Psoriasis is an immune condition that affects the skin, causing skin cells to multiple up to 10 times faster than normal. As a result, skin cells buildup, creating rough, scaly patches on the elbows, knees, scalp, and back (known as plaques). If you have psoriasis we know how important it is to have a treatment plan that can reduce plaques and prevent flare-ups. Here’s how our East Greenwich, RI, dermatologists Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione can help.
Treatment Options for Psoriasis
While there is currently no cure for psoriasis there are many treatment options available to you to help get your condition under control. Of course, finding the right treatment isn’t always easy and it will take some time to figure out what works best for you.
What works well for someone may not work well for you. Your East Greenwich, RI, skin doctor can help you create the best treatment plan to reduce and even eliminate your symptoms.
Common treatment options include:
Topical treatments: this includes steroid creams, coal-tar shampoos, prescription retinoids, and products containing salicylic acid
Phototherapy: small doses of sunlight can actually improve psoriasis lesions. Light therapies include:
- Narrow-band UVB therapy
- UVB light
- PUVA (or UVA light)
Oral medications: such as retinoids and biologics may also be prescribed. Biologics are used to control your immune response and is used for treating severe, treatment-resistant arthritis, as well as psoriatic arthritis.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
If you have psoriasis the most common symptom is the development of thick, scaly patches on the skin. There may be redness, swelling or soreness around the plaques and the patches may crack or bleed. There may be some itching or burning present, as well. Depending on the type of psoriasis you have you may also experience joint swelling or pain.
While the immune system is to blame for your symptoms, there are also triggers that can cause a flare-up or exacerbate symptoms. Common triggers include:
- Cold weather
- Certain infections (e.g. strep throat)
- Certain medications (e.g. lithium; beta-blockers)
- Skin trauma (e.g. burns; cuts)
South County Dermatology provides comprehensive dermatological care to patients of all ages in Narragansett, Westerly, Barrington, and East Greenwich, RI. If you are experiencing symptoms of psoriasis call our dermatology office today.