If you have psoriasis, you probably already know it’s not going away. But while psoriasis is a lifelong condition, there are a number of ways to manage your treatments and take back your life.
Though most people are aware of psoriasis, some suffer from milder forms of the condition without even knowing. Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes your body to over-produce skin cells. These skin cells form silvery, white patches of crusty, flaky skin called plaques. Most people with psoriasis develop plaques. Roughly 8 or 9 in 10 people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis.
Guttate psoriasis is a form of psoriasis that develops in children and can oftentimes go away as a person ages. Guttate psoriasis looks different from plaque psoriasis, as it produces red, raised bumps and patches all over the skin. These spots are generally small and teardrop shaped.
Regardless of its subtype, psoriasis can be a very disruptive skin condition for a number of reasons. If it forms on the face and scalp or other highly visible regions, it can affect your self-esteem. Plaques and guttate lesions are unsightly and can make a person feel incredibly self-conscious. When plaques slough off dry skin, it’s much more obvious than when skin is shed normally. Plaques produce far more skin, and the skin left behind can look like extreme dandruff.
There are other, less common types of psoriasis that can also cause problems that go beyond the skin. Some people with psoriasis of any kind develop a condition called psoriatic arthritis. With psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis affects the body’s joints, causing swelling, inflammation, and pain. Psoriatic arthritis can be incredibly disruptive if left untreated.
There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are several psoriasis treatments your dermatologist can offer. These treatments all have one goal in mind: lessening the symptoms of your psoriasis.
One person’s treatment method might not work nearly as well for the next, so your dermatologist will approach your psoriasis by examining your specific condition and symptoms. Common preventive treatments include practicing good psoriasis skincare and using products that treat itching or other symptoms of discomfort. Instead of scratching itchy skin, moisturize and apply products that contain camphor or menthol, two common anti-itch medications.
Your dermatologist can also use and prescribe a number of specialized medications and treatments to ease psoriasis symptoms. Light therapy has shown promising results when used as a psoriasis treatment. Also referred to as phototherapy, the process uses certain types of light to slow skin growth, reduce itchiness and promote healthy, normal skin growth in at-risk areas near plaques.
For a lot of people, topical corticosteroids are prescribed to treat psoriasis, and that’s all they need. Corticosteroids work to reduce inflammation, redness and slow the overactive skin growth that causes plaques. If corticosteroids work to clear your psoriasis, it’s entirely possible that this prescription is all you need to keep mild to moderate psoriasis in check.
The question was raised, so it should be answered. What is the best psoriasis treatment for you? The answer is not as simple as the question, unfortunately. Only with the help of an expert dermatologist can you know the best treatment for your psoriasis.
Even though most people with psoriasis get plaques, the symptoms associated with this condition can differ wildly. Ultimately, you’ll need to seek advice early and often when dealing with psoriasis. Your symptoms may change with the seasons or other conditions, but your treatment might not. Only a dermatologist who knows you and has your best interest in mind will be able to offer you the treatment you need for your psoriasis.
Psoriasis isn’t straightforward. It’s a multifaceted, lifelong condition that has countless treatments. If you’re interested in treating it effectively, contact your New England dermatologist today.
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