Psoriasis is a common disorder that can cause a lot of emotional anguish. Those affected with psoriasis may try to hide behind layers of clothes to cover their red, patchy skin. Embarrassment about the condition can lead to a decreased social life and low self-esteem.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease of the immune system that causes skin cells to multiple almost 10 times faster than normal. The condition results in itchy plaques of red skin covered with thick silvery scales. It is most commonly found on the scalp, elbows, knees, but can be located anywhere on the body (even the nails). While uncomfortable, psoriasis is not contagious. Since it is caused by an overactive immune system, there is no cure for psoriasis, but the right treatment can minimize its effect and appearance.
Treatment options for psoriasis include steroid creams, oral medications, or light therapy. While these treatments work well, today there are more advanced options available that may make living life with psoriasis more comfortable.
Biologics are FDA-approved medicines comprised of the substances found in living things. New research suggests that once inside your body, biologics blocks part of the altered immune system that may add to psoriasis. In addition to psoriasis, biologics can help treat other chronic illnesses such as Crohn’s disease and arthritis. Though expensive, biologics lowered psoriasis activity by about 75% during clinical trials.
Delivering ultraviolet light directly to affected areas of the skin can help control areas of mild to moderate psoriasis without hurting the healthy skin surrounding it. Compared to light therapy, laser treatments require fewer sessions and can apply light deeper into the skin. The number of needed sessions will depend on the severity of the psoriasis and its location.
While not as technologically advanced as biologics or laser treatments, bath solutions with Dead Sea salts, oatmeal, or oils can help remove scales and soothe itchy skin. Soaking in a warm bath with one of these solutions for 15 minutes can help soothe irritation.
The Dermatology Center of Indiana is proud to service the Plainfield, Martinsville, Greenwood, and Carmel areas. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to working with you or your family soon.