The Best Over-The-Counter Creams For Psoriasis

Once you develop psoriasis, it becomes a lifelong skin condition that you must learn how to manage. Psoriasis is the rapid development of skin cells on the surface that can lead to scaly, itchy, and dry red patches that are irritating and uncomfortable.

That’s why finding the right cream to minimize symptoms is important. It's risky to use just any cream you see on the shelf because it could trigger unexpected flare ups, especially if it contains harsh ingredients. Although a topical over-the-counter cream  won't cure a patient’s psoriasis forever, it can eliminate symptoms¹ between flare-ups. Creams can decrease inflammation, relieve itching and reduce the growth of skin cells that triggers psoriasis.

Doctors will typically prescribe patients with a steroid cream to effectively treat mild to serious conditions. But if you’re looking for a quick fix you can buy online or in stores, there are certain ingredients you should look for in over-the-counter creams that can help treat your psoriasis.

applying cream on hands with psoriasis Ternavskaia Olga Alibec / Shutterstock

Here are three topical solutions that might help treat your psoriasis.

Salicylic Acid Creams

Salicylic acid creams are one of the easiest over-the-counter products you can find to help treat your psoriasis. It’s a strong peeling agent that causes the outer layer of the skin to shed. 

Since psoriasis is caused by overgrowing skin cells, this ingredient can help normalize skin reproduction. It’s a scale lifter that will remove dry skin and help soften it in the process. You can find over-the-counter products that contain a strength of up to three percent² salicylic acid.

Recommended Product: TriDerma Psoriasis Control Cream ($24.99)

An effective cream containing three percent³ salicylic acid is TriDerma Psoriasis Control Cream. It’s specifically formulated to visibly reduce the flaky, red and scaly skin that comes with psoriasis. It also contains Vitamins B and E to help soothe and heal irritated skin by relieving itchiness. The fragrance-free, non-greasy product is gentle enough to use everyday to prevent recurrence. 

Coal Tar Creams

Tar has become a common ingredient used to treat psoriasis. It’s an FDA approved medicine that is derived from wood or coal works. Not only can it help relieve inflammation, itching and scaling, but it also slows down skin cell growth.

Over-the-counter coal tar creams are typically sold with a strength of 0.5 to five percent.⁴ Many products work by applying the coal tar cream directly on the problem skin for five to 10 minutes before rinsing off. There are also coal tar-based shampoos you can buy if there is psoriasis on your scalp.

Recommended Product: MG217 Psoriasis Treatment ($9.99)

If you’re looking for a cream that will improve the appearance of psoriasis and promote healthy skin, consider using the MG217 Psoriasis Treatment. It’s an extra strength formula containing two percent of coal tar and is recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation as an effective product.

Coal tar can be a harsh ingredient for some people, so this product helps to balance that reaction and retain the skin’s natural moisture by using Vitamins A, D and E. 

Vitamin D Analogues

Vitamin D Analogues is a man-made form of the sunshine vitamin that can be applied to skin care products. It’s been found to effectively treat psoriasis by slowing skin cell growth and removing scales. It helps with the skin’s appearance by flattening lesions reducing inflammation. 

This ingredient is good for mild to moderate forms of psoriasis and works especially well for treatment located on the scalp and nails.

Recommended Product: Maxasorb Vitamin D3 Cream ($19.95)

Vitamin D is the main ingredient in the Maxasorb Vitamin D3 Cream from Vita Sciences. It can be used on your entire body, including the scalp and face. Each pump of this cream delivers a generous dose of Vitamin D3 that relieves itchy, scaly and flaky skin.

Aloe used in this formula provides added relief to improve and soothe skin that's been suffering from psoriasis. It’s a scent-free and hypoallergenic cream that’s gentle enough to use on a daily basis.

Also Look For General Moisturizers To Help Your Psoriasis

Creams with salicylic acid, coal tar and Vitamin D analogues are products you can buy to treat psoriasis without a doctor’s prescription. Just make sure to read up on possible side effects that can occur from strong psoriasis treatments.

If you don’t want to constantly be using psoriasis treatments, consider buying hydrating moisturizers you can apply daily between flare-ups. Choose ones that are hydrating, long-lasting and won’t irritate sensitive skin. Baby and eczema creams are a good place to start since they’re formulated to treat most sensitive skin types.

Every case of psoriasis is different. If you’re experiencing this skin condition for the first time, then see your doctor and follow their recommendation for treating it. Psoriasis doesn’t have a cure, but it can be managed by choosing the right products and taking care of your skin.

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