Topical treatments are those that are applied directly to the skin rather than taken orally or injected. Often topical treatments are tried as first line management for psoriasis. Topical treatments are generally safe and effective with minimal side effects. At The Psoriasis Institute we use a wide range of creams treatments for psoriasis, including prescription and non-prescription products to help manage your psoriasis.

  • Topical treatments are often the first choice in milder forms of psoriasis
  • Most psoriasis patients can benefit from topical treatments
  • Topical treatments are usually safe and easily applied
  • An individualised approach to topical treatments is usually most effective

Topical treatments for psoriasis are usually most effective in patients with mild or mild-to-moderate forms of psoriasis. However, ALL patients with psoriasis can benefit from the use of creams. How do we determine if psoriasis is mild, moderate or severe? If less than 10% of the body’s surface area is affected with psoriasis it is generally classed as mild. If 10% of the body’s surface area has psoriasis it is classified as mild-to-moderate. Where more than 10% of the skin surface area is affected it is moderate-to-severe psoriasis. Our specialists are experienced in managing all grades of psoriasis and will recommend topical treatments appropriate for you.

Topical treatments can also help to maintain remission of psoriasis and help improve the patient’s quality of life.  Another way to determine how severe your psoriasis is to determine the impact on your life. To understand the impact of this condition on you - Use our Severity Report.

There are many different products for use in treating psoriasis. Non-prescription options include moisturisers and emollients, bath oils, medicated shampoos and lotions. These can all be effective in helping treat psoriasis.

Topical treatments prescribed by our specialists include vitamin A and D creams, coal tar, anti-inflammatory cream, and topical steroid agents. Often a combination of treatments is recommended.

There are many different topical treatments for psoriasis. They all work in different ways. Some topical treatments aim to normalise the abnormal skin growth in psoriasis while others aim to reduce the inflammatory process and thickening of the skin associated with this disease. Some topical treatments benefit patients by simply treating the symptoms such as scaly skin, cracking of the skin, itch and dryness. Some simple topical treatments such as moisturisers and bath oils can help prevent progression of psoriasis by preventing further damage to the skin from dryness. In mild-to-moderate psoriasis, these treatments may be enough to control the disease.

The answer to this common question is usually YES. Generally, because they are applied externally, the risk of serious side effects is much lower. However, they may not be as effective as systemic treatments (tablets) for all types of psoriasis. Long-term use of some topical treatments can result in reduced effectiveness of the treatment. Often a cyclical approach to topical treatments can minimise this reduction in effectiveness over the longer term as well as reducing the likelihood of side effects. Our specialists can develop a topical treatment plan that is safe, effective and appropriate for your type of psoriasis.

For many patients with psoriasis, specialists at The Psoriasis Institute will use a combination of various topical treatments as well as systemic treatments. This tailored approach using topical treatments can often allow lower doses or shorter courses of psoriasis tablets being used thereby reducing potential side effects.

A few other clinics in Brisbane sell creams and tablets for the treatment of psoriasis, however the creams we provide are medically prescribed items. In the majority of cases, a PBS item provides you with creams and tablets at a fraction of the cost of other centres. We can also ‘compound’ special additions into our creams, including olive oil, and essential oils to help decrease inflammation.

At the Institute we give patient’s the flexibility of choosing treatments that you are comfortable with.

Many psoriasis patients would have tried some form of cream for their lesions, and in a significant percentage of cases, they just don’t seem to work. In some cases, the combination of creams maybe wrong, in other cases creams are just not strong enough to do the job! Finding the correct combination is the key, but most importantly we try to find the trigger factors associated with psoriasis as well.

For patients who fail to respond to creams, phototherapy, a treatment using safe, medically prescribed UV light can help. In our hands, upto 90% of psoriasis lesions can be cleared using this method.

In resistant cases of psoriasis, we can use tablets or look into your diet.

Dr Scott Webber - Dermatologist

The Psoriasis Institute

Individualised and often simple topical treatments are an essential part of treating psoriasis. They can benefit almost all patients with psoriasis. It is important that patients and doctors have realistic expectations when using topical psoriasis treatments. More severe forms of psoriasis cannot usually be treated adequately with topical treatments alone but they remain a fundamental part of even the most severe forms of psoriasis.


  • Narrowband Phototherapy has done wonders for my psoriasis. Only two treatments a week, less than 5 minutes a week and it’s under control. This has helped me decrease my steroid cream application to once a week.
    - Gordon R. St Lucia