Psoriasis is a common skin condition, which appears as pink or red plaques on the skin. A great deal is known about psoriasis, however no cure is yet to be found. Patients suffering from psoriasis have discussed their experience with psoriasis on social networking sites, forums and blogs. They have also exchanged information about their successful treatments, these include:

Topical agents, such as lotions, creams, ointments, sprays, foams and gels, can be applied directly to the skin, to reduce the scales. Some of these topical agents include:

- Emollients, which can reduce scales

- Corticosteroids, (strong steroids) can cause skin thinning, stretch marks, abnormal blood vessels and bruising

- Vitamin D analogues, less side effects than corticosteroids, causes skin irritation, itching, peeling, and dryness

- Tazarotene, topical retinoid a drug made from vitamin A, that is available as a gel or cream, and is usually applied once daily, in the evening

- Coal tar has an unpleasant smell, infected hair follicles, skin irritation, staining of clothing and potential to cause cancer.

- Dithranol, stains the skin a yellowish-brown colour. It is less effective than topical corticosteroids or vitamin D3 derivatives when used on its own

Phototherapy is another successful treatment discussed between patients with psoriasis. Phototherapy uses different wavelength of light radiation on affected skin. Broadband UVB and narrowband UVB can cause tanning, sunburn and skin cancer, but can show improvement after a few treatments.

Systemic agents or medications that impact the whole body, rather than the area with psoriasis are also used to treat psoriasis. Some of these medications used as discussed by patients can include:

- Methotrexate, a tablet that interferes with the production of new cells, prevents anaemia (low blood count), inflammation around the mouth, and to reduce gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea or diarrhoea.

- Cyclosporin, a drug that reduces functioning parts of the immune system, and is effective as a short-term treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis.

- Retinoids, man-made hormones based on vitamin A that does not affect the immune system. Acitretin is the most commonly used retinoid for psoriasis and includes side effects of conjunctivitis, hair loss, skin dryness, inflammation at the corners of the lips, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, problems with bones and ligaments, liver inflammation and increased pressure within the brain.

- Biological agents have the potential to result in cancer or serious infections, and rare instances of problems with the nervous system, liver failure, and worsening of heart failure. These include: Alefecept, Efalizumab, Etanercept, Infliximab, and Adalimumab.

Doctors and specialists closely monitor these treatments and patient experience. Doctors advise their patients on what is the best treatment for their psoriasis.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Dornan is a passionate IT executive, who suffers from a condition, saw there was more that could be done to connect patients, created that intends to globally connect and help people., a health based social networking site, helps people suffering from a variety of health conditions, to globally connect, help and share information with others in similar situations, by focusing on bridging the gap of patient-to-patient communication, and patient-to-practitioner communication, with all the social networking features and functionality expected in today’s society.

Social Medicine fosters community support, where real people in similar situations come together, to circumvent negative feelings like disconnection and loneliness, and focus on improving self-esteem, understanding, communication, relationships, and peer support.