Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can interfere with daily activities, make sleeping uncomfortable, and produce unsightly rashes and sores that itch, burn, and bleed. The condition can also alter chemicals like serotonin in the brain, increasing risks for depression.
Plaque psoriasis, the most common type, often appears on the scalp, lower back, elbows, and knees, but other types can impact the trunk, arms and legs, palms, soles of the feet, and even toe and fingernails. While most people only experience one type of psoriasis at a time, it is possible to have more than one type concurrently, and up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis are at risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, a condition marked by swelling of tendons and joints, general stiffness, and increasing fatigue.
There is no cure for psoriasis, but various methods can treat flare-ups. The correct treatment for your needs will depend on your type of psoriasis, how much of your body has been impacted, the length of time you have had the condition, and what other treatments you have tried. The best way to determine which psoriasis treatment is right for you is with a consultation and evaluation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene.
Topical medications are often the first line of treatment for psoriasis. This may include OTC remedies such as products containing aloe vera, coal tar, and salicylic acid, along with prescription medications containing corticosteroids, retinoids, and calcineurin inhibitors. Some of these, such as retinoids, may also be administered via injection to treat psoriasis.
In addition to retinoid injections, other oral and injectable medications commonly used to treat psoriasis include cyclosporine, methotrexate, biologics, and steroids. These may be administered daily, weekly, or monthly and can be used to support other treatments, such as topical ointments and gels.
Dr. Greene is Here to Help
If you have psoriasis, help is available. Please call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Center of Seattle at 206-402-4797 to schedule a consultation and learn more. Dr. Greene is a board-certified dermatologist serving Mercer Island, Redmond, Bellevue, and all nearby areas of Washington.
Psoriasis is technically an autoimmune disease, and mostly thought to be caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Autoimmune diseases occur when your body’s immune system overreacts and attacks healthy cells. When it comes to psoriasis, the result is an overproduction of skin cells that causes patchy, scaly skin.
Psoriasis is not contagious. You can’t catch it from somebody else.
Oftentimes a triggering event sets off the first outbreak of psoriasis or sets off flare-ups throughout your life. Triggers may include:
- Cold, dry weather
- Heavy drinking
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Certain medications
You may also be at an increased risk for psoriasis if other people in your family have this skin condition. Severe stress is another risk factor, since stress taxes your immune system.
So What Can You Do About Psoriasis?
There is no single cause of psoriasis that you can avoid or eliminate from your life, but, if you have this skin condition, there are treatments that will help to alleviate the symptoms and the severity of the outbreaks.
First, you can work to identify and eliminate the triggers that cause psoriasis. These triggers tend to be different for everyone. You may have some idea of what seems to set off a flare up, or you may want to keep a journal for several months to record triggers. Something like an increase in stress, alcoholic beverages, smoking, or certain medications may be associated with worsened symptoms.
Next, talk to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene about treatment options. After examining your skin and learning about your health and psoriasis history, Dr. Greene will be able to determine whether a topical or oral medication may be the right way to help manage psoriasis symptoms. There’s still no cure for this skin condition, but there are ways to reduce its impact on your daily life and increase your comfort.
Get Answers From An Experienced Dermatologist
If you struggle with psoriasis and want to know what your options are for managing it, please call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute in Seattle at 206-402-4797. We look forward to answering your questions and arranging a consultation for you with Dr. Greene.