Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that most commonly affects the skin. It can also attack the nails and cause a type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are psoriasis treatment options that can control the symptoms. Psoriasis can range from mild to severe, with the severity being determined by the percentage of skin affected. Mild psoriasis, for example, is defined as psoriasis that affects less than three percent of the patient’s skin; one percent covers an area about the size of the patient’s hand. There are also several different types of psoriasis with plaque psoriasis being by far the most common. It affects about 80 percent of psoriasis patients. There are also several forms of psoriatic arthritis.
How is Psoriasis Treated?
There are a variety of treatments that can control the symptoms. We will choose a treatment based on the type of psoriasis and its severity. While diagnosing the patient, we will determine whether or not they have triggers or stimuli that either cause a flare-up or exacerbate it. Cold and dry weather is a common trigger.
Steroid creams are the most common psoriasis treatment. They work by slowing the production of skin cells, and they relieve itching and reduce inflammation. We may recommend other topical medications or light therapy in which the patient is exposed to controlled doses of light. Severe or resistant cases of psoriasis are generally treated with other methods.
Qualifying for Psoriasis Treatment
One difficulty in treating psoriasis is that a number of the treatments can cause side effects. Our doctor will, therefore, have to choose carefully and monitor the patient throughout the psoriasis treatment regimen. For example, biologics are drugs that affect the immune system. They are used to treat people with resistant or moderate to severe cases. Since these drugs affect the immune system, they must be taken under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.
If you’ve been researching your options regarding psoriasis treatment, make an appointment with our expert at Metro Dermatology, with offices located in Elmhurst, Englewood, Flushing, and the Bronx. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn about your options!