Psoriasis causes scaly and itchy red patches on your skin. These patches can appear anywhere but are most likely to form on your:
Psoriasis patches are usually thick with silvery scales. Your skin might burn or feel sore and dry, and cracks in your skin can bleed or itch. You may also develop ridged, thickened, or pitted nails.
Sometimes psoriasis appears as small spots that look a lot like dandruff. However, if your condition worsens, it could affect large areas of your body and become disabling.
In addition to skin problems, some people develop psoriatic arthritis. This version of the illness makes your joints painful, stiff, and weak.
Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune disorders. Your immune system, which should protect you from infection, can sometimes develop a flaw.
If you have psoriasis, this flaw causes your skin to regenerate more quickly than normal. The result is a buildup of skin cells that create the scaly patches. The reasons why people get autoimmune disorders aren’t clear. It’s likely there are both genetic and environmental factors involved.
If you’re prone to psoriasis, you might be able to identify triggers that make your condition worse. Examples include:
If you’re aware of your triggers, you can take steps to avoid them.
When treating psoriasis, Dr. Adams has two primary aims — to remove the scales and to stop the rapid skin cell growth causing them. Various topical treatments can help, such as:
Another option for treating psoriasis is light therapy, where Dr. Adams repeatedly exposes your skin to light waves for a specific time. The types of light that help with psoriasis include ultraviolet B (UVB) narrowband or broadband light and excimer laser therapy. Another option is photodynamic therapy, which combines light therapy with medication.
For treatment-resistant psoriasis, you might benefit from oral medications or injections containing steroids, cyclosporine, and methotrexate.
If you have psoriasis symptoms, call Twelve Bridges Dermatology to arrange a consultation or book an appointment online today.