How to safely remove psoriasis plaques on the skin


Psoriasis scales are a hallmark of psoriasis. They usually appear as patches of rough, red skin and silvery-white scales that can itch, cause discomfort, and flake. There are a few methods people can try to manage their skin and get rid of psoriasis scales.

A person who wants to safely remove psoriasis dander may need to try different methods to see what works best for them without damaging the skin or causing further irritation. While over-the-counter medications and home remedies can help reduce psoriasis dander, in severe cases people should see a doctor who can prescribe stronger treatments. People should also avoid personal triggers that could exacerbate symptoms.

In this article, find out why psoriasis scales form, how to get rid of them safely, and what to avoid.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes skin cells to multiply very quickly. This overgrowth can lead to thick, scaly patches that itch and cause discomfort.

There are many types of psoriasis, each type looking different and the areas it affects. Research suggests that more than 8 million people in the United States suffer from psoriasis, and about 80-90% have it. plaque psoriasis, which is the type that presents with psoriasis dander.

Psoriasis plaques form as a result of an overactive immune system response. The raised patches on the skin are actually a buildup of skin cells.

Normally, it takes about a month for the new skin cells to develop and the old ones to flake off. In a person with psoriasis, this process happens much faster. The National Psoriasis Foundation notes that the skin cells of a person with psoriasis can break off in just 3 to 4 days, which is much faster than usual.

The skin cannot shed these extra cells fast enough and they build up on top of each other. The accumulation of these skin cells results in the characteristic plaques of psoriasis. As the skin cells build up, the old skin cells stay on the skin and begin to break off in larger flakes, called scales.

Removing the silver scales from the plaques can improve the look and feel of the plaques and may reduce some symptoms or make them more tolerable. Removing dead skin can also make drugs more effective, as they can be absorbed into active skin cells rather than old or dead skin cells. Some options may include:


Some chemical exfoliators can be very helpful for psoriasis dander. Over-the-counter chemical exfoliators can be helpful in removing tartar in mild to moderate cases. Doctors may prescribe stronger versions of these topical medications in some cases.

Common chemical exfoliators such as salicylic acid are widely available and can be effective for many people.

Salicylic acid is a keratolytic, which means it helps loosen the outermost layers of the skin. A article 2017 notes that salicylic acid can help lower the pH of the skin, which in turn increases the amount of moisture in the skin and softens the cells.

However, salicylic acid can cause side effects such as stinging, burning, or irritation. Other exfoliators can be similar to salicylic acid, but gentler on the skin. This includes alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid or lactic acid.


Regular moisturizers are important for healthy skin. It may be more noticeable in people with psoriasis. Regular application of moisturizers can help reduce the visibility of dander on psoriasis patches. It can also help reduce some symptoms, such as itching caused by very dry skin.

Dermatologists may recommend using thicker creams to help lock in moisture and provide an additional barrier to the skin.

coal tar

Coal tar is an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce redness and itching. A article 2017 notes that most chronic plaques treated with coal tar improve after 1 month of treatment and remain in remission longer than with other topical treatments.

Some over-the-counter coal tar products, such as soaps or creams, contain less coal tar than prescription treatments and may be more suitable for daily maintenance. However, coal tar products can cause side effects such as:

  • odour
  • irritation
  • skin coloring
  • sting

Over-the-counter corticosteroids

A dermatologist may suggest using Topical corticosteroids in varying dosages for the treatment of all grades of psoriasis. Over-the-counter steroid creams are milder versions of prescription steroids and may help control mild symptoms of psoriasis.

Corticosteroids reduce plaque inflammation, slow the growth of skin cells, and slightly suppress the immune system response that causes these problems.

However, corticosteroids can cause side effects such as:

  • thin the skin
  • change the color of the skin
  • easier bruising
  • broken blood vessels

Thermal baths

Soaking in the bath can help soften and remove dead skin cells from psoriasis plaques.

The temperature of the bath should be warm to lukewarm. Avoid using hot water, as this may irritate the skin even more. Adding ingredients like oils, Epsom salt, Dead Sea salts, or oatmeal to a bath can help remove psoriasis scales and soothe the itchiness.

People should try to avoid harsh soaps or scents, which can irritate the skin. Soaking in a tub for about 15 minutes before using other methods can help soften and prep the skin.

Medicated shampoo

Medicated shampoos containing salicylic acid, coal tar, or other acids can help control plaques on the scalp and surrounding skin. While other topical formulas can also work, these shampoos contain a special formulation to get the drug through the hair and into the scalp.

In addition to the above approaches, a person may want to do the following:

Avoid triggers

While taking care of mild psoriasis with over-the-counter ingredients can help remove dander, it’s also important to take care of psoriasis in other ways, such as avoiding personal triggers. Triggers for psoriasis can make symptoms worse and make it harder to control or eliminate dander.

While each person’s triggers can vary, the National Psoriasis Foundation lists some common triggers to try to avoid, such as:

  • stress
  • skin injuries
  • Sun burn
  • diseases, including anything that affects the immune system
  • allergies
  • all possible food triggers
  • alcohol
  • environmental factors such as extreme heat or cold, dry weather

Avoid picking

Avoid picking on the scales to remove them. It is easy to remove too much scale, resulting in broken skin underneath. This could cause additional irritation or bleeding which worsens the symptoms. Picking can also put the skin at an increased risk of infection.

If picking is a nervous habit, try to find something else to occupy the hands, such as holding a trinket or clicking on a pen.

The ingredients and over-the-counter medications for psoriasis dander removal can help with mild psoriasis. If these home remedies fail to control the symptoms, a person should see a doctor.

Doctors may prescribe stronger drugs that may be more effective at controlling plaque or removing dander in moderate or severe psoriasis

Psoriasis can cause scales to form on the skin which can be uncomfortable and itchy. This is because psoriasis causes the skin cells to multiply rapidly. People can use a variety of methods at home, such as chemical scrubs, moisturizers, and baths to help remove psoriasis scales and reduce symptoms.

It’s also important to take other steps to help control the symptoms of psoriasis, such as avoiding personal triggers. Anyone who has difficulty controlling their psoriasis symptoms or removing dander safely should see their doctor.

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