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Psoriasis

Find Relief with Board-Certified Psoriasis Treatment at Westerville Dermatology

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Psoriasis

Find Relief with Board-Certified Psoriasis Treatment at Westerville Dermatology

Psoriasis

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that speeds up the lifecycle of skin cells and causes them to rapidly build up. This buildup of skin cells forms scales and red patches that can be itchy and painful. Typical psoriatic scales are whitish-silver and develop in thick, red patches. Sometimes these patches will crack and bleed. 

In the normal development of skin cells, the typical cycle takes about one month. New skin cells grow deep in the dermis layer of the skin and slowly rise to the surface to eventually be shed. In people with psoriasis, this production process may occur in just a few days. This doesn’t give the skin cells time to slough off, leading to a buildup and the formation of scaly patches.

Questions

Psoriasis FAQS

Interested in learning more about this common skin condition? Read the expert answers to frequently asked questions regarding psoriasis below. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact our experienced doctors!

According to researchers, it’s still a mystery as to why some people develop psoriasis and others do not. However, this chronic skin condition is thought to be an immune system problem, especially relating to your T cells and white blood cells called neutrophils. T cells usually course through the body looking for viruses and bacteria to attack, but with psoriasis, the T cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake, which causes inflammation.

These overactive T cells also trigger the increased production of healthy skin cells, more T cells, and additional white blood cells, particularly neutrophils. These cells travel into the skin, causing inflammation and sometimes creating pustular lesions. Psoriasis-affected areas become warm and red, due to dilated blood vessels. 

Furthermore, the inflammation triggers more skin cells to be produced and they move to the outermost layer of the skin too quickly – a process that should normally take weeks occurs in only a few days. These cells build up on the skin surface in thick, scaly patches that psoriasis is typically characterized by.

There are five different types of psoriasis. This includes: 

  • Plaque psoriasis
  • Guttate psoriasis
  • Pustular psoriasis
  • Inverse psoriasis
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis

Currently, around 80% of people who have psoriasis deal with plaque psoriasis, which is the most common type. In some cases, people will show symptoms for multiple types of psoriasis. We recommend visiting a board-certified dermatologist to determine which type of psoriasis you may have and the best psoriasis treatment to help better manage your symptoms.

Psoriasis symptoms differ from person to person, depending upon the type of psoriasis. Most forms go through cycles of flare-ups and calm periods. The condition can even go into complete remission but for many, psoriasis does return. 

Signs and symptoms vary between people, but there are some common psoriasis symptoms to be aware of:

  • Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
  • Itching, burning, or soreness
  • Thickened, pitted, or ridged nails
  • Swollen and stiff joints
  • Small scaling spots (usually in children)

These patches may range from just a few spots to major eruptions that cover large areas of the body. If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above, schedule a skin consultation with a board-certified dermatologist to find a suitable psoriasis treatment plan.

People assume from its appearance that psoriasis is contagious, such as other skin rashes like Athlete’s foot or ringworm. This is not the case at all. You cannot catch psoriasis from contact with someone who has the condition.

People often confuse psoriasis with eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis), but they are not the same chronic condition. Here are the differences between psoriasis and eczema:

  • A thick patch of white scales is characteristic of psoriasis. This is caused by a chronic autoimmune condition that results in the overproduction of skin cells. As the excess skin cells build up, silvery-white scales form. Furthermore, this causes the skin to become inflamed, red, and often itchy.
  • Eczema occurs because of a hypersensitivity reaction. This causes the skin to overreact to certain triggers, such as dyes, fabrics, soaps, animals, and other irritants. With eczema, the skin may appear red, inflamed, peeling, cracked, blistered, or pus-filled. But, unlike psoriasis, it’s not covered with scales of cell buildup. Eczema is also typically very itchy, which may interfere with daily activities, such as sleeping.
  • There is no cure for psoriasis, and flare-ups aren’t always able to be linked to any cause. Most eczema can be cleared with topical treatment and by avoiding triggers.

Light therapy is a first-line treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis. It may be used alone or in combination with medication. Sunlight, of course, is light therapy. Brief, daily exposure to sunlight (known as heliotherapy) can improve psoriasis. Too much UV exposure can worsen the flareups, however.

At Westerville Dermatology, we employ many different treatments for psoriasis. This is because there are many different forms, and different patients respond in different ways. 

We begin treatment with the mildest, least aggressive treatments, progressing to stronger options as needed. The goal is to slow the cell production and buildup, as well as to mitigate the troublesome psoriasis symptoms. 

Here are the many options we may use:

  • Topical Treatments – For patients with mild to moderate psoriasis, the use of creams and ointments may be all that is necessary. We typically use one or a combination of the following: corticosteroids, Vitamin D analogs, Anthralin, topical retinoids, calcineurin inhibitors, salicylic acid, or coal tar.
  • Light Therapy – For patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. Light therapy includes sunlight, UVB or UVA light, Goeckerman therapy (combination of UVB treatment and coal tar), Psoralen plus UVA, or the Excimer laser.
  • Oral and Injected Medications – Use of prescription oral or injected medications is known as systemic treatment and they’re typically only used in short periods. Our oral and injected medications include retinoids, Methotrexate, Cyclosporine, and injected immune system drugs.
  • Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations – Although there isn’t any research showing across the board effectiveness, for some patients changes in diet or taking certain supplements may help. Aloe vera and barberry can be used topically, while fish oil is taken orally.

For more information on how our board-certified dermatologists treat psoriasis at Westerville Dermatology, please contact us today. We’re here to help you find relief from your irritating psoriasis symptoms!

Photos

Psoriasis Photos

Psoriasis can show up on the skin in different ways! Use the photos of psoriasis below to get more familiar with how this common skin condition may appear, and visit a board-certified dermatologist for a professional skin evaluation and psoriasis diagnosis.

Contact

Psoriasis Diagnosis & Treatment in Westerville, Ohio

If you’re ready to find relief with an effective psoriasis treatment plan, the board-certified dermatologists at Westerville Dermatology are here to help! We’re experts at diagnosing and treating psoriasis in our state-of-the-art dermatology clinic in Westerville, Ohio. Schedule an appointment by calling us at (614) 895-0400 or request an appointment online.

Contact Us Today

Have questions or concerns? Please call us at 614-895-0400.

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