Psoriasis is an inflammatory disorder of the skin, which usually causes well-defined, red, raised patches of skin with silvery, flaky scales.
Thanks to recent research into the underlying cause of this disorder, now we know that the immune system causes the skin cells to multiply and divide too quickly. Psoriasis is a life-long condition that can start at any time and involve very large areas of the skin or be patchy. Fortunately, there are a number of new very helpful treatments available to control the disorder. These new therapies are targeted to control the precise points at which the immune system malfunctions. We now have the ability to make the disease 80-90% better in the majority of patients with very few side effects.
Areas commonly affected by psoriasis are scalp, elbows, and knees, but any body site can be affected including hands, feet, and genital skin. In severe cases, some people can have psoriasis affecting almost their entire body surface area. Sometimes psoriasis can cause a destructive arthritis.
There are multiple factors that influence psoriasis including:
- Heredity (family history)
- Certain medications
- Previous infections
Psoriasis is a chronic disorder, and while it does occasionally go into remission, most of the time the treatment goal is control the disease and make the skin as clear as possible. There are numerous treatments available for psoriasis. Management of psoriasis is a skill and an art. The advent of “biologics” or immune modulators have revolutionized psoriasis treatment, although they aren’t for every psoriasis sufferer. Some psoriasis treatments are:
- Topical steroids
- Vitamin D analogs
- Biologic agents (multiple ones are currently available, choices depend on each individual’s situation)
Control your psoriasis, don’t let it control you!
Contact Dermatology STL today for an appointment. The Board Certified Dermatologists at Dermatology STL will evaluate your condition and individually tailor a treatment regimen that is optimal for you.