Psoriasis doesn’t only leave you feeling uncomfortable about the appearance of your skin; it’s also known to cause discomfort and even bleeding. Before going through another psoriasis flare-up, visit with Jonathan Schreiber, MD, PhD, a leading psoriasis expert at Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater in Norfolk, Virginia. Rest assured Dr. Schreiber and the expert team can help you find relief from psoriasis relief right away. Book your visit by calling or scheduling your appointment online today.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that creates red patches of skin with white, flaky scales. It most commonly occurs on the elbows, knees and trunk, but can appear anywhere on the body. The first episode usually strikes between the ages of 15 and 35. It is a chronic condition that will then cycle through flare-ups and remissions throughout the rest of the patient's life. Psoriasis affects as many as 7.5 million people in the United States. About 20,000 children under age 10 have been diagnosed with psoriasis.
In normal skin, skin cells live for about 28 days and then are shed from the outermost layer of the skin. With psoriasis, the immune system sends a faulty signal which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. Skin cells mature in a matter of 3 to 6 days. The pace is so rapid that the body is unable to shed the dead cells, and patches of raised red skin covered by scaly, white flakes form on the skin.
Psoriasis is a genetic disease (it runs in families), but is not contagious. There is no known cure or method of prevention. Treatment aims to minimize the symptoms and speed healing.
There are five distinct types of psoriasis:
People who have psoriasis are at greater risk for contracting other health problems, such as heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes. It has also been linked to a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, depression, obesity and other immune-related conditions.
Psoriasis triggers are specific to each person. Some common triggers include stress, injury to the skin, medication allergies, diet and weather.
Psoriasis is classified as Mild to Moderate when it covers 3% to 10% of the body and Moderate to Severe when it covers more than 10% of the body. The severity of the disease impacts the choice of treatments.
Mild to moderate psoriasis can generally be treated at home using a combination of three key strategies: over-the-counter medications, prescription topical treatments and light therapy/phototherapy.
Treatments for moderate to severe psoriasis include prescription medications, biologics and light therapy/phototherapy.
Your provider will recommend the best treatment plan based on the location, type and severity of your condition.
If you have questions or concerns about psoriasis, call our office at (757) 461-1033 Opt. 1 to schedule an appointment.