What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition but can come and go, flaring up under certain circumstances. This condition affects both men and women of all ages. Psoriasis can appear in many different parts of the body including folds of the skin like the underarms and groin, the palms and soles of the feet, scalp, elbows, and knees. The appearance of psoriasis and its symptoms can vary per person.

Some common signs of psoriasis include:

  • Red patches of scaly skin
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Itching and burning
  • Swollen joints

What Causes Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is caused by the rapid growth of skin cells that build upon the skin, resulting in scaling patches. The cycle can be ongoing and worsen with certain triggers such as infections, skin injury, stress, smoke, and certain medications. Those at a higher risk of psoriasis are individuals with a family history of the condition and those who are frequently exposed to triggers.

Treatment Options

A physical exam with a dermatologist is usually enough to diagnose psoriasis and develop a treatment plan.

Treatment options might include:

  • Topical corticosteroids – drugs aimed at reducing inflammation and relieve itching associated with psoriasis.
  • Moisturizers – skin products that moisturize the skin can help relieve dryness, itching, and scaling.
  • Phototherapy – using ultraviolet light, phototherapy can reduce itching and inflammation caused by psoriasis.
  • Medications – taken orally or injected, certain medication such as retinoids and methotrexate might be recommended for severe cases of psoriasis. Other medication can be used to suppress the immune system and control the overproduction of skin cells.

If you are concerned that you may have psoriasis, call Seattle Skin & Laser today to schedule an evaluation with one of our providers. Our dermatologists will be able to diagnose and make recommendations for treatment