A psoriasis flare up can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, causing itchy and scaly patches on the skin. However, you don’t have to let psoriasis control your life. A dermatologist can provide psoriasis treatment to get your symptoms under control, so you can reclaim your confidence.
How to Identify and Treat Psoriasis
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition in which skin cells multiply much more quickly than normal. In some cases, the cells can multiply up to 10 times faster than average skin cells. This rapid growth of skin cells results in red patches, which often appear on the scalp, face, elbows, knees, legs, palms, and feet. There are several types of psoriasis. Some of the most common include:
- Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common type of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis causes red, dry, raised patches on the skin. These patches often have silvery scales and are usually itchy. These scales can also flake off and cause bleeding. Treatment can soothe symptoms and remove plaques.
- Nail Psoriasis: As the name suggests, nail psoriasis develops on the nails. Symptoms can vary, including abnormal growth, discoloration, and pitting. The nail can also start to crumble or lift from the nail bed.
- Inverse Psoriasis: This condition most often appears in the skin folds, so it can develop in the groin, breasts, and buttocks. Unlike plaque psoriasis, inverse psoriasis causes smooth and flat patches.
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis involves severe redness and shedding of the skin. Infections, medications, and sunburn can trigger erythrodermic psoriasis, as can stopping previous psoriasis treatment. This type of psoriasis can cause symptoms like fluctuating body temperature and an increase in heart rate, so it’s important to seek immediate treatment for a flare up.
- Guttate Psoriasis: Guttate psoriasis typically occurs during childhood or adolescence due to an infection, certain medications, or stress to the skin. This condition causes small red spots on the limbs and torso.
While psoriasis flare ups can have triggers, the potential psoriasis causes aren’t always clear. Skin experts know that an immune response causes the inflammation that triggers the rapid growth of skin cells, which turns into a psoriasis rash. You may also be more likely to have psoriasis if it runs in your family.
What Treatments Are Available?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of psoriasis, it’s important to see a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis. They can then recommend a course of treatment. Some of the most effective psoriasis treatments include:
- Topical Products: There are a variety of topical creams that can treat mild to moderate psoriasis. These include moisturizing creams, topical steroids, and retinol creams. Your dermatologist may prescribe coal tar for scalp psoriasis as well.
- Laser Therapy: Laser therapy can help clear psoriasis plaques by targeting the lesions. This treatment is precise enough to preserve the healthy skin around the plaque.
- Light Therapies: UVB light therapy can slow down the growth of skin cells to prevent the growth of psoriasis plaques. Patients may require several sessions per week to kick start results.
- Medications: Dermatologists may prescribe medications to slow down the growth of skin cells or alter the immune response. These drugs are typically taken orally or injected.
Your dermatologist will recommend treatment based on the size and severity of your psoriasis. They will likely start with a topical treatment and add more intensive treatments from there. Keep in mind that psoriasis treatment can take time, so it’s important to attend all of your dermatology appointments.
If you’re living with psoriasis, the team at Pacific Dermatology can provide treatment to help you find relief. Our set of medical dermatology treatments can address various types of psoriasis, and we provide all of our services in a clean and confidential office environment. We’re accepting patients in Carson, CA and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles area, so contact us today to book an appointment.