While psoriasis looks like it’s only a skin condition, it is, in fact, the most prevalent chronic autoimmune disease in the United States. At Aspen Center for Cosmetic Medicine & Dermatology in Aspen, Colorado, Brooke Walls, DO, understands how psoriasis can affect the quality of your everyday life, so she offers effective solutions to help you manage symptoms and reduce flare-ups. As a Harvard-trained dermatologist and medical aesthetics expert, Dr. Walls takes a holistic approach to treating psoriasis. If symptoms are disrupting your life, call to schedule an exam or book online today.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes skin cells to produce too rapidly. As a result, this excessive skin cell growth causes a buildup of patches of thick, red, silvery areas on your body. Psoriasis patches most frequently occur on:
- Lower back
- Soles of your feet
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease. Other types of psoriasis include:
- Psoriatic arthritis
Like eczema, another chronic skin condition, there’s no cure for psoriasis, so the goal of treatment is minimizing symptoms and reducing flare-ups.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
Your symptoms depend on the type of psoriasis you have, and it’s different for everyone. However, common signs of plaque psoriasis often include:
- Red, scaly patches of skin
- Dry, cracked areas of skin
- Itching, burning, and soreness in the affected areas
- Silvery scales over the red patches
Nail psoriasis causes abnormal nail growth and discoloration of your fingernails and toenails. If you have psoriatic arthritis, in addition to inflamed patches of skin, you may also experience swollen, painful joints. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint in your body and symptoms can range from mild to severe.
What causes psoriasis?
The exact cause of psoriasis isn’t known, but medical professionals do know that your immune system and genetics play significant roles in the development of the disease. Like eczema, psoriasis usually has certain triggers that cause a flare-up, but everyone’s triggers are different. The condition typically develops when you’re 15-35 years old, but you can get it at any time.
How does a dermatologist treat psoriasis?
As a board-certified dermatologist and doctor of osteopathic medicine, Dr. Walls takes a comprehensive, whole-person approach to diagnosing and treating your type of psoriasis. Your treatment plan often depends on the severity of your condition and how much of your skin is affected. Effective psoriasis remedies may include topical creams to reduce itching and inflammation, oral medications, or ultraviolet light therapies.
Dr. Walls may also prescribe topical corticosteroids or vitamin D or other medications to slow skin cell growth. Additionally, salicylic acid may help promote the sloughing of dead skin cells and reduce the skin’s scaly, rough appearance.
People with psoriasis often suffer from other conditions, including diabetes and depression. If psoriasis is affecting the quality of your life, don’t wait to seek professional help. You can start with a phone call to Aspen Center for Cosmetic Medicine & Dermatology, or click the button to request an appointment.