Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects millions of people in the United States. Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. What is psoriasis? Psoriasis is a chronic condition with patches of skin (large and small) in varying locations — such as the knees, feet, elbows, nails, joints, and scalp. It is caused when skin cells multiply so fast that an increased amount of dead skin cells start to pile up on the top layer of the skin. Raised, white scales and red plaques build up in the affected area and are not contagious. The latest research studies have suggested that genetics and one’s immune system are the primary causes of psoriasis and that there are specific triggers that make it worse. Once it is diagnosed, it is a matter of managing the symptoms so that flare-ups can be minimized. We offer diagnostic services and psoriasis management at all four of our Advanced Dermatology locations in Katy, League City, Pearland, and Sugar Land, TX.
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A specific cause of psoriasis hasn't been pinpointed by doctors. The overall idea is that the immune system overreacts, which causes inflammation, as well as flaking of the skin. It's also believed that psoriasis can be inherited. Approximately 1/3 of people who have psoriasis have one or more family members with the condition. Scientists believe that certain genes interact with each other, which leads to psoriasis. However, you must inherit the right combination of genes and then get exposed to a trigger. Symptoms can appear after triggers, such as a stressful event, taking certain medications, dry weather, or a bad sunburn.
Typical symptoms associated with psoriasis include raised, bright red patches of skin that are covered with loose and silvery scales. These plaques can also appear in the same area on both sides of your body, such as on both knees and/or both elbows. Your scalp can experience anything from mild scaling to areas of thick, crusted plaques. Itchy skin is commonly felt before a flare-up, especially when psoriatic patches appear in body folds under the buttocks or breasts. Tiny areas of skin bleeding can occur when scales are picked or scraped off.
While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are a variety of treatments available to treat the condition, depending on the severity and type of psoriasis that you have. Mild cases can be treated with prescription lotions, creams, and ointments. When your scalp is affected, shampoos, sprays, and oils can be used. Systemic medications are prescription drugs that are taken orally or by injection, and work throughout the body. They are normally used on individuals with moderate to severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. In addition, advancements in laser therapy have provided huge improvements for many psoriasis cases. Using phototherapy to expose a patient's skin to a special ultraviolet light helps reduce symptoms.
On your own, you may want to modify some aspects of your life so that you can limit your number of psoriasis outbreaks, such as:
- Eat a healthy diet (consume healthy fats)
- Be mindful of your stress levels
- Avoid drinking alcohol
- Stop smoking because it is unhealthy, and it advances the symptoms of psoriasis
- Stay on top of your appointments with your dermatologist who uses state-of-the-art equipment and advanced skin healing technologies for treating psoriasis
These lifestyle modifications can decrease inflammation and help your body deal with psoriasis symptoms better. You will reap multiple health benefits, not to mention that you will be able to deal with psoriasis symptoms easier. The treatment process involves a personalized approach for each patient and might consist of special skin care and healthy diet adjustments.
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Psoriasis can be painful and embarrassing, making it difficult for you to carry out simple tasks in your everyday life. If this is the case in your situation, we encourage you to reach out to Advanced Dermatology at your earliest convenience. During a consultation, your psoriasis can be assessed and a treatment plan customized to help make your symptoms more tolerable and your quality of life better. If you have tried treating your psoriasis and want to try something new, make sure that you schedule an appointment with our dermatology office in Katy, League City, Pearland, or Sugar Land, TX.