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Silkis ointment for psoriasis
Silkis ointment is a calcitriol-based topical treatment for plaque psoriasis. Daily application reduces the production of excessive skin cells (which causes psoriasis) and provides relief from symptoms such as skin redness, irritation, and scaling. You should see a significant improvement in your skin condition within 2 weeks of using Silkis ointment consistently.
Silkis ointment can be purchased from The Independent Pharmacy when you complete a short online assessment. Once it’s been reviewed by a member of our medical team, you’ll receive your medication as early as the next working day.
What is Silkis ointment?
Silkis ointment is a topical treatment for mild to moderately-severe psoriasis, a skin condition that can cause the skin to feel itchy and irritated and appear red, inflamed, and scaly. Applied directly to the affected areas, Silkis contains an active ingredient called calcitriol that inhibits cell growth in psoriasis-affected skin and relieves symptoms including skin redness, irritation, and inflammation.
Silkis is a prescription-only medication. To purchase Silkis ointment online from The Independent Pharmacy, you’ll be asked to complete a short online consultation to ensure it’s the right treatment for you.
The main benefits of Silkis ointment:
- It’s a topical treatment that’s highly effective at treating mild to moderate plaque psoriasis.
- Its active ingredient, calcitriol, inhibits unrestrained cell growth in psoriasis-affected skin.
- It effectively alleviates psoriasis symptoms including scaly, red, and itchy skin.
- It can significantly reduce the appearance of plaque psoriasis after two weeks of consistent use.
- It’s available to purchase online with next day delivery — simply complete a short online consultation.
What is Silkis used for?
Silkis calcitriol ointment is used in the treatment of mild to moderate cases of plaque psoriasis — the most common type of psoriasis — which is characterised by scale-like skin lesions (known as ‘plaques’) that can cause irritation and soreness. These plaques can appear anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on the elbows, knees, and lower back.
Used consistently, the active ingredient in Silkis gets to work quickly to alleviate symptoms of plaque psoriasis, reducing redness, irritation and inflammation and in some cases clearing up the condition completely. It’s applied directly to the affected areas of skin (where psoriasis affects no more than one third of the total skin area) twice daily, or as advised by a doctor or pharmacist.
How does calcitriol work in psoriasis?
Calcitriol, the active ingredient in Silkis ointment, is a form of vitamin D, which helps to inhibit the excessive production of skin cells that can lead to plaque psoriasis. It does this by binding Vitamin D receptors called keratinocytes, which are responsible for excessive skin cell production.
By bringing the production of skin cells back to a normal rate, calcitriol reduces and eliminates the scaly, red, irritated skin patches that are common in psoriasis sufferers. After two weeks of consistent use, the calcitriol in Silkis ointment can significantly improve the condition of the skin and leave it looking smoother, clearer and fresher.
Is Silkis ointment a steroid?
Silkis ointment is a non-steroid-based topical treatment for psoriasis. Its active ingredient calcitriol belongs to a class of medications known as vitamin D analogues (calcitriol is also known as a nonsteroidal antipsoriatic agent). Alternative steroid-based psoriasis treatments include Betnovate and Eumovate.
How long should I use Silkis ointment for?
It’s important to use Silkis cream as directed by your doctor or pharmacist, but it is recommended to apply the ointment to the affected areas twice a day — once in the morning and once at night. You should see a significant improvement condition after 2 weeks of use, as long as you’re using Silkis consistently.
If you don’t notice any improvement in your psoriasis symptoms after this time, speak to your doctor or pharmacist who may recommend an alternative treatment.
Alternatives to Silkis ointment
Silkis cream is just one many available treatments for psoriasis. Available treatments include topical gels and ointments, scalp shampoos, and bath and shower emollients. Many of these are available without prescription, while others will need to be prescribed by a doctor or purchased via a pharmacy following a consultation.
If Silkis ointment does not reduce all of the redness or inflammation, your doctor or pharmacist may recommend adding a topical corticosteroid treatment for psoriasis. These include:
If your psoriasis affects the scalp, there are a range of scalp treatments, including:
The above psoriasis treatments are available via prescription or consultation only, while others are available without prescription. Over-the-counter psoriasis treatments include:
- Adex Gel (dry skin treatment)
- Balneum Cream (moisturising cream)
- Dermalex Scalp Psoriasis Gel (scalp treatment)
- Dermol (shower emollient)
For a full range of psoriasis treatments, along with more information about causes and symptoms of the condition, head to our dedicated psoriasis page.
