What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common, noncontagious skin disorder that causes dry, rough, thick, skin patches called plaques. Psoriasis plaques can occur anywhere on the body, but they most often occur on the elbows, knees, buttocks, and scalp when the outer layer of skin produces new cells more quickly than it should.
Psoriasis tends to run in families. It can affect people of all ages. Although it is a chronic disease that lasts a lifetime, there are effective treatment options to control it and reduce its symptoms!
If you have psoriasis, you might have:
- Dry, rough, and thick patches skin that might or might not itch
- Slightly sensitive and red skin under your plaques
- Small, drop-like, scaly areas on your back known as raindrop psoriasis or guttate
- Dents, pits, thickened, or deformed toe- and fingernails
- Joint paint
Psoriasis symptoms can be mild, moderate, and severe. They often worsen with stress, including illness, injury, or emotional distress. Skin injuries, including burns, rashes, cuts, and insect bites can exacerbate your psoriasis symptoms. In addition, having too much alcohol, too little or too much sunlight, and a severe sunburn can make psoriasis flare up.
Some people with psoriasis suggest their symptoms are worse during the cold months when they are often inside and have little exposure to the sun. If you live in Manhattan Beach and have psoriasis, you might experience symptoms year ‘round because you are likely often outside and exposed to the sun most months of the year.
Although its cause is unknown, psoriasis is thought to be a disorder of the immune system. Some of the things that can worsen psoriasis or prompt a flare are:
- Skin injuries and infections
- Too much or too little sun exposure
- Being overweight or obese
- Irritating soaps, lotions, cosmetics, and detergents
The key to effective treatment for psoriasis if first seeing an expert who can help you. Dr. Lawrence Moy has extensive experience treating people with psoriasis as well as all other skin conditions. He will thoroughly examine your skin and nails. In addition, he will biopsy a sample of your skin to confirm or rule out psoriasis.
If you have psoriasis and depending on your symptoms, Dr. Moy will develop a treatment plan to slow skin cell production, reduce plaque buildup, and soothe your psoriasis symptoms. To achieve this goal, he might prescribe an effective topical steroid, salicylic acid, tar, anthralin, or vitamin D-like ointment, cream, or gel that you can apply to your skin. Some patients with psoriasis can benefit from retinoid treatment. Whatever your needs, Dr. Moy can
If your psoriasis is severe, Dr. Moy might recommend:
- An oral medication such as methotrexate or cyclosporine to suppress your immune system and stop the buildup of skin cells
- Alefacept, a 12-week injected medication that is administered once-weekly to suppresses the immune system and stop the buildup of skin cells
- A combination approach that can include topical, oral, or injected medication as well as ultraviolet (UV) laser or pulsed dye laser therapy
If you have psoriasis, call Dr. Moy today
for an appointment to discuss treatment options
that might be right for you!