Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center
Dermatologists & Mohs Surgeons located in Glen Allen, VA & Chesterfield, VA
Roughly 7.4 million people in the United States are bothered by psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin, joints, and less commonly the cardiovascular system. If you have psoriasis, schedule a visit with a member of our general dermatology team at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Glen Allen and Chesterfield, Virginia. A group of well-versed providers in the variety of treatment options available for psoriasis and will develop a plan to help you find relief from your condition. Booking an appointment is easy. Simply call the nearest Richmond-area office or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.
Psoriasis Q & A
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a multi-system autoimmune condition that causes your body to build up skin cells rapidly.
Normally, a skin cell goes through a life cycle that typically lasts 6 weeks – the cell grows deep within your skin, slowly rises to the surface, and eventually sheds.
In people with psoriasis, that entire process can occur within a matter of days. This overproduction creates an excess of cells on the surface of the skin and leads to the development of psoriatic scales. These scales typically appear on your:
- Joints, like elbows and knees
Inverse psoriasis is a less common type of psoriasis that affects the skin of your underarms, groin, elbow and knee pockets.
Guttate Psoriasis is an acute form of psoriasis in which small psoriatic plaques appear all over the body in response to an insult like strep throat or a new medication.
Psoriasis can also involve the genitals, mouth, or nails, though this is less common.
The built-up skin cells create scales on your skin that are whitish-silver and develop in thick, red patches. It’s common to see redness and inflammation around the scales, and in some cases, they can crack and bleed and be painful or itchy.
What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, which means that it’s a result of your immune system mistakenly attacking your body. Your immune system typically deploys white blood cells (called T cells) to ward off invading bacteria and infections.
In the case of an autoimmune condition, those T cells mistakenly target otherwise healthy parts of your body. With psoriasis, your T cells attack your skin cells, and those skin cells react by going into overdrive and speeding up production.
Psoriasis also seems to have a genetic component to it. People with immediate family members who have psoriasis are more likely to have it as well.
Guttate psoriasis has several known triggers including upper respiratory tract infections, strep throat, and certain medications. While guttate psoriasis is an acute condition that can be treated, it increases a patient’s risk of developing the more chronic classic version of psoriasis.
It’s important to note that psoriasis is not a contagious condition. You cannot pass on the disease to somebody else by touching a psoriatic lesion.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
The symptoms of psoriasis vary widely from person to person, but commonly include:
- Patches of skin that are inflamed, red, and raised
- Plaques on the red patches, or whitish-silver scales
- Itching, burning, or soreness around the patches
- Pain and swelling in your joints
- Pits or white spots in your nails
Classic psoriasis is a chronic condition that requires long term therapy.
How do you treat psoriasis?
Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center specializes in the treatment of cutaneous psoriasis. They are also highly experienced in working together with your other doctors to help pick a medication that’s right for you. Some conventional treatments include:
- Creams or ointments, like topical corticosteroids, sometimes in combination with r topical retinoids or vitamin D analogs
- Systemic medications, like biologics (injectable medications), Apremilast, and methotrexate
- Ultraviolet (UV) light therapy
The treatment options for psoriasis are rapidly growing, each of which has various specific functions and side effect profiles. Schedule your visit by phone or send us a message on our contact page to let Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center help you find an excellent treatment plan.
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