More than 7.5 million men, women, and children in the United States have psoriasis, characterized by skin that erupts into red lesions with scaly white patches or flaking sheets. Dr. David Graham at Silver Leaf Dermatology in Edmond and Enid, Oklahoma knows how to manage psoriasis, clear eruptions, and improve his patients’ quality of life.
Psoriasis Q & A
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an inherited skin condition where your body erroneously creates new skin cells faster than it can shed the old ones.
The most common form of psoriasis produces red patches of skin topped by flaky, white scales. Psoriatic lesions may appear anywhere on your body but are typically present on the elbows, knees, and trunk.
Psoriasis usually first appears between the ages of 15 and 35, often simultaneous or soon after a strep infection. While strep of course is contagious, and needs at least 10 days of treatment, psoriasis is not.
What are the different types of psoriasis?
Psoriasis comes in a range of types and severity. The five types of psoriasis are:
- Plaque psoriasis manifests as inflamed red lesions covered with white scales and affects 80% of those with psoriasis.
- Guttate psoriasis manifests as small red dots on the trunk or limbs possibly triggered by a health problem or stress.
- Inverse psoriasis manifests as shiny, bright red lesions usually under the breasts, armpit, genitals, buttocks, or groin.
- Pustular psoriasis manifests as white pus-filled blisters filled surrounded by red skin.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis manifests as itchy, fiery red skin covering large areas that tend to shed in sheets.
What triggers psoriasis?
Your psoriasis triggers may be different than someone else’s, so you should keep a diary to record incidences of flares. Then, you and Dr. Graham can more easily identify situations, environments, food, or other stressors that may be triggering your outbreaks.
How can I treat my psoriasis?
Dr. Graham diagnoses your type of psoriasis and its severity; then, he makes recommendations based on the particulars of your case.
Mild to moderate psoriasis treatments include:
- Over-the-counter preparations to soothe itching and moisturize your skin
- Prescription topical treatments to slow down skin-cell growth and reduce inflammation
- Light therapy (i.e., phototherapy) with sunshine or lasers to treat large areas
Moderate to severe psoriasis treatments include:
- Prescription oral medications
- PUVA (a combination of the drug psoralens and UVA light exposure)
Dr. Graham may also recommend skincare products specially formulated for psoriasis. However, he does not support the use of biologics, a relatively new treatment that is expensive and risky. Dr. Graham has had great success using traditional, safe methods to clear psoriatic lesions.
You don’t have to be embarrassed by or uncomfortable in your own skin any more. Contact the experts at Silver Leaf Dermatology for relief today.