Top Psoriasis Foams & Sprays in 2024: Your Guide to Relief

April 22, 2024

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Over 8 million Americans live with psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that accelerates skin cell turnover, causing painful red lesions and silvery scales. For mild to moderate cases, topical treatments remain first-line, offering a way to target outbreaks without resorting to systemic drugs. Two newer topical formulations – foams and sprays – are gaining popularity for their superior efficacy.

Why Foams and Sprays Are Game Changers for Psoriasis

Foams and sprays represent innovative vehicles for delivering medication. Traditional creams and ointments can be greasy, uncomfortable and difficult to apply. They also require massaging into the skin for absorption. In contrast, quick-drying non-messy foams and lightweight sprays provide advantages:

Benefits of Foam

  • Increased bioavailability with less rubbing needed
  • Enhanced delivery to difficult areas like the scalp
  • Higher concentrations of active ingredients
  • Uniform distribution over lesions
  • More cosmetically appealing

Benefits of Spray

  • Precision targeting of outbreaks
  • Rapid evaporation without sticky residue
  • Portability for on-the-go use
  • Cooling sensation upon application
  • Convenience of wider coverage area

With psoriasis, improved topical effectiveness means faster relief from often agonizing symptoms.

Different Types of Foams and Sprays for Treating Plaque Psoriasis

Two main drug classes are used to produce medicated foams and sprays – vitamin D derivatives to slow cell overproduction and corticosteroids to tackle inflammation.

First Line Options

  • Clobetasol propionate: High potency steroid foam proven highly effective
  • Calcipotriene-betamethasone dipropionate: Combined Vitamin D & steroid spray addressing two pathways
  • Calcitriol: Vitamin D spray that stabilizes skin cell production

Emerging Alternatives

  • Tazarotene: Retinoid foam helping skin shed quicker
  • Halobetasol propionate: Ultra high strength steroid foam
  • Roflumilast: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory PDE4 inhibitor spray

Finding the right formulation takes some trial and error based on outbreak severity and location. Always consult a dermatologist first.

Evaluating Clinical Evidence Supporting Psoriasis Foams and Sprays

Robust medical studies validate the use of foams and sprays for reducing psoriasis symptoms:

High Quality Research on Enstilar Foam

  • Over 2500 patients studied by manufacturer
  • Up to 52% achieve marked improvement at 4 weeks
  • 90% partial to full clearance at 12 weeks per journal study

Clobetasol Propionate Foam Research

  • 6-12 week trials show enhanced efficacy over other vehicles
  • Journal analysis finds extensive plaque clearing
  • Independent assessment confirms potent anti-inflammatory action

Promising Early Work on Novel PDE4 Inhibitor

  • Phase 3 trials report rapid, significant improvement
  • Nearly 30% almost clear or clear at 4 weeks
  • Favorable tolerability and safety profile

With psoriasis significantly impacting quality of life, superior topical treatments like foams and sprays facilitate better symptom management between flare-ups.

Choosing Between Foam vs Spray for Psoriasis Outbreaks

Both foams and sprays offer pros and cons psoriasis patients should consider:

Key Factors Favoring Foam

  • Better delivery for scalp outbreaks
  • Easier to rub thoroughly into skin
  • Lower chance of dripping into eyes
  • Provides visual confirmation of coverage
  • Often higher strength medication

Key Factors Favoring Spray

  • More precise application
  • Cools skin upon contact
  • Faster to apply over large areas
  • Easier to reapply as needed
  • More portable for travel

Ultimately, psoriasis is highly individualized, so each patient’s unique outbreak patterns should determine whether foam or spray works better. Having both formulations available expands options.

Best Practices for Using Psoriasis Foam and Spray Topicals

To maximize results from psoriasis foam or spray:

  • Clean skin then apply daily to affected areas
  • Spot test on small area first to check for reactions
  • Spread foam evenly and allow to absorb briefly
  • Shake spray well and dispense directly onto lesions
  • Use fingertips to gently massage medication into skin
  • Always follow packaging instructions carefully
  • Store foam and spray at room temperature away from heat or moisture
  • Expect some burning, itching for the first few days
  • See a doctor if symptoms worsen or don’t start improving within 2 weeks
  • Monitor for possible side effects like skin thinning or sensitivity
  • Report any vision changes (which can signal medication is being absorbed into bloodstream)

With proper use, foams and sprays help tame flare-ups improving life with plaque psoriasis.

