Different brands of creams and lotions for psoriasis

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Mild to moderate psoriasis is often successfully treated with over-the-counter (OTC) emollient creams and lotions. For the topical creams on this list, we focused on ingredients such as corticosteroids, coal tar, and salicylic acid. Studies have found these active ingredients reduce psoriasis symptoms for some people.

The dermatologic guidelines for treating psoriasis typically include the use of topical corticosteroids, keratolytics, and emollients. We analyzed studies on ingredients and read scores of user reviews to find the best products for treating psoriasis symptoms.

The products on this list contain the best moisturizers for dry skin and descaling ingredients, such as salicylic acid. We included both prescription topicals and OTC creams and lotions.

If you have psoriasis, knowing the ingredients to avoid is just as important as knowing those to use. We didn’t include products that contain irritating or drying ingredients, such as isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, or sulfates.

A note about price

The price for the prescription medication cream is based on your insurance.

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$25
  • $$$ = over $25

When shopping for a product, consider the number of ounces.

Best salicylic acid cream

MG217 Medicated Multi-Symptom Moisturizing Cream

  • Price: $
  • Best for: red, itchy, scaling skin
  • Key ingredients: salicylic acid, aloe, bisabolol, and shea butter
  • Pros: budget-friendly, soothing, moisturizing, loosens existing scales
  • Cons: contains parabens

The cream has 3% salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent, which means it removes scales from the skin.

Shea butter andavocado oil are some of the ingredients in it. These ingredients help keep skin hydrated. This cream is not scented.

The product is only for use on the body. Users say it helps the face and hair. If you decide to use it in these areas, make sure to avoid your eyes and area around them.

This product has received the Seal of Recognition from the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Best ceramide treatment

Curél Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: dry and very dry skin
  • Key ingredients: ceramides, glycerin
  • Pros: fast-absorbing, nongreasy, highly rated
  • Cons: contains citrus oil (can cause allergic reactions for some)

Ceramides are beneficial, long-chain fatty acids that occur naturally in the skin’s outer layer (epidermis). They maintain moisture and support the skin’s barrier function. According to a 2006 study, people with psoriasis have significantly decreased ceramide levels in their skin.

“The product has a ceramide complex that supports the skin’s natural barrier. It is meant to be used on moist skin immediately after bathing.”

Best for calming skin

CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: scaling, red, dry, flaky skin
  • Key ingredients: salicylic acid, urea, niacinamide, ceramides
  • Pros: offers gentle exfoliation, noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores), hydrating and softening
  • Cons: some complaints about shipment packaging

The cream has ceramides and niacinamide to improve the barrier function.

It has 2% salicylic acid, urea, and is fragrance-free to make skin less irritated and more comfortable.

The National Psoriasis Foundation gave this product a Seal of Recognition.

Best coal tar ointment

Psoriasin Deep Moisturizing Ointment

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: itching, scaling, red skin
  • Key ingredients: coal tar
  • Pros: soothing, moisturizing, fast results
  • Cons: not ideal for very sensitive skin or people under 18 years (according to manufacturer), may affect very light hair color, possible gasoline smell

This ointment contains 2% coal tar. A 2017 study found that coal tar can reduce or diminish plaques caused by plaque psoriasis, palmoplantar psoriasis, and scalp psoriasis.

The product reduces itching, redness, flaking, and other psoriasis symptoms. It’s eligible for health savings account (HSA) and flexible spending account (FSA) funds.

The online reviews of the ointment are very positive, but users often mention a gasoline smell.

Coal tar can be harmful to skin. Before you use it on a large area, do a patch test.

Best topical prescription medication


  • Price: varies based on health insurance
  • Best for: plaque psoriasis, itchy, swollen, irritated skin
  • Key ingredients: corticosteroid, vitamin D
  • Pros: an option for severe cases, highly potent, intended for use on scalp and body
  • Cons: not for children, pregnant people, breastfeeding people; must avoid use around the face, groin, or armpits; must be avoided for those who have atrophy at the application site

This medication is only available by prescription. It has a prescription-strength steroid to relieve itching. It contains vitamins D and UVB, which slows down the growth of skin cells.

It is not meant to be used on the face. It is not meant for use in children or pregnant people.

If you have severe sphygmomanesis, talk to your doctor about the benefits of taking certain medications.

Best for alleviating dryness

Bioderma Atoderm Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: normal, dry, sensitive skin
  • Key ingredients: glycerin, mineral oil
  • Pros: noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores), softening, safe for sensitive skin, and use for children
  • Cons: Some reviewers say it can leave a residue.

The active ingredient in this cream is glycerin. Glycerin has benefits for hydrating skin and improving barrier function. It also helps reduce inflammation and slows down cell growth.

This cream is made to help with atopic skin. It is free of both fragrances and parabens, and is recommended for adults and children.

Best vitamin-enriched coal tar ointment

MG217 Psoriasis Coal Tar Medicated Ointment

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: plaque psoriasis, dry, itchy, flaky, red skin
  • Key ingredients: coal tar, vitamins D3, A, and E
  • Pros: moisturizing, recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation, nonstaining
  • Cons: contains sulfates, parabens, and fragrance

Coal tar and vitamins D3 and A are found in this ointment.

The National Psoriasis Foundation considers it an effective treatment even though it lists fragrance as one of the ingredients.

