Psoriasis is one of the most common skin conditions people come to dermatologists for help with, and on the surface, it seems like a minimal problem. Psoriasis occurs when the life cycle of skin cells suddenly starts to speed up. This leads to rapid cell buildup on the skin’s surface, which can sometimes lead to additional scales and red patches that become itchy and painful.
Psoriasis can be frustrating to deal with because there is no formal cure. However, there are different types of treatments, that mainly focus on stopping the skin cells from growing so fast. In addition, you can take lifestyle steps like moisturizing more and managing your stress. The support of a dermatologist in Palo Alto can mean a lot, also. Here’s what you need to know about this condition and how treatment works.
Psoriasis Types and Symptoms
One thing that can make targeting your psoriasis difficult is the fact that every person has different symptoms. The most common one, as we mentioned, are the red patches of skin with silvery scales, and small scaling spots, especially in children. However, there’s variance even here. A psoriasis patch can go from a few spots of scaling, similar to dandruff, to large eruptions that encompass patches of the skin.
In addition, these aren’t the only ways that psoriasis pops up. Sometimes, it’s represented by dry, cracked skin that starts to bleed. In other cases, it may lead to itching, burning, or soreness. In addition, the root issue behind psoriasis can extend to areas beyond your skin. For example, you may feel swollen joints or thickened/ridged nails. Generally, your average case of psoriasis progresses in cycles. It may appear for a few weeks or even a few months, then relax for a time, sometimes even going into remission by itself.
Compounding the issue is the fact that there are several different types of psoriasis that may appear. For example, plaque psoriasis can cause dry, raised, red lesions, also known as plaques. The plaques can occur anywhere on the body, including your genitals and the mouth’s inner, soft tissue. Note that psoriasis can also affect the fingernails and toenails, leading to issues like pitting, discoloration, and abnormal nail growth. In some cases, the nail may even begin to crumble.
In some cases, psoriasis may become more serious and pronounced. For example, inverse psoriasis tends to affect the skin in the armpits, groin, as well as under the breasts and around the genitals. Generally, this causes matches of red and inflamed skin, aggravated by friction and sweat. In some cases, fungal infections serve as a sort of “trigger” for inverse psoriasis.
There are also more uncommon types of psoriasis to look out for, like pustular psoriasis. This tends to occur both in wider patches or smaller areas on the hands, feet and fingers. One thing that’s notable about this is how quickly it develops, with the signature blisters appearing often hours after your skin becomes red. Some additional symptoms can include fever, chills, and even diarrhea. Erythrodermic psoriasis is the least common type, though, where the entire body can be covered with a red rash that peels, itches, and sometimes burns.
In one particular case, psoriatic extends beyond the skin to the joints, causing them to become swollen and painful like with arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis isn’t as crippling as other types, but it can lead to stiffness, extended joint damage, and even permanent deformity if left untreated.
If you think any of these situations may apply to you, seek out a dermatologist in San Francisco right away. You should also reach out to a doctor if you find that your psoriasis is affecting your life via discomfort or pain, or if it’s leading to joint problems or making your daily routine more difficult to perform.
One thing we should mention about psoriasis before getting into treatment is the fact that there are several potential complications that can arise from it. For example, psoriatic arthritis is a condition that leads to joint damage and loss of function in some cases. Psoriasis is also linked with higher instances of other conditions, like eye problems, obesity, diabetes, and some autoimmune diseases. We don’t entirely know the link between all these conditions, but they bear mentioning.
One additional consideration is that skin conditions may also lead to mental health issues due to their impact on your appearance. Even if you don’t have a formal mental health issue, the self-consciousness that comes with skin conditions can prove problematic.
When it comes to skin treatment in Walnut Creek, most doctors make their choices based on the type and severity of psoriasis and the areas of the skin that are impacted. However, the general approach here is to begin with the milder treatments on the spectrum, like topical creams or phototherapy. This generally applies to patients who are only showing the normal skin lesions that come with psoriasis. If more is needed, they can then progress. However, patients who are dealing with different varieties of psoriasis, such as erythrodermic psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, will generally need to get systemic therapy starting at the beginning of their treatment.
There is also a growing rise in alternative medicine when it comes to psoriasis treatment, and skin care in general. Generally, this includes skin-friendly diets, herbs, supplements, and creams. None of these have a concrete basis in science, but some of them have been shown to at least be safe. For people with milder plaque disease, these may be able to be effective in reducing symptoms. Some of the more popular options include aloe vera, fish oil, and barberry.
Because there’s a relative lack of scientific backing, with any type of alternative therapy, you want to get the input of a skin doctor in Roseville first. They can be a great asset in terms of steering you to the right options, or even finding choices that complement your existing treatment.
Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.