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New gel to treat scalp psoriasis

People suffering from scalp psoriasis now have access to a new treatment that has just been made available on prescription.

The once-daily gel Xamiol promises to relieve the itching, flaking and soreness caused by the condition, which is traditionally difficult to treat.

Xamiol combines the effects of a vitamin D-like ingredient to help normalise the speed at which skin cells are produced and a steroid to reduce inflammation.

It is hoped that the clear, odour-free gel formulation will be better received by patients than traditional treatments such as coal tar, dithranol, salicylic acid, steroid creams and ointments, some of which can be ineffective, difficult to apply, or make the hair look dirty or smell strongly.

Helen McAteer, Information Officer for the Psoriasis Association, welcomed the move. "New therapies such as Xamiol can improve the quality of life of patients and expand the treatment options for this frustrating and traditionally difficult to treat condition," she said.

Dr Girish Gupta, Consultant Dermatologist from Monklands Hospital in Lanarkshire, added, "The gel formulation makes it easy for people to use; very often they may stop treatment if it is messy or makes the hair look greasy or smell unpleasant.

"An effective new treatment will be welcomed by sufferers of this uncomfortable and often embarrassing scalp condition."

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Psoriasis Association