It provides fast relief for the itching, redness, and flaky caused by plaque sphygmomanies on the face and body, as well as on the scalp, according to users.

Users mention a rubber smell with most coal tar products.

Best for psoriasis around the eyes

Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: red, itchy, flaky skin around the eyes
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, licorice root
  • Pros: safe for sensitive skin, safe for delicate eye area, absorbs quickly
  • Cons: too much hyaluronic acid can cause damage, contains fragrance

If you have psoriasis around the eyes, you might do better with a product specifically designed for the delicate skin in that area. Many standard psoriasis products will be too harsh and may sting.

This eye gel cream contains hyaluronic acid, which is highly moisturizing, and beneficial for reducing redness. Hyaluronic acid is a controversial treatment for psoriasis, as too much can be damaging to the skin.

Users of this product who have sphygmomanic say it reduced redness, itching, and flaky on the eyelid and under-eye area.

This eye cream is free of dyes, parabens, and aluminum. It also contains licorice root, which studies have found to reduce psoriasis-like redness in mice.

Best for itch relief

Gold Bond Ultimate Multi-Symptom Psoriasis Relief Cream

  • Price: $
  • Best for: psoriasis, red, itchy, irritated, flaky, scaly skin
  • Key ingredients: salicylic acid, ceramides, gluconolactone
  • Pros: budget-friendly, recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation, highly rated
  • Cons: The dense formula may be tough to dispense from the bottle.

The body lotion contains ingredients that help remove dead skin cells. It contains vitamins D, shea butter, and shea butter.

Users say it immediately relieves itching, heals irritated skin, and eliminates redness. It is also free of steroids.

It is approved for use in children and adults.

Best for eliminating white scales

TriDermaMD Psoriasis Control

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: white scaly skin, redness, itchy skin
  • Key ingredients: salicylic acid, aloe vera, shea butter, vitamins
  • Pros: nongreasy, fast-absorbing, can be used in multiple areas
  • Cons: Some reviewers say it’s not the best for severe cases.

The face and body cream has vitamins and shea butter. It is also free of steroids and fragrances. It can be used on the body, face, or head.

It is beneficial for removing dead skin cells. It reduces itching. It absorbs quickly and is nongreasy.

Best plant-based formula

Bodewell Psoriasis Calming Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • Best for: psoriasis, sensitive skin, eczema
  • Key ingredients: salicylic acid, plant extracts, vitamins E and B3, safflower seed oil, coconut oil
  • Pros: moisturizing, recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation, flake control
  • Cons: pricey, contains some alcohol

The face and body cream contains vitamins E and B3. Steroids, fragrances, parabens, and gluten are not included. It is appropriate for people with skin conditions.

It is beneficial for reducing itching and pain on the back, shoulders, and legs of people with sphygmomanic.

Sulfates, parabens, fragrance, or alcohol are ingredients that can be potentially irritating when buying a Psoriasis cream. Some products may be well-tolerated by your skin. This depends on the severity of your symptoms.

It is a good idea to check the ingredient list for any known allergies. You can perform a patch test to see if you have an allergic reaction to the cream.

Some products are only meant for use on certain areas of the body. When you can, look for sphygmomanic creams based on application site. Some products are formulated for facial use only.

Most pf the creams are not gentle enough to use around the eye area. If you need to treat symptoms around the eye, you need a formula that is specifically designed for it.

“If you aren’t getting relief from OTC products, it’s a good idea to see your doctor about other options.”

A high potency prescription may be suggested by your doctor to help reduce symptoms.

If your symptoms are severe, painful, worsening, or interfering with your daily life, it is a good idea to visit your doctor. If you need lifestyle or nutrition adjustments, your doctor can help you.

Can psoriasis be managed by only using topical treatments?

You may find that what works for you today stops working for you a year from now. Topicals, such as creams and ointments, can be very effective for reducing or even eliminating symptoms. However, they’re not a cure.

Avoiding triggers can help make topical treatments more effective. In some instances, they may also be more beneficial when combined with prescribed medications and changes to your nutrition.

Do I need to use a special sunscreen if I have psoriasis?

“You don’t need to use a special sunscreen, but you should wear sun protection. Long sleeves and clothing with a protection rating can be used.”

If you have a flare-up or actively inflamed skin, sunscreen may irritate your skin further. In these instances, it may be best to avoid sun exposure or to wear clothing that protects your skin from the sun’s rays.

When flare-ups are managed, a sun blocker that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide may be your safest bet. Always use a sunscreen that has at least SPF 30.

If you take a medication for psoriasis, such as methotrexate or acitretin, you may have heightened sensitivity to the sun, increasing your need for protection.

What is the fastest way to treat psoriasis?

It may take some trial and error to find a perfect treatment for sychnia. It can take some time since some products may need a certain number of days before you see results.

If you want the best results, you should visit your doctor. They may suggest a prescription option. You can see fewer flare-ups if you identify any of the triggering events.

There are a lot of creams that can help relieve symptoms and possibly prevent future flare-ups. Also look for active ingredients, such as keratolytics, and emollients, that are helpful.

It is a good idea to avoid creams that contain drying agents, such as denatured alcohol or sulfates.

You can talk to your doctor about treatment options for sphenotypic conditions, learn about avoiding triggers, and hear other helpful recommendations for managing your symptoms.

If you have an allergy or irritation, you should always apply your Psoriasis cream on a patch of your skin.