The Best Psoriasis Cream Formulas, According to a Dermatologist

Finding the right psoriasis cream can help you ward off discomfort. Here are the best options to try if you're dealing with itchy, scaly skin.

Photo: Courtesy of Merchants / Design by Jo Imperio

A hard truth about psoriasis: It's a tricky (and frustrating) condition to treat. The skin disorder most often manifests as pink, scaly patches of skin, technically called plaques, explains Michele Farber, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology in Philadelphia. These patches usually pop up on the elbows, knees, and trunk, though they can also appear on the groin, scalp, or face, and anything from stress to certain medications can cause a flare, she adds. Skin experts believe that psoriasis is caused by an immune system response that causes the skin to regenerate cells at a faster than usual rate, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Here's the good news: While prescription medications are often necessary to help treat psoriasis, switching to gentler skin-care products can also go a long way in easing symptoms. Avoiding common irritants (think: fragrance, sulfates) in all of your products is key, says Dr. Farber, who adds that applying thick moisturizers that help repair the skin barrier is one of the best things that you can do. (Learn more about how you can strengthen your skin barrier here.)

More specifically, try to find skin-care formulas with moisturizing ingredients such as ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid, she suggests. It may also be helpful to seek out gentle (keyword being gentle) exfoliants — specifically salicylic acid, lactic acid, or urea. "These can reduce thicker psoriasis scaling, which can help prescription topical medications work more effectively," explains Dr. Farber. (FYI physical exfoliants can be too harsh for people with psoriasis.)

Need more guidance? You can reach for any (or all) of the best psoriasis lotion formulas below, which check all of the necessary boxes. (

The Best Psoriasis Creams to Buy for Itchy, Scaly Skin

01 of 07

CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream-Psoriasis-Products-
Courtesy of Merchants

One of Dr. Farber's favorites, this formula contains salicylic and lactic acids to exfoliate scaling, soothing niacinamide, and ceramides, she notes. This CeraVe Psoriasis Cream absorbs quickly, and also features a pump top applicator that makes it easy to quickly dispense just the right amount.

02 of 07

La Roche Posay Lipikar Balm AP Intense Body Repair Cream

La Roche Posay Lipikar Balm AP Intense Body Repair Cream-Psoriasis-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

Dr. Farber also recommends this heavy-duty moisturizer as a psoriasis cream. She loves that it's "packed" with shea butter, glycerin, and niacinamide to help soften psoriasis patches. Moreover, the formula is intended for use on both face and body. (Related: Here's Why You Have Itchy Skin at Night)

03 of 07

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Balm

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Balm-Psoriasis-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

Not only does this ultra-rich option impart long-lasting moisture, it's also intended to quell itch (fast). Credit the zinc in the formula, which also tamps down redness. It has the National Psoriasis Foundation's Seal of Recognition, meaning the brand submitted third-party patch test results and a safety report to the organization. Add in the fact that it can be used on babies, kids, and adults, and it's definitely in the running for the best cream for psoriasis.

04 of 07

Eucerin Roughness Relief Cream

Eucerin Roughness Relief Cream-Psoriasis-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

This is a standout option as it not only contains urea for gentle exfoliation, it's also paraben-, dye-, and fragrance-free, says Dr. Farber. That makes it suitable for people with psoriasis and anyone with dry, sensitive skin in general. And the wallet-friendly price tag for a big tub makes this a steal. (Related: How to Prevent Dull, Dry Skin In Winter)

05 of 07

Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer

Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer-Psoriasis-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

Another option recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation, this is a must for anyone who either hates or forgets to apply body lotion (or both). The unique formula is meant to be applied on wet skin, i.e. you can keep the bottle in your shower and quickly apply before you even towel off. It absorbs lightening fast, but still delivers plenty of soothing and moisturization benefits.

06 of 07

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream-Psoriasis-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

Yes, eczema and psoriasis are two different things, but there is a lot of overlap in terms of ingredients that are helpful for people dealing with either condition. Case in point: Dr. Farber recommends this drugstore cream because it contains colloidal oatmeal. The ingredient relieves itch and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it helpful for both psoriasis and eczema.

07 of 07

ISDIN Uradin Lotion 10

ISDIN Uradin Lotion 10-Psoriasis-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

Sure, this is pricier than the other picks on the list, but Dr. Farber still believes it's a contender for the best lotion for psoriasis. "This is a fantastic option as it has urea to gently exfoliate, but also helps maintain the skin barrier," she says. Also nice: Along with reducing dryness and flakes, it alleviates the itchy, tight feeling that people with psoriasis can often experience.

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