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OTC psoriasis treatment

Many modern methods of treating psoriasis include drugs that are available with prescription only. But some people can control psoriasis with the help of over-the-counter medications, i.e. OTC psoriasis treatment. They help relieve the itching from psoriasis, and also reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of the disease.

Such medications are often used in combination with prescription drugs or as an independent therapy. It should be borne in mind that many of them can provoke the occurrence of side effects. It is important to know how to use drugs that do not require a prescription before adding them to your comprehensive treatment plan. Therefore, be sure to consult your doctor before starting a treatment. How can I choose the psoriasis treatment available without a doctor's prescription?

Methods of psoriasis treatment available without a prescription


Natural Treatment

It should be said that it is precisely preparations based on natural components that do not contain hormones, stomach and other supplements, very well suited not only for treatment, but also for the prevention of psoriasis. Unlike other non-prescription drugs, natural remedies for psoriasis are not harmful to the body. In addition, they can be used in combination treatment with other topical remedies for the treatment of the disease.

How does it work?

Components of natural ingredients effectively moisturize the skin, soften the keratinized areas and promote its rapid healing. They improve the metabolism of epidermis cells as well as nourish the skin with essential vitamins. Such preparations have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, calming effect and perfectly relieve itching.

The benefits of OTC psoriasis treatment:

  • No side effects
  • Can be used by children, pregnant and nursing mothers
  • Do not have a negative effect on the adrenal glands
  • Do not disturb the balance of hormones
  • Do not affect the functioning of the endocrine system
  • Not addictive
  • Have high efficiency
  • Provide a long-lasting remission
  • Can be used for a long time

Cream for psoriasis over the countershampoo for psoriasis over the counterLotion for scalp psoriasis over the counter

soap bar for psoriasis over the counterCream 100 ml for psoriasis over the counterOil for psoriasis over the counter

Disadvantages of natural products:

The only disadvantage of natural remedies is their slow action, unlike hormonal medications for the treatment for psoriasis. The visible effect will appear only a few weeks after the usage starts.



Coal tar has long been the most popular treatment for psoriasis. It was used as a psoriasis treatment for the first time over 100 years ago. In addition, it has been used to treat dermatological diseases for more than 2 centuries. By itself, coal tar is a thick substance which is a by-product of coal processing. It is commonly used in ointments, soaps and shampoos to treat psoriasis and other skin problems.

How does it work?

Carbon resin helps to slow the growth rate of skin cells. This substance reduces inflammation in psoriasis, and also helps get rid of itching and flaking. Coal tar starts working in 24 hours after its application.

Side effects

Coal resins can be contaminated. They have a very sharp unpleasant odor and leave traces on clothing and bed sheets. Tar makes the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. If you do not protect it from exposure to the sun, you can get burns. The adverse reaction of the body to tar can be manifested in irritation, redness and excessive dryness of the skin. According to international studies on cancer, substances that contain more than 5% of coal tar are carcinogens. The latter are cancer triggers.


Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid, classified as keratolytic, helps treat psoriasis and other skin diseases. There are many drugs that contain salicylic acid. It can be in the composition of ointments, creams, lotions and even shampoos that do not require a prescription. Before use, it is recommended to check the composition, since some cosmetic products contain a high concentration of salicylic acid.

How does it work?

Salicylic acid is a powerful tool for the treatment of various skin diseases, including psoriasis. It helps the dead cells of epidermis peel off. Salicylic acid cleans the outer layer of the skin from plaques, softening the coarsened areas and facilitating their peeling. Some people believe that this can also help reduce itching. In addition, when removing the dead skin areas, salicylic acid makes other types of therapy more effective. In the absence of coarsening layer, other topical preparations are much easier to penetrate the deep layers of the skin.

Side effects

Note that products with a high concentration of salicylic acid can cause skin irritation, especially with prolonged use. In fact, our bodies can only absorb a small amount of salicylic acid before side effects occur. Salicylic acid can also weaken hair follicles, which leads to a temporary loss of hair.

