At the Aesthetic and Dermatology Center, we thoroughly understand psoriasis. In fact, Dr. Green has been a professional member of the National Psoriasis Foundation since 1994! We also know how itchy, uncomfortable, embarrassing, depressing and even how angry living with psoriasis can make us. August is National Psoriasis Awareness Month, so we are doing our part to educate people on the what psoriasis really is and the latest in treatments that are available for it. Understanding psoriasis is the first step to seeking the best treatments for you or providing support to loved ones with the condition.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a genetically based, non transmissible chronic skin condition where you get red scaly spots of varying sizes anywhere on your skin-from head to toe. Psoriasis affects over 8 million people in the United States. It also can vary in severity from just one small spot on your body to being almost covered completely with spots. Additionally, psoriasis is not always constant. Psoriasis rashes can cover smaller or larger parts of your skin during different times of our lives. Besides affecting the skin, psoriasis can also form in our joints, causing pain and swelling in them. This type of psoriasis is called psoriatic arthritis. People who have psoriatic arthritis are more likely to also get psoriasis in their nails. Nails affected with psoriasis can be thickened or have pits or white spots in them. Although it is rare, if psoriasis covers someone’s entire skin, it is called erythrodermic psoriasis.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is considered an “autoinflammatory” disorder. For unknown reasons, a specific part of a person’s immune system starts over working and expressing (normal but higher than needed amounts of) immune system proteins that trigger the skin to grow too fast. The rapidly growing skin is not given enough time to have all the normal features of strong, intact skin and also sheds off rapidly as it is replaced over and over again. No one knows what causes a certain part of the immune system to start becoming hyperactive. People may live symptom free for years of their lives, and something may trigger their psoriasis to start. Sometimes these triggers can include stress, infection, (sun)burns, increased alcohol use, cold, dry weather, and some medications. But, psoriasis can also be triggered without any known causes. It is also known that smoking, a lot of alcohol use, being overweight, being depressed, and having highly stressed lives makes psoriasis worse. People who have more severe psoriasis are also known to be more susceptible to heart disease, liver and kidney problems, and diabetes. On the other hand, weight reduction, and improving other conditions such as depression and diabetes can help improve someone’s psoriasis.
How is Psoriasis Treated?
No one who has psoriasis should suffer anymore. The medications and treatments today are so effective that controlling and mostly eliminating psoriasis on the body is achievable. If you only have a few spots of psoriasis, topical ointments can be used on the spots. If your psoriasis is just a little more widespread, laser treatment is helpful to eliminate the spots. If you have psoriasis on a larger portion of your skin, pills or even injections (for the most severe skin involvement) are used to mostly clear everything up. All the medications and treatments used today are made to slow down the hyperactive immune system that is triggering your spots.
At the Aesthetic and Dermatology Center, we understand psoriasis and how to treat the condition. From his years of clinical research uncovering the newest technologies and treatments, authoring scientific articles and training other dermatologists around the country on the latest psoriasis advances, and his experience both with psoriasis patients and the National Psoriasis Foundation, Dr. Green has learned the best remedies for the different types of psoriasis. If you have concerns or discomfort with your skin’s appearance or feeling, give us a call at (301) 610-0663 today to have Dr. Green evaluate your skin concerns and get you on your way to clear skin you can be confident in and proud of.
The information contained in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute professional medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about the best treatment for you.