Review of effective ointments for psoriasis: which is the safest

Regular treatment with ointment is one of the mandatory methods of treating psoriasis on the hands, feet, face and other parts of the body. The oily texture of such topical products allows the active ingredients to remain on the skin for a long time, which makes them more effective than creams and gels. 

The list of ointments for psoriasis includes two main types of remedies:

  • Hormonal. May produce good results, but have many side effects.
  • Non-hormonal. Less effective, but safer than hormonal ones.

Hormonal ointments for psoriasis

The active components of hormonal ointments are glucocorticosteroids – hormones that can suppress the activity of the immune system and reduce inflammation. Most often, the following components are present in such ointments:

  • Hydrocortisone: Laticort, Oxycort, Hydrocortisone.
  • Triamcinolone: ​​Triacort, Ftorocort.
  • Betamethasone: Beloderm, Akriderm, Celestoderm.
  • Clobetasol: Powercourt, Cloveit.
  • Methylprednisolone: ​​Camfoderm, Advantan.

The only advantage of hormonal ointments is the rapid appearance of results. There are many more disadvantages, and these include:

  • addictive over time;
  • the presence of a withdrawal syndrome;
  • serious side effects;
  • impossibility of using long courses;
  • influence on hormonal levels;
  • the risk of relapse after drug withdrawal.

Dermatologists do not recommend the use of hormonal ointments if more than 20% of the skin is affected. Also, do not apply them to sensitive skin areas: in the neck, skin folds, face, diaper rash. Such drugs cannot be used without a doctor’s prescription, even if they are sold without a prescription. Due to uncontrolled use, the adrenal glands can be disrupted, which will lead to serious problems and diseases.

Non-hormonal ointments for psoriasis

Moderately effective and at the same time inexpensive ointments for psoriasis are considered non-hormonal agents. Their advantages in comparison with hormonal ones include:

  • relative safety;
  • lack of addiction;
  • lower cost;
  • the possibility of long-term use without harm to health;
  • no serious side effects;
  • preservation of hormonal levels;
  • no stress on the liver and kidneys;

But even with all the advantages, it is impossible to call non-hormonal ointments for psoriasis really effective. Unlike hormonal ones, they have a much weaker effect. Their effect is not manifested so quickly, so they are prescribed only for mild manifestations of psoriasis. They are also considered safer for the treatment of psoriasis in children. 

Non-hormonal ointments eliminate flaking, swelling, itching, relieve inflammation and irritation. In addition, despite the safer composition, the use of such funds does not exclude the development of an allergic reaction if a person has an intolerance to one or another component.

Depending on the effect exerted, all non-hormonal ointments are divided into several categories:

  • Others: ichthyol, kartolin, solid, tar, naphthalan. They have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. But it should be borne in mind that such ointments are not recommended for the progressive stage of psoriasis and for large lesions. Tar ointment is contraindicated in phototherapy as it has a photosensitizing effect.
  • Phytopreparations. This includes products based on sage, celandine, aloe, elecampane and other herbal ingredients. Considered the safest of all non-hormonal ointments. But the plant base can cause allergic reactions.
  • Keratolytics: zinc, salicylic, zinc-salicylic. Their main property is the exfoliation of dead cells, which do not have time to be rejected in psoriasis. Keratolytics can cause increased inflammation, a burning sensation, and increased pigmentation in the surrounding healthy skin.

Moisturizing ointments are used as auxiliary non-hormonal agents for psoriasis. But they only help to eliminate the feeling of dryness and tightness of the skin.

Features of non-hormonal ointments

Salicylic ointment for psoriasis is one of the most inexpensive, but it must be borne in mind that its action in such a serious disease is often not enough. They show good exfoliating, emollient and antiseptic effects, but, like other non-hormonal ointments, they appear in at least 2 weeks, and sometimes even later.

The same can be said about the use of an ointment based on solidol for psoriasis. In addition, these are very specific products that have a pungent odor. It can stick to furniture and clothing and is very difficult to remove.

Among the listed ointments, there are no those regarding the use of which clinical trials would be carried out. This says that their effectiveness is confirmed only by the experience of some users. Clinical trials were carried out only on such drugs:

  • as pimecrolimus (Elidel cream);
  • Calcipotriol (Daivonex);
  • Zinc pyrithione (Zinocap).

This suggests that their use can really be beneficial. But with uncontrolled use of Pimecrolimus, there is a risk of infection, and Calcipotriol should not be used if more than 30% of the skin surface is affected, as this can lead to hypercalcemia.

The only safest remedy is zinc pyrithione. Thus, answering the question of which ointment is better for psoriasis, we can say that Tsinocap. But this does not negate the fact that its effect is still weaker than that of hormonal drugs.

What ointment to choose

Only a professional dermatologist should decide which ointment to treat psoriasis. His task is to choose the safest and at the same time effective drug. For more than 25 years, the PsorMak clinic has been practicing treatment with an anti-psoriasis ointment made according to the author’s recipe. The composition does not contain hormonal components, which provides the product with the following benefits: 

  • the possibility of use by children and pregnant women;
  • absence of withdrawal and addiction syndrome;
  • mild impact without provocation of relapses;
  • no contraindications.

But our specialists understand that even the most effective ointment for psoriasis treatment should be suitable for the patient. Therefore, before the appointment, we must carry out a full diagnosis.

In addition, an integrated approach is important in the treatment of psoriasis. In this regard, our dermatologists develop an individual diet for the patient, and, if necessary, give a referral to acupuncture and psychotherapy.

event_note December 4, 2021

account_box Dr. Peter B Milburn

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