Severe psoriasis causes multiple symptoms and side effects. Treatment results can also differ from person to person. This is why most doctors prefer to treat psoriasis with a combination treatment plan.
The Benefits of a combination treatment plan
Some psoriasis treatments work well on their own, but using a combination of treatments may have added benefit. An article published in the Archives of Dermatology in 2011 suggests that combination therapies are more effective and better tolerated.
Using a combination of treatments allows for smaller doses. This can decrease the risk of side effects and may end up being cheaper for you. Combining therapies has also been shown to relieve symptoms more quickly and efficiently. Some combination therapies may even lower the risk of skin cancers.
Another important benefit of combining treatments is that it offers numerous possible combinations. Having a potentially large supply of treatment combinations is valuable because there's no known cure for psoriasis.
Combination treatments are given in different stages or steps. The first step is known as "the quick fix" to clear skin lesions during an outbreak. This is often done using a strong topical steroid or an oral immunosuppressant for cases of severe psoriasis.
The next step is the "transitional phase." This involves gradually introducing a maintenance drug. For severe cases, this includes a rotational therapy that involves alternating a combination of treatments.Read more in Psoriasis Resources
- Bailey, E.E., Ferrence, E.H., Alikhan, A., Hession, M.T., & Armstrong, A.W. (April 2012). Combination Treatments for Psoriasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatology (formerly Archives of Dermatology). Retrieved from http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1150935.
- Steven F., Stephen & Lie, DÈsirÈe. (December 2011). New Meta-Analysis Summarizes Effectiveness of Psoriasis Treatments. Medscape. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/756076.
- Van Voorhees, A., Feldman, S.R., Koo, J.Y.M., Lebwohl, M.G., & Menter, A. (2009). The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Pocket Guide: Treatment algorithms and management options. Retrieved from http://www.psoriasis.org/document.doc?id=354.
- Psoriasis Treatments. (n.d.). National Psoriasis Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments.
- Psoriasis and phototherapy. (n.d.). Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance (PAPAA). Retrieved from http://papaa.org/further-information/psoriasis-and-phototherapy.