Individuals who have been diagnosed with psoriasis understand the mental and physical toll this condition can take on a person. At our office, our goal is to help improve your psoriasis symptoms using a variety of effective solutions to ultimately get you back to feeling like yourself. Dr. Gray and our team at Pinnacle Dermatology & Skin Rejuvenation will take the time to fully understand your individual case to create a treatment plan customized to you.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition that causes red, itchy, scaly patches on the elbows, knees, scalp, and trunk. It goes through cycles of flaring up to subsiding for weeks or months at a time. It causes the skin to regenerate quicker than normal, leading to thick, scaly patches of skin. There are certain things that may trigger your psoriasis, including infections, weather, stress, smoking, alcohol consumption, and certain medications.
Common psoriasis symptoms include:
- Red patches with thick, silvery, scaly skin.
- Dry, cracked skin that can itch or bleed.
- Itching and soreness.
- Thickened nails.
- Stiff or swollen joints.
Psoriasis can also be categorized into different types, such as:
Plaque psoriasis: This is the most common form of psoriasis, and causes dry, red, raised, inflamed areas of skin that can be covered with silvery scales. These patches, also called plaques, may be itchy or sensitive, and there may be many or just a few.
Guttate psoriasis: Primarily affects children and young adults, and is triggered by a Strep throat bacterial infection. Symptoms include small scaly lesions on the arms, legs, or trunk.
Pustular psoriasis: This is a rare form of psoriasis that causes pus-filled lesions. It can be very serious if it is widespread.
Inverse psoriasis: Primarily affects the skin folds in the buttocks, groin, and on the breasts. It can cause smooth areas of red skin that gets worse with friction and sweat.
Nail psoriasis: This affects the toenails and fingernails, causing abnormal nail growth, color, and texture. Severe cases may lead nails to crumble away.
Erythrodermic psoriasis: This is the rarest and most dangerous form of psoriasis, and causes a red, itchy, peeling rash that can cover the whole body.
Psoriasis Treatment Options
At Pinnacle Dermatology & Skin Rejuvenation, we offer a selection of treatment options to help improve your psoriasis symptoms to help you feel more comfortable in your skin. These treatments include:
Topical Corticosteroids: Are available as creams, ointments, gels, and sprays, and are effective in treating mild to moderate psoriasis. However, they are not meant for long-term use as they can thin the skin over time.
Retinoids: Tazarotene, a type of retinoid gel or cream, can be used 1-2 times a day to improve symptoms. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use this medication.
Vitamin D analogs such as Calcipotriene: These medications work by reducing inflammation slow down the turnover of skin cells.
Light Therapy: Light therapy can be used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis and can be combined with other treatment options. This process involves exposing the skin to controlled degrees of artificial or natural light. A series of treatments is usually required for the best results. Examples include UVB broadband and UVB narrowband light treatments.
Injected or Oral Medications: There is a selection of oral or injectable drugs that can help to control severe psoriasis symptoms. These include methotrexate and cyclosporine, as well as biologics like Enbrel, Humira, Stelara, Tremfya and Skirizi.