Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes red, inflamed, scaly skin patches. It can occur on any body part but mainly affects the knees, elbows, trunk, or scalp. Psoriasis can be painful, interfering with your sleep and your daily assignments. The condition can cause flare-ups, appearing for a few weeks and then subsiding for some time. There is no cure for psoriasis, but your trusted specialist, Dr. Samantha Robare Cypress, can recommend treatments to manage your symptoms. The cause of psoriasis is unclear, but researchers relate it to genetics and the immune system. Stress, alcohol, injuries, specific medications, and infections can trigger psoriasis.
Types of Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis: Plaque psoriasis affects about eighty to ninety percent of patients. If you have a light skin tone, you will have red, inflamed patches, and purple or grayish or darker brown patches for darker skin tones. Whitish-silver scales or plaques may cover your patches. Plaque psoriasis mainly occurs on your elbows, knees, and scalp.
Guttate psoriasis: This condition primarily affects children and presents as small pink or violet spots. Torso, arms, and legs are the most affected parts. Unlike plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis spots are rarely thick or raised.
Pustular psoriasis: This type of psoriasis mainly affects adults. You will have white, pus-filled blisters and large areas of red or violet. The violet color can be more intense if you have a darker skin tone. Pustular psoriasis mainly develops in smaller body areas like hands and feet.
Inverse psoriasis: This condition causes patches under your armpits or breast, groin, or around genital skin folds. Inverse psoriasis inflames your skin with red and shiny effects.
Erythrodermic psoriasis: This form of psoriasis is severe and rare. Erythrodermic psoriasis covers large body areas at once. Your skin may appear sunburned. You also develop scales that slough off in large sections. You can also have a fever or feel very ill in this type of psoriasis. Erythrodermic psoriasis can be life-threatening so ensure you seek immediate medication attention if you experience these symptoms.
Treatment for Psoriasis
Topical treatments: Your doctor can recommend creams and ointments if you have mild or moderate psoriasis, which you apply directly on your skin. Topical corticosteroids, anthralin, vitamin D analog, topical retinoid, salicylic acid, and moisturizer are some of the topical treatments you can use.
Systemic medications: If your psoriasis does not respond to topical treatments, your doctor can recommend oral or injected medications. They are primarily used in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. The systemic medications your doctor can prescribe include methotrexate, cyclosporine, biologics, and oral retinoid. Most of these drugs can cause severe side effects, so you only use them for a short period.
Light therapy: This technique uses ultraviolet or natural light to treat mild or moderate psoriasis. UV light kills overactive white blood cells that attack your healthy skin cells, causing rapid cell growth. In most cases, your doctor may combine treatments if you have moderate to severe psoriasis.
There is no cure for psoriasis, but treatments help reduce inflammation and scales, slow skin cell growth, and eliminate plaques. Schedule an appointment at Magnolia Dermatology for psoriasis treatment to relieve your symptoms.