Psoriasis affects about 2% of the American population and is an uncomfortable, chronic skin condition, but treatment from dermatologist Ife Rodney, MD, FAAD, can help. At Eternal Dermatology in Glenn Dale, Maryland, Dr. Rodney provides expert surgical and cosmetic dermatology to help you have the best skin possible. Call or schedule a visit today to learn about treatment options for your psoriasis.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes one or more raised patches of red skin with silvery scales, also called plaques, with a distinct border between the patch and normal skin. Psoriasis plaques can be found on the scalp, elbows, knees, back, and buttocks and may also occur near the eyebrows, underarms, navel, and genital area.
It’s also common to have thick, pitted nails if you have psoriasis. The number of patches you have can vary from a few small patches to much larger patches that grow together. These patches may come and go on their own and cause itching or pain.
While psoriasis is not infectious and cannot be spread to other people, it can cause embarrassment and psychological distress.
What causes psoriasis?
The two most common causes of psoriasis are an abnormal immune system response (it’s considered an autoimmune condition) and genetics. If you have psoriasis, flare-ups can be triggered by:
- Skin injuries, such as a cut or sunburn
- Infection, like strep throat
- Some medications
- Weather, especially cold, dry weather
- Tobacco use
- Drinking alcohol
These triggers can also cause you to have your first flare-up of psoriasis if you’re predisposed to it. If you suspect you have psoriasis, discuss your symptoms with Dr. Rodney. She can help identify triggers and ways you can avoid psoriasis flare-ups.
How is psoriasis diagnosed?
If you suspect that you have psoriasis, visit Dr. Rodney to get an official diagnosis. During your visit, she asks about your symptoms, family history, and recent changes in your life that could have caused a flare-up.
Dr. Rodney also examines your skin, nails, and scalp for signs of psoriasis. She may remove a piece of your skin to examine for cellular changes that indicate the condition.
How is psoriasis treated?
If you’re diagnosed with psoriasis, Dr. Rodney discusses treatment options with you to relieve your discomfort and improve the appearance of your skin. Treatment is divided into three general categories:
Topical drugs are applied to the specific skin areas where you experience psoriasis.
Phototherapy, also called light therapy, exposes your skin to ultraviolet light to reduce large plaque patches.
Systemic drugs are prescription medications taken by mouth or given by injection.
The severity of your condition and your symptoms help Dr. Rodney to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Improve the appearance of your skin with expert treatment for psoriasis at Eternal Dermatology. Call the office or book an appointment online today.