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A new treatment for psoriasis has been approved by the FDA, and it is the first of its kind that has been produced. Unlike the usual creams, lotions and tablets, Enstilar® is a foam application.

How Is It Used?

As it is a steroid, you should not apply the foam to larger areas of skin on your body, instead use on smaller areas at a time. The foam is applied once a day, and it is only rubbed in gently. Once the foam is applied, you need to keep the skin uncovered, otherwise the amount that is absorbed into the skin may cause side effects.  There are certain areas of the body where this medicine shouldn’t be used, unless it is recommended by the prescribing physician. These are:

  • The face
  • Groin
  • Underarm area

The foam or ointment application can be used every day for a period of 4 weeks. The liquid variation can be used longer, up to 8 weeks of daily usage. However, depending on the type of psoriasis or the severity of the disease, your doctor may recommend different treatment schedules.

What Are The Side Effects?

With any medicine you take or apply to your skin there is going to be some sort of side effect. The most common side effects from using this medicine include:

  • Itching
  • Color of the skin changing
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Dryness of the skin

There is the possibility of some people experiencing an allergic reaction to the medicine, and if that occurs, you must seek medical attention immediately. Signs to watch out for are:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Hives or a rash
  • Swelling of the face
  • Swollen tongue and or lips
  • Constriction of the throat

It is important to note that allergic reactions are not hugely common, and is dependent on the individual taking the medicine. It’s just the same as how some people are allergic to cats, and others aren’t – the same thing happens with medicines.

Other side effects that can occur in some cases include:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Gaining of weight
  • Swelling or puffiness of the face
  • Tiredness
  • Burning of the skin after application
  • Pus formation
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting, diarrhea
  • Weight gain
  • Poor wound healing
  • Mood changes

This list doesn’t include all of the potential effects, but these are the ones that are recognized as having been reported by those using the medicine. If you experience any of these effects, or other problems, you should stop the treatment immediately and contact your doctor.

What to Avoid During Treatment

Because the treatment contains a steroid, this can make you more likely to burn when exposed to the sun or the lights of a tanning bed. You must ensure you use a strong sunscreen when outside, even on cloudy days, and avoid any form of synthetic tanning.

For those who like to color their hair, it is recommended that you don’t do so within 12 hours of applying the treatment to your scalp. This could cause a nasty reaction. If you can possibly go without dyeing your hair for the duration of your treatment, this would be more advisable.

If there are any signs of skin infection, or an open wound, you should avoid using the treatment in those areas and seek medical advice regarding the infection. You can still use the foam in other areas of your body in the meantime.  Like most medicines, you also need to make sure you don’t get it in your eyes. If this happens, rinse thoroughly with water.


For those who have suffered not only the physical effects of psoriasis but also the emotional affects, the creation of a new drug that can help improve their symptoms and their lives is a welcome relief. Unlike other methods of treatment, Enstilar® works reasonably quickly, and doesn’t have a list of serious side effects attached to it. It is well worth talking to your doctor to see if this new treatment will work for you.