Natural Home Remedy Alternatives to Psoriasis Foams and Sprays

While topical steroids and vitamin D derivatives in spray and foam form are clinically proven to treat psoriasis, some patients may prefer complementary options:

Potential Benefits

  • Avoid side effects of prescription medications
  • Take a more holistic approach to skin health
  • Empower greater self-care through lifestyle


  • Limited evidence regarding efficacy
  • Results likely less potent than medical therapy
  • Risk of reactions or further irritation

Common home remedies touted for psoriasis include:

  • Moisturizers: Relieve dryness, restore skin barrier
  • Aloe vera gel: Hydrates and reduces scaling
  • Apple cider vinegar: Balances skin pH to fight microbes
  • Oatmeal baths: Soothe inflamed skin
  • Coconut oil: Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Oregon grape: Active compound fights hyperproliferation
  • Turmeric: Curcumin acts as anti-inflammatory
  • Dead Sea salts: Rich mineral content reduces scaling
  • Evening primrose oil: Source of skin-nourishing gamma linolenic acid

Be cautious mixing home remedies with prescription topicals due to potential interactions. Always do a patch test first.

Overcoming Psychological Barriers to Using Psoriasis Topicals

Despite proven benefits of medicated foams and sprays, the National Psoriasis Foundation reports up to 70% of topicals go unused – even among motivated patients trying to manage frustrating symptoms.

Why is adherence to topical psoriasis regimens suboptimal?

  • Messy, time-consuming application
  • Unpleasant smell
  • Skin irritation or “burning”
  • Perceived lack of improvement

Emotion-Related Barriers

  • Depression or stress diminish motivation
  • Embarrassment over visible outbreaks
  • Hopelessness about finding relief

Tackling obstacles head on can get treatment back on track:

  • Simplify regimen to every other day or reduce frequency
  • Set reminder alerts on phone for consistency
  • Rotate active ingredients to minimize side effects
  • Request foam/spray if ointment difficult to use
  • Track progress with photos to see subtle gains
  • Identify triggers causing flare ups despite adherence
  • Join support community to normalize struggles
  • Communicate openly with providers about all barriers

With plaque psoriasis being lifelong, preserving motivation requires self-compassion around occasional setbacks.

FAQs: Answering Common Psoriasis Foam and Spray Questions

How long does it take for psoriasis foam and sprays to start working?

Like most topical psoriasis treatments, foams and sprays often demonstrate some modest improvement in redness, thickness and scaling within 2 weeks, but may take 4-6 weeks show substantial clearing. Use daily as directed.

Can I use psoriasis foam or spray on my face or delicate areas?

Yes, most foam and sprays can be gently applied to face, genitals and skin folds. Avoid contact with eyes. Discuss use on sensitive areas with your provider first.

Are there any downsides to choosing psoriasis foam or spray over ointments or creams?

Foams/sprays are mess-free and fast-drying but may be more expensive than ointments or creams. They also contain propellants to dispense that rarely cause irritation. But skin absorption may be slightly less than an ointment you massage thoroughly into lesions.

How do I know if psoriasis foam or spray is working or not?

Look for reductions in redness, plaques reverting to normal skin color, decreased thickness and scaling, less itching or pain, reduced number/severity of lesions. Keep notes on symptom changes. Most patients see gradual improvement over 4-8 weeks.

Can I use psoriasis spray or foam together with other topical treatments?

Using two topicals together risks worsening skin irritation without added benefit. Rotate other treatments morning/night. The exception is applying moisturizers which soothe skin and boost medication absorption. Discuss combo options with your dermatologist.

Takeaways on Psoriasis Foams and Sprays

  • Foams and sprays overcome limitations of ointments for treating outbreaks
  • Evidence shows superior efficacy over other vehicles
  • Non-messy foams enhance scalp/hairline treatment
  • Lightweight sprays allow precision targeting of lesions
  • Following usage instructions carefully is key
  • Psychological barriers like treatment fatigue require attention
  • Most patients experience moderate improvement within 1-2 months

Well-formulated topical foams and sprays present patients with another weapon for fighting plaque psoriasis flares. While not cure-alls, they expand the arsenal allowing better control between systemic treatments.

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