Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that results in rough, scaly patches, typically on the knees, scalp and elbows. These patches of skin may crack, itchy and burn. This chronic condition affects more than 8 million Americans and about 126 million people worldwide. If you have psoriasis you may be wondering what could be causing it and how to properly manage your symptoms. The team at Tulsa Hills Cosmetic & Laser Skin Center can help.
Psoriasis in Tulsa, Muskogee, & Broken Arrow, OK
Psoriasis is a skin condition that shows up as red scaly patches on your skin. These patches can often feel itchy and can make you uncomfortable in your skin. Psoriasis is a common condition that has no cure. However, our board-certified dermatologists at Southside Dermatology and Skin Cancer Surgery can help manage your symptoms!
Managing Your Psoriasis
Everyone may experience different signs and symptoms of psoriasis and severity will vary from person to person. Some of the common signs associated with psoriasis include:
- Red, scaly patches of skin.
- Dry, cracked skin that can itch or bleed.
- Itching or soreness.
- Swollen or stiffness in the joints.
- Thickened or ridged nails.
The areas that are most commonly affected include the lower back, knees, legs, scalp, palms, elbows, and face. A breakout can range anywhere from small patches to larger areas covered in breakouts. Psoriasis can be dormant for months before a flare-up that can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
When you do experience a flare-up, it’s important to get started on treatments to help keep your reaction to a minimum and stop it from being too irritated and spreading. The treatments your doctor prescribes will depend on the severity of your psoriasis, and you may need multiple different forms of treatment at a time.
What causes psoriasis?
Unfortunately, no one knows what causes psoriasis; however, genetics could play a role. This means that if psoriasis runs in your family you may be more likely to develop this condition.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system accidentally attacks healthy skin cells, mistaking them for foreign invaders. This increases the number of white blood cells, which also causes an overproduction of new skin cells, which causes these thick patches of skin to form.
What can trigger a psoriasis flare up?
Psoriasis symptoms come and go, but there are certain factors that can trigger a flare-up. It’s important to recognize these triggers to avoid them as much as possible. Some common psoriasis triggers include,
- Injuries to the skin (e.g. sunburn; open wounds)
- Cold temperature
- Certain medications (e.g. beta blockers)
- Other autoimmune disorders (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis)
Treating Your Psoriasis
While there is no cure for psoriasis there are ways that our dermatologists can help you manage your symptoms and reduce flare ups. Your treatment plan will be customized to your lifestyle, triggers, health and needs. Your treatment plan may involve a variety of lifestyle modifications, as well as medications, therapies and alternative treatment options.
There are both topical and systemic medications that can be used to treat psoriasis symptoms. Topical medications are applied directly to the patches of skin to reduce inflammation and itching while systemic medication typically comes in the form of a pill. Phototherapy, or light therapy, performed by a qualified dermatologist may also speed up healing of psoriatic plaques. If you are dealing with a severe or drug-resistant form of psoriasis, light therapy may be a more effective treatment option.
Need help reducing your psoriasis symptoms and triggers? Contact our dermatologists at Southside Dermatology and Skin Cancer Surgery today to schedule an appointment. Give us a call at our Tulsa office location at (918) 760-0700, our Muskogee office location at (918) 840-5276, or our Broken Arrow, OK location at (918) 770-4599.
Cited from the Mayo Clinic & the American Academy of Dermatology