Do you have red, scaly patches over your elbows, knees, or an area of the body? Do they bother you? We understand how frustrating recurring psoriasis can be. DSC in Medina, Ohio wants to address both the look and the feel of psoriasis so you can feel comfortable in your own skin.
What Is Psoriasis?
Plaque psoriasis appears as red, dry patches on the skin. It is the result of an accelerated rate of skin cell production. Instead of a 28 to 30-day cycle to produce new skin cells, affected skin operates on a 3 to 4-day cycle. Because of the rapid pace, old and dead skin cells get pushed to and clumped at the top layers of the skin.
The underlying cause of psoriasis is an immune system disease. Overactive skin cell production leads to the buildup of plaque underneath your skin, which pushes and inflames skin above it. However, understanding what leads to it is more complex. People who develop it often have an inheritable genetic predisposition. Environmental triggers like infection or stress may trigger its gene into activation. Psoriasis often coexists with other diseases (called comorbidities) such as psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s Disease.
The most common and most irritable symptom is itch. Other symptoms you may experience are raised, red lesions; burning, sore skin; red spots; silvery plaques; and cracked skin.
Psoriasis Treatment Options
We generally recommend trying topical treatments and practices at home in order to minimize scaliness and inflammation. Try taking cold showers then applying a keratolytic, or a cream that softens scales. However, we know these may not fully address psoriasis symptoms—which is why you come to us in the first place!
We prescribe creams, lotions, ointments, and different medicines that may work. Antihistamines can reduce itching. Steroids may help reduce inflammation and prevent more buildup. We also offer vitamin D products, which may be safer than steroids. Sometimes, a combination of both steroid and vitamin D is most effective, such as Enstilar and Taclonex.
Other than slowing skin cell growth, there are other ways to address the disease. If you want to increase skin cell turnover, retinoids are a great alternative. Tazorac is a retinoid that can help replace the affected skin with newer cells.
Each medication carries different side effects. Depending on what medications you are already taking, the severity of your psoriasis, and other health factors, we will make certain recommendations.
Need a cosmetic solution to your psoriasis? Laser treatments may help diminish the appearance. Phototherapy works by applying narrow-band UVB rays. It may worsen psoriasis temporarily. After several treatments, the red blotches and scales should become less pronounced.*
At Dermatologic Surgery Center, we take care of you. Our staff, headed by Jennifer L. Popovsky, MD, will make sure you are comfortable in your own skin.
Psoriasis can be an embarrassing and irritating skin disease. It is a chronic disease. Let us help you learn how to thrive with it by scheduling an appointment today.
*Disclaimer: Individual results may vary.