Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated skin disease that can also affect organ systems, such as joints. The exact cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, but it is generally believed to be a combination of overactive immune system, genetic factors, and environmental triggers. Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be transmitted through direct contact.
The main characteristic of psoriasis is the rapid proliferation and turnover of skin cells. The lifecycle of skin cells can be as short as a few days, much shorter than the 37-56 days in normal individuals. The skin cannot adapt to the rapid turnover of new skin cells, resulting in thick, red, itchy, and scaly patches. These patches are particularly noticeable in areas with friction, such as elbows and knees. It is estimated that approximately 7.5 million people in the United States are affected by this condition.
Some non-prescription products available on the market can help alleviate itching, scaling, and other discomforts of the skin. Active ingredients may include salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and coal tar. In this article, we will introduce 7 common non-prescription psoriasis products and how they help relieve symptoms.
- MG217 Medicated Moisturizing Cream with Salicylic Acid
- Psoriasin Deep Moisturizing Ointment with Coal Tar
- MG217 Medicated Tar Ointment with Vitamin D
- Curél Itch Defense Moisturizing Lotion
- Stiefel Eye Gel for Psoriasis around the Eyes
- Gold Bond Ultimate Multi-Symptom Relief Cream for Itchy Skin
- TriDerma Psoriasis Control Cream for Scaly Skin
MG217 Medicated Moisturizing Cream with Salicylic Acid
MG217 Medicated Moisturizing Cream is specially formulated to target redness, itching, and flaking of the skin. This moisturizing cream contains 3% salicylic acid, which helps soften and remove the scales of psoriasis. The formula also includes moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter and avocado oil, which help maintain skin hydration, reduce itching, and redness. While the manufacturer recommends this product for the body, some users have reported good results on the face and scalp as well. If you intend to use it in these areas, avoid contact with the eyes and the surrounding area. This product is certified by the National Psoriasis Foundation.
In addition to salicylic acid-based products, MG217 also offers products primarily composed of coal tar. Research shows that both salicylic acid and coal tar have certain therapeutic effects on different types of psoriasis, although their mechanisms of action are not the same.
Salicylic acid is a commonly used medication for alleviating psoriasis symptoms. It works primarily by promoting the shedding of the outer layer of the skin to reduce scaling and swelling. When using salicylic acid, it is important to pay attention to the dosage, as excessive use may cause skin irritation or worsen the condition. Additionally, since salicylic acid can cause skin dryness, it is recommended to use it in conjunction with a moisturizer.
Individuals allergic to aspirin should avoid using products containing salicylic acid. Even if you do not have a reaction to aspirin, it is necessary to perform a patch test on a small area of the skin before regular use. Furthermore, products containing salicylic acid should be kept out of reach of children and infants. It is not recommended for children to use products containing salicylic acid.
Psoriasin Deep Moisturizing Ointment with Coal Tar
Psoriasin Deep Moisturizing Ointment is primarily used to relieve skin itching, scaling, and redness. Its active ingredient is coal tar (2%). This ingredient has significant advantages in soothing the skin, moisturizing, and providing rapid relief. A study conducted in 2017 demonstrated that coal tar can effectively alleviate or eliminate patches caused by plaque psoriasis, palmoplantar psoriasis, and scalp psoriasis. 
However, this product is not suitable for individuals with skin allergies or those under 18 years of age. According to the manufacturer’s advice, it may affect light-colored hair and may have a gasoline-like odor. Despite these concerns, this ointment has received a large number of positive reviews online, especially regarding its significant effectiveness. It should be noted that coal tar may irritate sensitive skin, so it is recommended to perform a patch test before full use.
Coal tar is an FDA-approved ingredient for treating psoriasis. It is derived from coal and wood and can slow down the growth of skin cells. Research has shown that coal tar can make the skin smoother and reduce scaling, itching, and inflammation. Coal tar products may irritate the skin and make it more sensitive to sunlight, so it is advisable to use sunscreen when outdoors. The use of coal tar products can also stain clothing, bedding, or linen.
A study conducted in 2012 found that high concentrations of coal tar increase the risk of cancer.  Although the concentration of coal tar used to treat psoriasis is much lower than this level, the National Psoriasis Foundation still considers it a potential concern. Therefore, it may be necessary to discuss this potential risk with a doctor and monitor accordingly.
MG217 Medicated Tar Ointment with Vitamin D
MG217 Psoriasis Medicated Tar Ointment contains 2% coal tar. In addition, it is enriched with vitamins D3, A, and E, which can slow down the rapid growth of skin cells, deeply moisturize, and soothe irritated skin. Although the product’s ingredient list includes fragrance, it is still certified as an effective psoriasis treatment product by the National Psoriasis Foundation. Some users have reported that this ointment quickly relieves itching, redness, and scaling on the face, body, and scalp caused by plaque psoriasis. Like other coal tar products, it may have a gasoline or rubber-like odor when used.