Precautions when using salicylic acid:

  • It is necessary to strictly follow the instructions while using these drugs.
  • Avoid contact with eyes and other mucus membranes.
  • Do not apply salicylic acid on irritated, damaged or infected skin.
  • Protect other areas of your skin by applying Vaseline around the area to be treated.
  • If symptoms worsen, contact your dermatologist immediately.

Although having allergies to salicylic acid and salicylic acid poisoning is extremely rare, several cases have been recorded. Symptoms of salicylic acid poisoning may include dizziness, rapid breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, headache, buzzing or ear ringing and drowsiness.


Hormonal preparations (Corticosteroids)

For most people, corticosteroid creams are predominant means of protection against psoriasis itching. Widely used non-prescription drugs are hydrocortisone ointment (1%). Hydrocortisone can be very effective in a short-term treatment. For example, one study showed that after four weeks more than two-thirds of patients using hydrocortisone noticed that psoriatic rash of psoriasis had significantly decreased or completely disappeared.

How does it work?

Corticosteroids block chemical substances in the brain, which cause the body's reaction in the form of itching, prevent the inflammatory reaction of the body and reduce blood flow to the affected areas.

Side effects

Side effects of corticosteroids may include burning at the site of application, changes in the color of the affected skin, acne and temporary itching. These drugs are not recommended for long-term use as they are absorbed into the bloodstream and can affect the internal organs. In addition, their effectiveness is reduced. It has been proven that in very rare cases corticosteroids affect the complex interactions of the pituitary and adrenal glands, bringing on a condition called Cushing's syndrome. Cushing's syndrome can lead to weight gain, excessive sweating, thinning of the skin, insomnia and decreased libido. Symptoms usually disappear after withdrawal.


Capsacin, zinc pyrithine, vitamin D

There are other non-prescription products for the treatment of psoriasis which do not contain salicylic acid, hormones or tar. These preparations have zinc pyrithione, capsaicin, vitamin D and others in their composition.

  • Capsaicin is one of the types of alkaloids. It is found in various types of capsicum which gives it sharpness. It can help reduce skin itching. Sometimes with the first application capsaicin causes severe burning, which usually goes away after several days of treatment.
  • Zinc pyrithione (zinc pyrithione) is a complex compound containing zinc. This substance is used as an antibacterial antifungal, as well as an antipsoriatic drug. The active chemical compound, zinc pyrithione suppresses the reproduction and activity of fungi and bacteria, eliminates peeling, facilitates itching and soothes irritated skin.
  • Vitamin D in a synthetic form slows the skin cell growth, reduces itching and painful sensations in the body. Ointments and creams containing vitamin D have anti-inflammatory effect in the treatment for psoriasis. It is not recommended to use these drugs in the treatment for the pustular form of the disease.



It is very important to maintain the water balance of your skin when treating psoriasis. Moisturizers help to reduce some of the symptoms of psoriasis, and also contribute to the rapid healing of each skin layer.

How does it work?

Daily use of a moisturizer helps to prevent and alleviate the outbreak of psoriasis. A qualitative moisturizing cream provides deep hydration and promotes faster skin rejuvenation. Regularly using moisturizers, you can relieve itching, reduce dryness, skin redness and irritation.

What moisturizing agents for psoriasis should be chosen?

  • Moisturizers without odor
  • Moisturizers with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30
  • Non-medicated moisturizing creams that do not clog pores and, consequently, do not cause acne
  • Buy greasy creams rather than loose lotions

Precautions when using moisturizers

Moisturizers are generally safe to use but some of them may contain ingredients that can worsen the symptoms of psoriasis. That is why it is very important to check the moisturizing cream labels before buying and applying them to the skin. Avoid moisturizers that contain alcohol, artificial colorants and flavors.

 Tips for increasing skin moisture 

  • Apply a moisturizer on a daily basis
  • The time to apply a moisturizer is after taking the shower
  • Take a shower with warm water for no more than 10 minutes (more time and too hot water can dry the skin)
  • Use a moisturizer as indicated on the label
  • Repeated use of a moisturizer is not harmful