Top Questions to Ask Your Dermatologist About Psoriasis

 Top Questions to Ask Your Dermatologist About Psoriasis

Approximately 7.5 million Americans suffer from psoriasis.

It's one of the most common medical skin conditions in the world and one of the most debilitating. Depending on the type, it has a range of symptoms, including painful joints and itchy red bumps.

The condition is difficult to treat and has no cure, but you'll have a better outcome and fewer symptoms if you're armed with knowledge. Read on to learn about the best questions to ask your dermatologist about psoriasis.

Questions to Ask Your Dermatologist About Psoriasis

What Type of Psoriasis Do I Have?

Psoriasis got its name from the Greek word for itch. It causes the skin to become inflamed with red, patchy areas.

The cause of the condition is unclear, but it's considered an autoimmune disease. Overactive white blood cells cause the skin to become so inflamed that it sheds too rapidly.

Several triggers may cause it to flare up, including:

  • Sun exposure or sunburns
  • Stress
  • Injuries
  • Infections
  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Medications

If you notice any key psoriasis signs such as inflamed skin, speak to a dermatologist right away. They'll use a biopsy to determine if you have it and what kind you have.

80% of cases are what's known as plaque psoriasis, making it the most common of all the many types of psoriasis. It can be mild enough to go unnoticed or so severe that it covers most of the body.

Psoriatic arthritis is a more severe form that makes up 25-30% of cases and causes your joints to swell. You're more likely to get it if you have a family history of the condition. It typically appears 5-12 years after developing any other form of psoriasis.

Guttate psoriasis develops in children and creates teardrop-shaped bumps and patches but can be outgrown. Inverse psoriasis creates lesions in the folds of the skin. Pustalar creates white pustules full of pus. Erythrodermic creates painful lesions all over the body.

What Treatment Method Should I Use?

Don't ask your dermatologist how to cure psoriasis permanently. Treatment is only able to reduce the symptoms.

Medication options include cortisone, scalp treatments, retinoids, and biologic drugs given by injection. Light therapy is another long-term treatment. A combination of these methods known as PUVA or Poslaren + UVA is approximately 90% effective.

Speak with your dermatologist to see what they recommend as the best treatment for psoriasis.

What Side Effects Could My Treatment Have?

Topical psoriasis treatments may cause your skin to thin. Oral medication may increase your risk of liver damage. Biologics can increase your risk of infection. Light therapy may cause burning or blistering.

Your dermatologist should inform you about the side effects of any treatment option they recommend to help you make an informed choice.

How Can I Improve My Psoriasis At Home?

At-home psoriasis treatments provide relief in between office visits. They include developing a proper skincare routine, taking warm baths, and giving up harmful habits like smoking and drinking.

Where Can I Find a Dermatologist for Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common autoimmune condition that affects the skin. It shows up in several forms with varying symptoms, making it difficult to treat.

There's no proven psoriasis cure, but there are a range of treatment options. Ask your dermatologist which one is right for you and make sure they outline any side effects. They can also provide advice on how to reduce your symptoms at home.

The skincare experts at Northeast Dermatology Associates are ready to answer all of your questions. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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