Treatments for Psoriasis

If one of your parents suffers from psoriasis, there's a chance you will, too. This chronic skin condition causes scaly, red patches that can be both uncomfortable and unsightly. Skincare specialists at our Orlando dermatology practice can develop an effective psoriasis treatment program tailored to your particular needs.

Overview

Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin disorder that can begin at any age and appears on the body as raised red skin patches with silvery scales. It is classified as a type of hereditary autoimmune disease that can be triggered by stress and rubbing of the areas but is not contagious. There are different types of psoriasis: guttate, vulgaris (also called plaque psoriasis), pustular, inverse, erythrodermic and psoriatic arthritis.

Signs and Symptoms

Plaque psoriasis (also known as vulgaris) appears as red-colored raised patches with a silvery scale and is often found on the knees, elbows, scalp and lower back. Guttate psoriasis appears as small red spots on the arms, legs and trunk but can be all over the skin, and often presents after an illness such as strep throat. Inverse psoriasis occurs where skin touches skin, such as on the buttocks or groin, under breasts or genitals, and in armpits. It typically resembles raw red patches of smooth skin. Pustular psoriasis appears as pus-filled bumps all over the skin, but often on palms of hands and soles of feet only. These bumps can be very sore and, if accompanied by symptoms of fever, chills, weakness and bright-red skin, should be treated at a hospital immediately. Erythrodermic psoriasis may also be an emergency situation if your body skin turns red, resembling a burn. This conditional often is painful with severe itching and fast heartbeat. Psoriatic arthritis generally develops after psoriasis with swollen and tender joints, stiffness, and pitted nails. In some patients, psoriasis occurs on the hands and feet or the scalp only.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Psoriasis diagnosis is generally based on clinical examination, but a skin biopsy can also be performed at our office for confirmation. Psoriasis is classified as mild, moderate or severe depending upon the body areas where it appears and the amount of distress it causes the patient. Treatment is dependent on type and degree of psoriasis and includes topical treatments (creams and ointments), phototherapy (controlled prescribed sunlight in the office) and systemic agents (tablets such as immunosuppressants and biologic or antibody injections).

Follow up and Outcomes

There is no cure for psoriasis, but it can often be controlled with one of the above treatments and regular visits to our practice. Following a prescribed treatment plan, reducing stress and minimizing scratching all will help control psoriasis.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided by this site is intended solely for educational purposes. This information is not to be used for medical diagnostic purposes and is not intended to serve as a recommendation for treatment and/or management of any medical/surgical condition. Most of all, this information should not be used in place of a physician or other qualified health provider. If you believe you have a medical condition, please contact your physician immediately.