WHat is Psoriasis?
Dr. Adam Bodian of Bodian Dermatology in Great Neck, NY helps men and women with the treatment and ongoing management of psoriasis. This is a recurring skin condition that occurs when your skin cells grow too rapidly. Psoriasis causes red, flaky, light-colored patches of skin that can be inflamed, itchy, scaly, and can even scab. Regular skin cells turn over and flake about once a month or every four weeks. Individuals with psoriasis have skin cells that build up quickly and form plaques. They can vary in diameter and location on the body, forming on the elbows, hands, knees, scalp, and lower spine. There are many different forms of psoriasis. One type, referred to as plaque psoriasis, is the most commonly experienced. While many cases of psoriasis are considered moderate, some are difficult to treat and can require several treatments throughout a patient's lifetime. It's important to remember that psoriasis isn't contagious and cannot be spread person to person. When it is diagnosed, it is a matter of addressing the symptoms so that flare-ups can be decreased.
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Causes of Psoriasis
The precise cause of psoriasis hasn't been pinpointed by physicians. The general idea is that the immune system overreacts, causing inflammation and flaking of the skin. Additionally, it is thought that psoriasis may be a genetic condition. Approximately 1/3 of people with psoriasis have one or more family members with the condition. Scientists think that certain genes interact with one another, which contributes to psoriasis. But you have to inherit the ideal blend of genes and then get exposed to a specific trigger. Symptoms can appear after triggers, such as a stressful event, taking certain medicines, dry weather, or even a terrible sunburn.
Common symptoms associated with psoriasis include elevated, bright, red patches of skin that are coated with loose and silver scales. Plaques can also arise in the same place on each side of your body, like on both knees or both arms. Your scalp can suffer, from minor scaling to regions of thick, crusted plaques. Itchiness commonly occurs prior to flare-ups, especially when psoriatic spots appear in body folds underneath the breasts or buttocks. Tiny areas of skin irritation can occur when scales are pulled up or scraped off. This is called Auspitz's sign.
While there is not a cure for psoriasis, you'll find an assortment of treatment options available to manage the condition based on the severity and type of psoriasis that you are experiencing. Mild cases can be cleared with prescription creams, ointments, and lotions. If your head is affected, oils, shampoos, and sprays may be used. Systemic medications are prescription medications that are taken by mouth or injected, which work throughout the body. They are normally used on individuals with moderate to severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Dr. Bodian may determine that you are a candidate for XTRAC® laser therapy, which utilizes narrow band ultraviolet B phototherapy to reduce psoriasis symptoms. During your consultation visit, Dr. Bodian will determine the correct course of psoriasis therapy based on your individual needs.
How do I know which psoriasis treatment option is right for me?
During your consultation at Bodian Dermatology, Dr. Bodian will evaluate the current state of your psoriasis to ensure you receive the ideal treatment for you. Once your personalized treatment plan has been created, he will also monitor you throughout your treatment process and make any necessary changes to your plan as needed. Your exact treatment may vary depending on the severity, type, and location of your psoriasis.
Can stress trigger psoriasis?
Yes, stress can be a trigger for a psoriasis flare-up. Though it may not be the main cause, stress can worsen psoriasis. Managing your stress can be very beneficial for keeping your psoriasis at bay.
What does psoriasis look like?
Though it can look different from patient to patient, psoriasis typically looks like red or pink, scaly patches of skin. It can also be extremely itchy and cause flaking of the skin. During your appointment, Dr. Bodian can evaluate your skin to determine if you have psoriasis and what course of treatment is ideal for you.
Improve your psoriasis
Psoriasis can be painful and embarrassing, making even simple daily tasks feel difficult to complete. If this is the case in your situation, we encourage you to reach out to Bodian Dermatology at your first convenience. During an appointment with Dr. Bodian, your condition will be assessed and a personalized treatment plan will be created to make your symptoms more manageable and improve your quality of life.