Side effects for psoriasis treatments

Top tips on how to cope with psoriasis side effects

If you suspect that you're experiencing a side effect from your psoriasis treatment, speak to your doctor about how to best deal with it.

Burning sensation

If you experience a temporary, mild burning-like sensation, you may be able to lessen the effect by applying a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area.

Side effects from topical treatment for psoriasis

Some topical treatments may cause mild skin irritation as a common side effect. This may present as a burning sensation in the skin and itchiness.


Itching is a common side effect of topical psoriasis treatment. Here are a few things you can do to help you manage the sensation without scratching:
  • Slow your breath. Slowly, take a deep breath and count to 10.  Hold the breath for a few seconds, exhale and count to 10.  Repeat five times, or until you feel calmer. Feeling anxious, even subconsciously, can make itching worse.
  • Moisturise skin regularly with emollient creams or ointments because dry skin feels itchier.
  • Hold off scratching for 10 seconds, and then clench your fist for 30 seconds. This helps break the habit. Then, if the itch is still there, push your finger down on the area.
  • Distract yourself with another activity – perhaps make a cup of tea, pick up a book or put some music on instead.
  • Ask a partner, family member or friend to help take your mind off the itching by talking to you while you wait for the sensation to subside.

If you do experience side effects, simple strategies like these may help you manage them

Keeping concerns in perspective

If you do experience side effects, simple strategies like these may help you manage them. But remember, while every effective treatment can produce side effects, it doesn't mean everyone who uses the treatment will have a problem. So it's worth trying to keep concerns about any side effects that might occur in perspective. Also remember to ask your doctor to explain what will happen and what to expect when you use your treatment – that way you will be prepared.

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at in the UK or directly to in Ireland.

UK/IE MAT-09232 Date of prep: May 2017

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