If you have psoriasis treatments aren’t working. They are. It’s important you continue to use them, because if you don’t get control over your psoriasis, you have a greater risk of scarring and discoloration.
Treating Psoriasis Dyspigmentation
Most of the time, you don’t need to do anything to treat psoriasis dyspigmentation. It will clear up on its own. It gets better in two stages. In the first 3 months, most of the psoriasis itself clears. Over the next 3 months, you will see a gradual return to normal of skin pigmentation. It can take longer if you have dark skin. If you’re Black, your psoriasis lesions are often thicker-scaled and take time to get under control.
Some tools you can use to speed this process include:
. While UV light itself may improve psoriasis, too much of it can lead to sunburn, which may make your psoriasis worse.
Coal tar. This can help improve the itch associated with psoriasis, which in turn reduces risk of scarring. You can find it in over-the-counter psoriasis shampoos, bath solutions and ointments, and other forms. You can also apply it directly to your psoriasis. Your dermatologist can recommend products and tell you how often to use them.
Skin lighteners. Once your skin has cleared from psoriasis, you can try a skin-lightening product for hyperpigmentation, or dark spots. Look for a product that contains one of the following ingredients:
- Azelaic acid
- Glycolic acid
- Kojic acid
- Retinoid (retinol, tretinoin, gel, or tazarotene)
- Vitamin C
Always check with your dermatologist before using one of these OTC products, as they may contain other ingredients that may trigger a psoriasis flare.
Light therapy. When your dermatologist applies certain types of light to your skin with this treatment, typically using a laser, it reduces inflammation and allows your skin to heal.
The best way you can help prevent psoriasis scarring and discoloration is to keep your condition well controlled. Some ways to avoid a psoriasis flare include:
- Manage stress. It’s been shown to worsen psoriasis.
- Use bug repellent and sunscreen to prevent injury to your skin.
- Limit use. It can make psoriasis medications less effective.
- Don’t smoke, and avoid others who do.
- Limit showers and baths to 10 minutes, make them lukewarm, and slather on a fragrance-free moisturizing ointment or cream immediately afterward.
- Try not to cut yourself during shaving.
Taking the right medications can also get your psoriasis under control. Mild cases can be treated with topical prescription treatments like cortisone creams. More severe cases may require taking oral medications or injections to reduce inflammation. Your dermatologist can help you find the best treatment for you.