Much more than just an itchy rash, psoriasis can have a debilitating effect on your overall health and well-being. You can trust the skincare experts at Specialists in Dermatology, located in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas, to develop a truly effective strategy that helps keep your psoriasis under control. Their treatment approach offers individualized techniques to combat a current flare and help prevent future flares from interfering with your life. For successful psoriasis treatment designed by skilled medical professionals, call Specialists in Dermatology today for an appointment, or use their convenient online scheduling service.
Psoriasis is not an infection and is not contagious. Rather, it’s a chronic disease of the immune system that changes the way your skin cells regenerate, speeding up the normal process from weeks to days. This causes inflammation, itching, and other symptoms associated with psoriasis.
There are many forms of psoriasis, and each causes a different type of rash. Plaque psoriasis is by far the most common type. It appears as red, raised areas covered by a silvery layer of old skin. When your skin cells regenerate much faster than normal, the new cells move to the surface layer of your skin before it’s able to shed old cells.
This buildup of dead cells causes the silvery discoloration often noted in plaque psoriasis. These itchy patches or “plaques” usually form on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back and may eventually crack and bleed.
Other types of psoriasis include:
Some forms of psoriasis may affect only your nails or cause a condition known as psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain.
Medical science is not sure what causes the complex immune system changes that lead to psoriasis, but some issues that may trigger it include:
Treatment usually involves a combination of strategies, including topical treatments, oral medications, or phototherapy (light therapy) to slow the growth of new skin cells. If you have moderate to severe arthritis, the physicians at Specialists in Dermatology may also recommend medications called “biologics” to reduce the actions of your faulty immune system.
Biologics are protein-based drugs derived from living cells cultured in a laboratory. These medications are typically administered by injection or intravenous (IV) infusion. Rather than impacting the entire immune system like traditional systemic drugs, biologics target and decrease specific cells produced by your immune system that are linked to psoriasis, such as T cells.