may be prescribed, and future treatments may be added as needed.

Treatment involves the following:

Medications | Other treatments | Alternative and complementary therapies

Surgical procedures are not a treatment option for psoriasis.



  • American Academy of Dermatology web site. Available at:
  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: .
  • National Psoriasis Foundation website. Available at: .

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