If you are living with psoriasis I’m sure you get bombarded with product suggestions from those inside and outside the psoriasis community. “My friend tried this…” or “I heard this will work…” Everyone claims to have the next magic concoction to rid you of your psoriasis forever.
How do you know what products to trust? What should you try first? The National Psoriasis Foundation has made it a bit easier with its Seal of Recognition Program. This program is not an endorsement for products by the NPF but serves as a list of trusted products designed with psoriasis in mind.
“[The Program] recognizes products that are over the counter proven to safely and effectively manage psoriasis symptoms,” Courtney Schneider, Associate Director of Strategic Alliances for the NPF, said in a telephone interview with HealthCentral.
It’s not as simple as submitting a product to be placed on the list. Companies must submit an application to the NPF which includes "scientific data from a third party, with test results that demonstrate the product safely aids in the management of psoriasis symptoms. It also needs to be verified that it’s not irritating, does not contain any chemicals or ingredients known to cause irritation in psoriasis patients,” Schneider told HealthCentral says.
A panel of psoriasis patients and a panel of top dermatologists further review the product by using it. “They are vetted experts, and key opinion leaders in the management and treatment of psoriasis,” notes Schneider. For a product to earn the Seal of Recognition it has to have a unanimous vote by both NPF panels.
Currently there are 24 items on the list. I’ve tried three of the 24. Here are reviews for the products I’ve tried.
Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo – Original Formula
The base ingredient of this shampoo is coal tar. The use of coal tar has been around for ages, and was one of the first treatments used for psoriasis. It promotes healthy skin by slowing down rapid cell growth caused by psoriasis. It is recommended you use it twice a week. The T/Gel Shampoo works for me by decreasing the amount of flaky skin in my scalp. However, the shampoo doesn’t have a pleasant smell and due to the texture of my curly hair the product can be very drying.
I don’t recommend scratching your scalp before using this product because it may sting when applied to open skin.
Dermarest Psoriasis Medicated Moisturizer
I received a tube of this lotion while attending an NPF event. It’s a medicated lotion containing salicylic acid, an ingredient which decreases the appearance of psoriasis by promoting shedding of the outer most layer of skin. I put my bottle in the refrigerator because the extra coolness feels amazing against my itchy and inflamed skin. This product helps to minimize the flaking over time, but depending on the severity of your disease you may need to reapply at least two to three times a day. It has a light fragrance that is virtually gone after you rub in the lotion. I like this product but I’m not a fan of having to reapply. It’s hard for me to remain consistent with treatments that require use several times a day.
Prosoria Daily Psoriasis Treatment System
This is one of the most recent products to earn a spot on the NPF list. The product was recommended to me by a friend living with psoriasis. Initially I was hesitant about using it because it involves three steps and a nighttime regimen. To my surprise using the product is not as involved as I initially imagined.
I currently use it in between flares when my current biologic needs an extra boost. I used it on a spot of psoriasis on my arm and within two weeks the spot was gone. It has a light scent and is super lightweight.
It’s important to remember finding the right treatment is not a “one size fits all” process. What can work for one person may have zero affect on the next. Don’t get discouraged if a product works for one person but not for you. Finding the right treatment involves a lot of trial and error, so keep trying and stay consistent until you find something effective.