Specialists In Dermatology
located in The Woodlands, TX & Houston, TX
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.
What is psoriasis?
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:
- Guttate psoriasis, which causes small, dot-like lesions that can occur anywhere on the body and often begins in childhood or young adulthood
- Inverse psoriasis often accompanies other forms of psoriasis and causes red, smooth, and sometimes shiny lesions under the arms, in the groin region, or other areas where skin touches skin
- Pustular psoriasis appears as white pustules surrounded by red skin and often occurs on the hands or feet
Some forms of psoriasis may affect only your nails or cause a condition known as psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain.
What causes psoriasis?
Medical science is not sure what causes the complex immune system changes that lead to psoriasis, but some issues that may trigger it include:
- Strep throat or other bacterial infections
- Severe sunburn or other injury to the skin
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Viral infections
What is the treatment for psoriasis?
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.