Learn more about psoriasis, its warning signs and how to treat it.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that can impact a person’s appearance, health and quality of life. You should turn to a dermatologist if you suspect that you might be dealing with psoriasis. While there is no cure for this disease, there are ways for a dermatologist to help you better manage your symptoms and provide you with relief.
What is psoriasis?
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, more than 7.5 million adults in the US are living with psoriasis. This immune disorder causes widespread inflammation, particularly of the skin, which results in the development of raised, scaly red plaques on the skin. These plaques may also sting or burn and typically appear on the knees, elbows and scalp.
In some cases, some people with psoriasis may also develop joint stiffness, swelling and pain. This condition is known as psoriatic arthritis, and it’s essential that you turn to a doctor right away if you notice symptoms of arthritis and psoriasis.
What can cause psoriasis to flare up?
Psoriasis comes and goes, so it’s essential to recognize what triggers your flare-ups to avoid them as much as possible. Common triggers include,
- Other infections, including skin infections
- Cold, dry weather
- Injuries to the skin such as a bug bite
- Alcohol consumption
- Steroid use
- Certain drugs, such as high blood pressure medication
- Smoking or being around smoke
When should I see a dermatologist?
If you notice red, cracked or dry patches of skin on your body, it’s a good idea to have your dermatologist look to determine whether or not you could have psoriasis. Suppose you have already been diagnosed with psoriasis. You may wish to turn to a dermatologist regularly if your current treatment plan isn’t working or noticing new or worsening flare-ups.
How is psoriasis treated?
The fast turnover of skin cells leads to the formation of these plaques. To prevent this rapid turnover, there are a variety of lifestyle, topical treatments and therapies that a dermatologist can provide you. Common treatment options for psoriasis include,
- Topical steroids
- Salicylic acid
- Biologics (for severe and treatment-resistant forms of psoriasis)
Suppose you live with psoriasis or think you might be dealing with psoriasis. In that case, it’s important that you turn to a dermatologist who can provide you with a proper diagnosis and customized treatment plan.