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How to manage psoriasis with skincare

The ESK blog

How to manage psoriasis with skincare

19 June 2021

Affecting up to 2.5% of the population, psoriasis can be a devastating skin condition. Luckily only half of all psoriasis sufferers ever get it on the face, and when it happens, it seems to be mostly pretty mild, compared to other parts of the body. Although half of all sufferers go into remission from time to time, it is usually a long term, persistent problem. There is no cure for psoriasis so the aim of any treatment including skincare is to reduce its severity, so it doesn’t have quite the same impact on your life.

Pretty much everyone with psoriasis needs a doctor to help manage it. First-line therapy of psoriasis usually consists of topical medications, such as emollients, tar, dithranol, corticosteroids and vitamin D3 analogues.


1. Salicylic acid. Used at concentrations between 2 and 10%, salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent that is really useful for psoriasis. Keratolytic means it softens the scaly layers of psoriatic plaques makes them easier to remove. There are some rules when it comes to using salicylic acid in psoriasis.

  • Only use it on <10% of the body’s surface area to reduce the risk of too much being absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • It can’t be combined with Vitamin D3 analogue treatments.
  • It can be used with topical corticosteroids.
2. Especially emollients, moisturizing skin affected by psoriasis can help keep it softer and healthier and prevent a relapse.

Other than that we don’t have much to recommend. In one study, topical vitamin C helped out some little mice with psoriasis. As an antioxidant, it may play a role in the future if we get more evidence. We just don’t right now.


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