A 2013 Cochrane review analyzed a total of 177 studies with 34,808 participants and found that topical vitamin D products were more effective than placebos and had similar efficacy to corticosteroids when applied to the body. However, for the treatment of scalp psoriasis, corticosteroids were more effective than vitamin D. Additionally, combination therapy using topical vitamin D and corticosteroids showed superior efficacy compared to using vitamin D or corticosteroids alone. 
Curél Itch Defense Moisturizing Lotion
Curél Itch Defense Moisturizing Lotion contains a patented ceramide complex that is especially suitable for dry and sensitive skin. What sets this product apart is that it is designed to be used immediately after showering, allowing it to bind with the moisture on the skin, accelerate absorption, and deeply moisturize without the need for excessive lotion application. It also contains various moisturizing ingredients such as urea and glycerin, which effectively maintain skin hydration and softness. It is worth noting that this product is fragrance-free, making it more suitable for sensitive skin.
Ceramides are beneficial long-chain fatty acids that naturally exist in the epidermis. Their main function is to maintain skin hydration and support the skin barrier. A 2021 review emphasizes the fundamental role of ceramides in skin health, as they are crucial for maintaining skin barrier function, preventing water loss, inflammation, and infection. Research indicates that skin conditions such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and dry skin are associated with ceramide imbalance. Therefore, restoring ceramide balance in the skin may provide a promising therapeutic approach for these conditions.  Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
A 2019 study explored the practical application of ceramides in psoriasis management. Researchers tested two skincare products containing ceramides, salicylic acid, and urea on 33 psoriasis patients. The results showed that over 72% of participants using the body lotion reported a significant improvement in skin appearance, and approximately 76% of participants using both the body lotion and cleanser reported an improvement in skin symptoms. These findings confirm that these products are not only well-tolerated but also effectively improve psoriasis symptoms.  Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
Stiefel Eye Gel for Psoriasis around the Eyes
If you have psoriasis around the eye area, you may need a product specifically designed for this delicate skin area. Many common psoriasis products can be too harsh and cause stinging. Cetaphil Stiefel Eye Gel contains hyaluronic acid, which is an effective moisturizing ingredient that can effectively reduce redness. According to consumer feedback, this eye gel has shown significant effects in reducing redness, itching, and scaling on the eyelids and under-eye area. However, it should be noted that the use of hyaluronic acid as a treatment for psoriasis is controversial. Additionally, this product contains licorice root extract, which has been found to alleviate symptoms similar to psoriasis.
Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide naturally present in the human body. It has functions such as moisturizing, tissue repair, and immune regulation. Some limited studies have shown its potential benefits in the treatment of psoriasis.
A 2022 study demonstrated that hyaluronic acid nanoparticles can serve as drug carriers, enhancing drug penetration and targeting. This means that using creams or lotions containing hyaluronic acid nanoparticles may improve the effectiveness of psoriasis treatment drugs.  Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
Licorice root is a traditional herb known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating properties, offering some benefits in the treatment of various skin conditions, including psoriasis.
A 2018 study explored the effects of glycyrrhizin (Glab), a component of licorice root, on psoriasis. The study showed positive effects of glycyrrhizin in psoriasis treatment, potentially attributed to its ability to lower pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and improve antioxidant status. The study suggested the potential of glycyrrhizin in psoriasis treatment.  Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
Gold Bond Ultimate Multi-Symptom Relief Cream for Itchy Skin
Gold Bond Ultimate Multi-Symptom Relief Cream is a product specifically formulated for various skin issues, especially relieving the itchiness associated with psoriasis. This soothing cream can relieve itching, reduce skin redness, and soothe irritation, garnering praise from many users. Its main ingredients include salicylic acid, ceramides, and gluconolactone, which help exfoliate and renew the skin. It also contains vitamin D, shea butter, and aloe, providing additional nourishment to the skin. Gold Bond Ultimate Multi-Symptom Relief Cream is certified by the National Psoriasis Foundation and is suitable for both children and adults.
TriDerma Psoriasis Control Cream for Scaly Skin
TriDerma Psoriasis Control Cream is specifically designed to target white scaly skin, redness, and itching, particularly effective for eliminating mild to moderate psoriasis-induced white scales. However, for severe cases, its effectiveness may be less pronounced. The cream’s main ingredients include salicylic acid, aloe vera, shea butter, and various vitamins. It is free from fragrances, steroids, and parabens, and can be used on various parts of the body, including the face and scalp. It helps remove dead skin cells and white scales on the skin’s surface and effectively alleviates itching symptoms. Additionally, its texture is lightweight, non-greasy, and absorbs quickly.
. James Q Del Rosso. Ceramide- And Keratolytic-containing Body Cleanser and Cream Application in Patients with Psoriasis: Outcomes from a Consumer Usage Study. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 2019.
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