What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a genetic skin condition associated with periodic flare-ups in which red patches and white, flaky scales appear on the skin. Although psoriasis cannot be completely cured, there are treatments available that can provide relief from its symptoms. Here at the Manalapan, NJ, office of cosmetic dermatologists Dr. Lisa Silbret and Dr. Alan Schechter, we offer a number of psoriasis treatment options to help patients' skin—read on to learn more.
Psoriasis can affect both children and adults of all ages, although it's symptoms usually first appear sometime between fifteen and thirty-five years of age. Once symptoms occur, chronic flare-ups are experienced throughout a person’s life. Flare-ups are associated with the appearance of red patches on the skin, as well as white, flaky scales. Some factors that can trigger a psoriasis flare-up include stress, the weather, skin injuries, allergic reactions to medications, and diet.
Psoriasis flare-ups often occur when the immune system is overactive and causes the growth cycle of skin cells to accelerate. The body is unable to shed old skin cells fast enough to keep up with the production of new skin cells. As skin cells build up, red patches and white, flaky scales develop. Psoriasis symptoms can appear anywhere on the body but are most common on the trunk, elbows, and knees.
Types of Psoriasis
There are five different types of psoriasis. The treatment method that will deliver the best results can depend on the type of psoriasis. The experienced cosmetic dermatologists at our office in Manalapan, NJ, can determine what type of psoriasis you have and recommend an appropriate treatment option. The five types of psoriasis include:
- Plaque Psoriasis
- Guttate Psoriasis
- Inverse Psoriasis
- Pustular Psoriasis
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis
Treatments for Psoriasis
A variety of options are available for treating psoriasis. For mild-to-moderate psoriasis symptoms, several over-the-counter products are effective and include bath solutions, special moisturizers, and anti-itch lotions and creams. Also effective for treating mild-to-moderate psoriasis are various prescription topical treatments that either slow down or control skin cell growth. Topical steroids can be used to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Another option for treating psoriasis is light therapy or phototherapy, which utilizes UVA or UVB rays to clear up affected skin. This type of treatment can be used for mild-to-moderate cases, as well as moderate-to-severe. Moderate-to-severe cases of psoriasis can also be treated with biologics and oral medications. Biologics are administered by injection and work by suppressing an overactive immune system, which should slow down the growth of new skin cells.
If you are struggling with psoriasis, the cosmetic dermatologists at our office in Manalapan, NJ, can recommend the right treatments for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Silbret or Dr. Schechter, call our office at (732) 303-1500.