Treatments for life-threatening psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis is usually treated first from the outside in - moisturizers and steroids applied to the skin, and bed rest. Severe cases can also be treated with methotrexate, cyclosporine, or acitretin. Corticosteroids taken by mouth are only used if absolutely necessary. Coal tar preparations and phototherapy (ultraviolet light) should be avoided in the early stages, as they may make it worse, but they can be used after the inflammation has gone down.

Generalized pustular psoriasis is treated with hospitalization, bed rest, fluids (possibly intravenously), and measures to bring the body temperature back to normal. The affected areas of the skin are treated with bland compresses. If an infection has occurred, antibiotics can be used to treat it. Systemic drugs (taken by mouth) are only used if the person is exhausted from recurrent outbreaks; they include acitretin, methotrexate, and cyclosporine. Oral steroids will only be used in severe cases. Phototherapy (ultraviolet light) may be used once the condition has become less severe.

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