Scalp Psoriasis : Treatment and Care
Skin Care Network
Scalp Psoriasis Treatment:

Treating Scalp Psoriasis: Non-Steroidal Topical Medications

Why Non-Steroidal Topical Medications

Although topical corticosteroids are the most popular medication for psoriasis as well as other skin rashes, they are not the only topical medications available. These topical options serve an important need as they have different mechanisms of action from that of corticosteroids.

If the body becomes resistant to corticosteroids or if there is concern of overuse, it is important that medications with different mechanisms exist to fill the void. Often corticosteroids are applied in an on and off basis, switching with other topical treatments that work differently, so that the body does not develop resistance to corticosteroids.

Some of the popular non-steroidal medications include:

  • Coal Tar Shampoo
  • Vitamin D analogues (Calcipotriol)
  • Retinoids

Some popular treatments include:

  • Tazorac® (Tazarotene)
  • Dovonex® (Calcipotriene)
  • Xamiol® (Anthraline)

Non-steroid Topical Medication Benefits:

  • Non-steroidal medications have differing mechanisms of action from corticosteroids which is an important factor for those who are allergic to corticosteroids or need to be "off" from them for a time
  • Although mechanism differs from medication to medication, the result is a slowing of cell proliferation that causes psoriatic patches, and the shedding of top layer cells
  • Itching and inflammation that is seen in psoriasis is also put under control
  • Non-steroid topical medication can be used in combination with corticosteroids
  • Generally, the side-effects of non-steroidal medication are milder
  • Often helps reduce or eliminate the side-effects of long-term use of steroids by mixing the use of non-steroid based treatments

Non-steroidal Topical Medication Drawbacks:

  • As topical medications, non-shampoo types can be difficult to apply, especially for long hair
  • Compared to topical steroids, these medications often take effect slowly
  • For some people these medications may sting and irritate the skin
  • Some people with severe scalp psoriasis may have patches that are resistant
© Scalp Psoriasis .CA 2011