Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes inflamed and raised areas in the skin that can be itchy and painful. While the main cause of psoriasis is undetermined, genetic, immune and environmental factors can all play a part in developing the non-contagious condition.
With psoriasis, the body’s natural process of shedding and replacing skin cells is irregular. Instead of replacing old dead skin cells with new ones, the immune system attacks the skin as if it is unhealthy and needs repair which causes the skin cells to rapidly grow and stack resulting in visibly raised, red patches.
People who are predisposed to psoriasis may not even experience symptoms until it is triggered. Along with genetic and immune factors, triggers like dry weather conditions, sunburns and certain medications can cause symptoms to flare.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options that can ease the symptoms of psoriasis. While the level treatment depends on a number of factors like severity and age, over-the-counter ointments and creams can be beneficial for acute cases. Medicines that suppress the immune system like cyclosporine and retinoid medicines as creams or ointments can be helpful in more severe cases.
If you struggle with psoriasis or want to know how to support a loved-one with psoriasis the National Psoriasis Foundation has an extensive list of resources from basic treatment options to information on upcoming clinical trials or people with psoriasis.
If you think you may have psoriasis, it is important that you visit with a dermatologist to find treatment options that work for you. At Dallas Dermatology Partners, Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Lauren Dickson has contributed to many peer-reviewed journals and lectures about the latest advances in psoriasis treatment. With Dr. Dickson’s expertise and experience, she and her partners can prescribe a systemic, topical or phototherapy treatment that works for you.