Dithranol creams may be effective in scalp psoriasis but, like coal tar, can be difficult to use and are not often prescribed for home use. Dithranol is usually applied to the scaly plaques and left in contact for up to 30 minutes before being rinsed out. It needs to be applied with great care as it can irritate and cause purple staining of blonde or red hair. Dithranol can also burn skin unaffected by plaques. Lipid stabilised dithranol, if used correctly, can reduce staining. It should also be noted that dithranol will stain clothing and baths, showers and wash basins. Extra attention is needed and so it is probably best reserved for supervised use in dermatology clinics only.
There isn’t any specific remedy for the disease because of its autoimmune nature. However, certain treatments can significantly reduce its symptoms and improve the overall health state.
The most common treatment applied for psoriasis includes topical medications, namely analogues of vitamin D and topical corticosteroids in ointment and cream forms.
In some cases a treatment plan can be supplemented with phototherapy involving applying ultraviolet light to the affected skin areas with stopwatch . Applying injected or oral systemic medications influencing the entire body can be prescribed to patients with complicated forms of psoriasis or if other remedies appeared to be ineffective.
Studies show some of the chemicals in coal tar may cause cancer, but only in very high concentrations, such as in what is used in industrial paving. Anyone using tar regularly should follow a regular skin cancer checkup schedule. California requires OTC coal tar shampoos, lotions and creams that contain more than percent coal tar to be labeled with cancer warnings. However, the FDA maintains that OTC products with coal tar concentrations between percent and 5 percent are safe and effective for psoriasis, and there is no scientific evidence that the tar in OTC products is carcinogenic.