Know what to expect from your treatment

Tips on how to cope

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. Depending on the treatment, different side effects can occur. Generally, side effects can be more serious when you are on a systemic or biologic treatment than on a topical treatment. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects, so you know what to expect.

Side effects from topical treatment

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 complaint for people with psoriasis. Here are a few things you can do to help you manage the sensation without scratching:
  • Have a 10-minute bath in lukewarm water with a spoonful of bathing oil.
  • Moisturize skin regularly with emollient creams or ointments because dry skin feels itchier.
  • For the scalp: use a soft shampoo and conditioner after every shampoo to moisturize the scalp. Let you hair air dry. The hot air of the hairdryer can dry the skin of your scalp
  • Run cold water over your scalp or body
  • Apply a cold compress or a cold wet towel to the affected area. This is useful if skin also feels like it’s burning from the itch.
  • Distract yourself with another activity – perhaps make a cup of tea, pick up a book or put some music on.
  • 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.

If in doubt – consult your doctor

If you experience mild skin irritation as a side effect of your treatment, some of these simple strategies may help you manage them. If the problems persist, or if you experience any kind of unexpected reaction to your medication you should always consult with your doctor.