Oral Treatments for Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a non-contagious auto-immune disorder that affects the skin and joints. The five types of psoriasis are: erythrodermic, guttate, inverse, plaque and pustular. Visible manifestations include severe redness of the skin, flaking and in extreme cases, silver-white patches referred to as scales. The affliction is believed to have a genetic foundation but is also influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors. Fortunately, there are oral treatments that have proven themselves effective at treating the disease.
Methotrexate was designed as an arthritis medication but was discovered to be a useful treatment for psoriasis. One of the best oral remedies in the battle against the disease, its side effects include upset stomach, suppression of bone marrow production and in most severe cases, liver damage, but only after lengthy periods of use.
Retinoids are related to the vitamin A family and include the treatment Acitretin. They are not considered as effective as Methotrexate but do not possess the side effects either. Those side effects include dryness of the skin and mucous membranes, severe itching and hair loss.
Cyclosporine suppresses the immune system to fight psoriasis and is similar to Methotrexate in its effectiveness. Like other immunosuppressant drugs, usage can increase the risk of serious infection and other health problems.
Hydroyurea is an oral treatment for psoriasis that is not as effective as Methotrexate or Cyclosporine but doesn’t have the side effects. It has been known to cause anemia and decrease the production of white blood cells. Its greatest attribute is that it can be combined with other treatments to fight the disease.
While psoriasis is a treatable disease and if left untreated, has detrimental physical and psychosocial qualities, it is highly recommended that you confer with a qualified specialist and only take medication prescribed by a doctor. He will be able to regulate dosage and monitor your progress. The side effects of these oral medications are to be taken seriously as they can lead to other severe health problems. If you are pregnant or nursing, as with any type of medical treatment, it is strongly advised that you talk with your doctor before taking any medication.