PSORIASIN®- A Treatment For Your Psoriasis?
Are You IN Control of Your Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition (a condition where your own immune system mistakenly attacks your own body) where skin cells grow at a much faster rate than normal skin cells. This causes thickened “plaques” of skin which may look red, silver, or scaly. It presents itself in many different forms, ranging from local (only affecting a little part in the body) to widespread (affecting many parts). It appears in both males and females equally, and amongst all races. Unfortunately, the more severe form of psoriasis is most often seen between the ages of 15-35 and can affect an individual’s confidence and overall quality of life quite severely.
There are a range of products available to help you control your psoriasis depending on:
- the severity of your psoriasis
- the aggravation of symptoms
- how long the symptoms last
- personal preference in the type of medication
Over-the-counter (OTC) topical products, such as PSORIASIN®, are popular treatments many consider when they are unsure how or where to begin. OTC products can be confusing though, especially figuring out exactly how the product works and if it’s right for you! We’ve looked into it, and we’ll help you see if PSORIASIN® can really help you stay in control of your psoriasis.
What is PSORIASIN®?
PSORIASIN® is an OTC product advertised as a treatment used to reduce the symptoms associated with psoriasis and improve the skin’s appearance. You may see this product available in a few different formulations such as a gel, ointment, or a wash. PSORIASIN® contains the active ingredient coal tar and depending on the preparation will contain other inactive ingredients such as lanolin and mineral oil.
How does it PSORIASIN® work?
Coal tar is known as a keratolytic, which helps break down a protein called keratin (most probably by suppressing DNA synthesis). Keratin is important in creating and providing structure to your skin, but psoriasis occurs when there is too much keratin and the skin thickens. The keratolytic effect of PSORIASIN® helps thin out thick skin and remove scale. In addition, coal tar has anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and weak disinfectant properties.
How should PSORIASIN® be used to treat Psoriasis?
To use PSORIASIN® ointment, a small amount of the product should be massaged into the affected area(s) one to four times daily. Be careful when applying the product around hair, as the product can stain light-coloured hair. In addition, massage PSORIASIN® in a linear motion in the direction of hair growth (so the hair lies flat) to prevent irritation to the hair follicles.
Is PSORIASIN® Effective in Treating Psoriasis?
Coal tar (the active ingredient in PSORIASIN®) has shown to be effective in reducing the redness, thickness, and amount of scaling of psoriatic plaques; an improvement that can be measured by a PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index) assessment.
It has been used in treating:
- plaque psoriasis
- palmoplantar psoriasis
- scalp psoriasis
Most, chronic plaques have shown improvement after 1 month and have remained in remission.
Coal Tar Vs. Vitamin D Analogues: Coal tar has also been shown to have similar effectiveness to topical vitamin D analogues, (synthetic Vitamin D that can be rubbed onto your skin) which act faster and have more tolerable side effects.
The combination of coal tar and UVB phototherapy is called the Goeckerman regimen and it is also a proven method in treating severe psoriasis.
What are the side effects?
The main disadvantage of coal tar are the aesthetic side effects – coal tar stains the clothing, skin and hair and can be messy to apply. Other side effects include:
It’s important to note that coal tar products make you more photosensitive, which means that you become more sensitive to sunlight, and burn more easily. When using PSORIASIN®, be sure to use sunscreen regularly and avoid getting too much sunlight.
PSORIASIN® is a relatively inexpensive option for those suffering with mild-moderate psoriasis. Since coal tar has been in use for decades, its safety concerns are well known. Some people are unable to tolerate the smell though, and may find that the product stains and is messy to apply. In the end, there are many other psoriasis products available that might be more effective and less annoying to use.
Where to buy:
Jenna Duursma, Wayne Ma, Angelica Maldonado; BSc. Pharm Candidates
Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Alberta
Edited and Reviewed by the Health Aisle Team
- About Psoriasis. Retrieved March 13, 2019, from https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis. National Psoriasis Foundation.
- PSORIASIN. Retrieved March 13, 2019, from http://www.alva-amco.com/products/psoriasin Alva Products. PSORIASIN®.
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