Over-the-counter shampoos are best suited for treating mild scalp psoriasis symptoms or as a method for removing scales so prescription scalp topicals can penetrate, says Feely. Keep it safe by using all products as the label directs.
“Also be aware that, although these agents can be effective treatments, there are potential side effects,” she says. “Salicylic acid, for instance, if not used properly can irritate the skin and aggravate your psoriasis. Coal tar can also cause irritation, as well as photosensitivity [itching, redness or inflammation triggered by sun exposure].”
The best way to know if an OTC product is safe and effective, she says, is to run it by your dermatologist.