Can Psoriasis Be Cured?

At this time, no cure exists for psoriasis. Like many immune-mediated diseases, it is treated with therapies that decrease immune activity. Unfortunately, no current treatment decreases the activity of the immune cells permanently. Current therapies suppress the signs and symptoms of psoriasis but are unable to treat the ultimate cause—activation of the immune system in the skin. In most people, psoriasis waxes and wanes with time. Many people experience periods of time where it is gone completely. For almost all sufferers, however, the disease does return.

Because the immune system is primed to react in the skin, it continues to do so over time. Many different “miracle” therapies and “cures” have been advertised for psoriasis. However, because psoriasis has multiple causes, and the immune system cannot be easily retrained, most people will need to be treated on an ongoing basis. Therefore, while many therapies are effective to calm the symptoms of psoriasis, claims of a cure must be evaluated with great care.

A realistic goal for most people is to find a personal balance between control of their psoriasis and the amount of time, effort, and expense they want to invest in treatments. Because all medications carry some risk, the balance between effectiveness and side effects must also be evaluated carefully. There is hope that, in the future, a cure will be found. Active research is being done by immunologists and skin biologists, and applied research is being undertaken by academic medical centers and pharmaceutical companies. Psoriasis remains a priority of researchers, and new developments and discoveries continue to unfold.