How to use Silkis ointment
Silkis ointment is for use on the skin only. You should use this treatment exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist.
To apply Silkis ointment:
- First, wash and dry the affected areas of skin.
- Apply a thin layer of the ointment to the affected areas (apply especially carefully to the face, as there is a greater risk of irritation).
- Repeat this twice a day, once in the morning and once before you go to bed (or as advised by your doctor or pharmacist).
- Wash your hands thoroughly after each application.
- You should use no more than 30g of the ointment each day, and cover no more than a third of your total skin area (approximately one full arm and one full leg).
If you use more Silkis ointment than you should:
- You will not achieve better or faster results, but redness, peeling or discomfort may occur.
- Hypotonia (decreased muscle tension), nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, constipation, and depression may also occur if you use too much Silkis.
- Contact your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you experience any of the above side effects of using too much Silkis ointment.
If you forget to apply Silkis, do not apply double the amount to make up for it. Simply apply Silkis as normal the next time.
Silkis ointment ingredients
The active ingredient in Silkis is calcitriol (3 micrograms per g).
The other ingredients are liquid paraffin, white soft paraffin, and alpha-tocopherol.
Silkis Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.1602.pdf
Silkis ointment side effects
As with all medicines, it’s possible that you may experience side effects when using Silkis ointment, though not everyone will be affected.
Common side effects (affecting up to 1 in 10 people) include:
- Pruritus (itching skin)
- Skin discomfort
- Skin irritation
- Erythema (skin redness)
Less common side effects (affecting up to 1 in 100 people) include:
- Dry skin
- Aggravation of psoriasis symptoms
Skin oedema (fluid retention) and contact dermatitis are also possible side effects, though these are thought to be very rare (their frequency cannot be estimated from the available data).
In the case of severe irritation or an allergic reaction, you should stop using the treatment immediately and seek medical attention.
If you experience any side effects, including any that are not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Silkis ointment warnings
Before using Silkis ointment to treat psoriasis, you should be aware of the following warnings and precautions:
- When using Silkis ointment on the face, be sure to apply it carefully since there is a greater risk of irritation.
- After applying the ointment, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent unintentional spread to non-affected areas.
- Do not swallow this product. If you accidentally do so, rinse your mouth with water and seek medical advice as quickly as possible.
- Do not smoke or go near naked flames when you have applied the ointment, as there is a risk of severe burns. Note that fabric (clothing, bedding etc.) that has been in contact with the ointment may become more flammable.
- Due to a potential effect on calcium metabolism, Silkis should not be applied under an occlusive wound dressing.
- Although no significant hypercalcaemia (high blood calcium) was observed during clinical studies, there is some absorption of calcitriol by the skin which means there is a risk of an increase of blood or urine calcium levels. You can reduce this risk by following the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.
You should not use Silkis ointment if any of the following apply to you:
- You have a kidney or liver disease.
- You are being treated by systemic (oral) route for a calcium deficiency.
- You have high blood calcium levels (hypercalcaemia) or you suffer from abnormal calcium metabolism.
- You are allergic to calcitriol or to any of the other ingredients listed below.
Can you use Silkis with other medications?
You should inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken, or are planning to take any other medications alongside Silkis, including other topical medications you are using or have previously used to treat psoriasis.
Silkis might interfere with other medicines such as:
- Thiazide diuretics, as this could lead to an increase in blood calcium levels when taken alongside this medicine.
- Medications whose actions can be modified by a change in calcium blood level, such as digoxin.
- Peeling agents, irritant agents, or astringent agents, as additional irritant effects might occur.
- Calcium supplements or high doses of vitamin D.
Can you use Silkis while pregnant or breastfeeding?
If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are planning to have a baby in the near future, consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medicine. Silkis should not be used if you are breastfeeding.
Can Silkis be used on children?
Since there is limited data on the use of Silkis in children, this treatment is not recommended for use by those under the age of 16.