Psoriasis in Stuart, FL

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What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common immune system condition that affects nearly 125 million people around the world. In the skin, inflammation causes skin cells to grow too fast. This most commonly results in thick, scaly patches on the skin known as plaques. Although psoriasis plaques may be unsightly, they are not contagious. Psoriasis can have a negative social and psychological impact. Although psoriasis affects the skin, it is not just a disease of the skin. The inflammation underlying psoriasis can affect many other parts of the body, including the joints. Contact Spyglass Dermatology in Stuart, FL, to have Dr. Ryan A. Schuering determine the best way to treat your psoriasis.

What causes psoriasis?

A fundamental cause of psoriasis has not been found by doctors. The basic idea is that your immune system overreacts, which causes inflammation as well as flaking of your skin. It's also thought that psoriasis may be inherited. Roughly 1/3 of those with psoriasis have a couple of family members with this skin condition. Scientists feel that specific genes interact with each other, which contributes to psoriasis. However, you must inherit the perfect blend of genes and then be exposed to a trigger. Symptoms may appear after triggers such as a stressful event, taking certain medicines, dry weather, or a bad sunburn.

What are the symptoms of Psoriasis?

Prevalent symptoms associated with psoriasis are elevated, vivid, red patches of skin that are coated with loose and silvery scales. Plaque can also appear in precisely the same place on each side of your body, such as on both of your knees or both elbows. The top of your scalp may experience anything from minor scaling to regions of thick, crusted plaques. Itching commonly occurs before flare-ups, especially when psoriatic spots appear in body folds underneath the buttocks or breasts. Tiny regions of skin bleeding may happen when scales are picked or scraped off. This is called Auspitz's sign.

How Can Psoriasis be Treated?

There are many treatment options for managing psoriasis. However, it is often a life-long disease. Although treating the psoriatic plaques that appear on the skin is important, treating the underlying inflammation is also an important concern. Avoiding items that can trigger psoriasis is important.

  • Topical Therapies: Corticosteroids are the primary option for reducing inflammation and itching in the skin. Steroids can be beneficial because they offer more immediate results. However, they should not be used excessively in order to avoid possible side effects on the skin. Longer-term topical therapies include Vitamin D and Vitamin A containing creams. Lotions and creams containing salicylic acid or lactic acid can help to soften thick plaques.
  • Phototherapy: Phototherapy uses controlled ultraviolet light to calm down the inflammation in the skin. It is a treatment option that can be useful when combined with other therapies.
  • Systemic Therapies: Systemic therapies are medications that will affect the entire body, not just the skin. These therapies are most appropriate for more severe cases of psoriasis and those that are affecting the joints. The goal is to adjust the immune system and reduce the inflammatory process throughout the body. Biologic agents like adalimumab (Humira®) specifically target inflammatory signals in the body. Oral medications like methotrexate and cyclosporine act by different mechanisms to modify the immune system and help alleviate the manifestations of psoriasis. New biologic treatments are constantly being developed to address the problems associated with psoriasis.

Achieve Clearer, Smoother Skin

Psoriasis may be embarrassing and uncomfortable, which makes it difficult for you to carry out simple activities in your daily life. If this is the case in your situation, we invite you to call Spyglass Dermatology in Stuart, FL, at your first convenience. During your appointment with Dr. Schuering, your condition can be assessed and a treatment plan customized to help make your symptoms tolerable and your quality of life even better.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.