Psoriasis is a type of skin disorder. Skin cells reproduce at a highly accelerated rate and as they die, the skin surface becomes reddened. White scales often develop on top of the red patches. Psoriasis is most commonly experienced on the forehead, scalp, elbows and knees, but it can also occur on the torso, back and soles of the feet.
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is thought to be the result of an overactive immune system. Treatment options often include topical ointments, steroid-based creams and light therapy. Most individuals respond rather well to these treatments. If you are suffering from the symptoms of psoriasis, we suggest you visit our office to discuss treatment options.
Skin cells that reproduce at a highly accelerated rate are known in medical terminology as overachievers. These cells grow and divide at up to five times the normal rate. The body has a difficult time discarding the dead cells, so the tissue begins to pile up.
The body’s immune system responds to injury by producing healthy tissue. If the affected area is the skin, nutrients are sent via the bloodstream to encourage the growth of healthy tissue. The damaged cells are slowly discarded. The immune system is controlled in part by the individual’s genes.
For some reason, the instructions from the genes can get mixed up. Instead of protecting the body as it should, the immune system goes into overdrive and starts sending information for new cell growth. Most medical professionals who study genetics believe that there are more than a dozen genes that are involved in the information mix-up, and these genes are slightly different than those found in individuals who do not suffer from psoriasis.
Our team will look closely at the discolored, scaly patches of skin. The most common signs of psoriasis are patches of skin that are red and inflamed. Quite often, the patches crack open and bleed freely. Individuals with psoriasis often have discolored fingernails and toenails as well.
Once a positive diagnosis has been made, treatment options will be discussed. The recommended treatment will depend on the severity and location of the abnormal skin growth, amongst other things.
Treatment for Psoriasis
Topical creams often work quite well in reducing the symptoms. Prescription retinoids containing synthetic vitamin A are another commonly used topical treatment. Intense pulsed light therapy and other light therapies have been shown to improve the skin tone and reduce the itching, peeling and cracking skin associated with psoriasis. Several oral treatments are also available. It all depends on your unique situation.
Contact Us Today to Learn More
Psoriasis isn’t a disease, but it can certainly detract from your appearance and cause anxiety. Although there is no known cure, it may be treated using one of the means described above. Schedule an appointment at Metro Dermatology to learn more about the signs, symptoms, causes and treatment options. We have offices in Flushing, Elmhurst, Englewood and the Bronx. Contact us today to request a consultation.