Psoriasis is a chronic condition. It is not contagious, but it is lifelong. Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the United States, affecting approximately 7.5 million people. The hyperactivity of the immune system can result in painful, scaly, inflamed patches of skin (plaques). These plaques typically are located on the elbows, knees, or scalp. Though psoriasis varies from person to person, people with the disease may deal on a daily basis with pain and itch, as well as low self-esteem, relationship problems, and feeling stigmatized because of how they look.
Psoriasis can be treated many ways and each patient responds differently. Treatment options include topical and systemic (works inside the body) medications. Used alone, topical creams and ointments such as corticosteroids, Vitamin D3, analogues, salicylic acid, and moisturizers can effectively treat mild to moderate psoriasis. When the psoriasis is more severe, topical creams can be combined with oral or injected medications such as retinoids, methotrexate, Otezla, and biologics (Cosentyx, Enbrel, Humira, Stelara, Taltz, and Tremfya). Intra-lesional cortisone injections can be performed in office to resistant plaques also.
Phototherapy is another treatment option that involves exposing the skin to wavelengths of ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light A and B are found in natural sunlight. The key to success with phototherapy is consistency. This treatment may be performed using PUVA and UVB light machines.
Some people with psoriasis develop pain and inflammation in the joints called psoriatic arthritis.
To improve your quality of life and reduce the signs and symptoms of psoriasis, schedule an appointment by calling 402-467-4361.