Everything You Need to Know About Psoriasis and Treatment OptionsPublished on October 18, 2014 by Westchester Center For Dermatology
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition characterized by the overproduction of skin cells localized to certain areas of the body. Areas affected by psoriasis are prone to itching and burning and can crack open and bleed. Aside from being a painful and bothersome condition, many people struggle with the embarrassment of psoriasis and its distinctive patches of red, inflamed areas of the skin.
The five types of psoriasis that you should know about
There are five types of psoriasis, with plaque psoriasis being the most common and erythrodermic psoriasis the most dangerous. It is important for your doctor to first determine the type of psoriasis you suffer from and its severity before deciding on the most effective course of treatment.
Topical remedies for psoriasis
Topical remedies such as creams and lotions are usually the first line of defense against psoriasis, but can differ in active ingredients. Most topical psoriasis medications include an anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling. However, some are corticosteroid based while others rely on salicylic acid to clear the affected area. Your medical dermatologist will determine which topical remedy will work to slow the overproduction of skin cells in the inflamed regions.
Medications for psoriasis
There are various kinds of medications that your psoriasis dermatologist can prescribe to provide relief to the affected areas while slowing down the production of cells. The two main classifications of prescribed medications for the treatment of psoriasis are biologics and systemics. Biologics are injectable drugs containing proteins harvested from living cells and target the specific area of the immune system responsible for psoriasis. Systemic medications are injectable and can also be taken orally. Systemics suppress the immune system, thereby slowing the production of new skin and reducing the severity of flare ups.
Photodynamic therapy to treat psoriasis
Photodynamic therapy targets psoriasis via the use of a non-toxic, light activated composite called a photosensitizer applied to affected areas and stimulated with ultraviolet light. Photodynamic therapy is effective in targeting psoriasis patches while leaving healthy skin unaffected.
Set up a consultation with a dermatologist to determine the most effective course of treatment to alleviate your psoriasis symptoms and find relief from this most bothersome of conditions.