Are you dealing with psoriasis? Find out what can cause this skin disorder to flare up.
Studies show that “more than 8 million Americans and 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis”. Psoriasis is an immune-triggered chronic disease that causes the body to attack the body, causing skin cells to multiply rapidly and abnormally. This build-up leads to red, inflamed plaques. If you think you might have psoriasis, you should turn to our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists, Dr. Kevin Dawson, Dr. Douglas Chun, Dr. Sarah Grekin, and Dr. Erin Fuller for a diagnosis and personalized treatment.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin, causing raised, scaly red patches to develop on the body. This condition is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. People with psoriasis often deal with,
- Red, scaly and inflamed patches of skin (also referred to as plaques)
- Severely dry skin that may bleed or crack open
- Itching or burning on or around the plaques
What Causes Psoriasis?
While researchers are still trying to figure out what causes psoriasis, a person’s immune system and genes may play a role. Of course, certain things may trigger psoriasis symptoms to flare up,
- Skin injuries or infections
- Weather changes
- Certain prescription medications
How Do You Manage Psoriasis?
Here’s what you can do to help manage your condition,
- Eat a healthy diet, quit smoking, and avoid alcohol
- Take care of your skin and prevent injuries such as burns and cuts
- Pay attention to your joints and how they feel. See our dermatologists if you experience stiff or sore joints, particularly upon waking
- Apply sunscreen daily to prevent sunburns
- Do not scratch itchy plaques, as this will only make flare-ups worse
- Apply a cold compress to the areas to alleviate swelling and itching
- Figure out your triggers (e.g., stress; alcohol; cold weather) and avoid them
- Follow any medication and treatment plan prescribed by your doctor
Our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists will also create a customized treatment plan based on the symptoms you are experiencing and the type and severity of your psoriasis. Standard treatment options for psoriasis include,
- Topical and oral medications: Everything from corticosteroids and vitamin D to coal tar and retinoids may be recommended (some products are over-the-counter, such as coal tar shampoos, while others will need to be prescribed by a doctor)
- Phototherapy (aka light therapy): Some exposure to UVA or UVB light can be beneficial for plaques. Of course, you don’t want to spend too much time in the sun, as this can cause sunburns. Light therapy may be an excellent treatment option for children with psoriasis and those dealing with symptoms that appear in certain areas such as the scalp, groin, or knees.
- Oral and Injectable medications: Retinoids, cyclosporin, biologics, or methotrexate may also be prescribed for more severe and unresponsive forms of psoriasis. Our team will review your medical history before deciding if the medication is right for you.
If you want to sit down with our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists to map out your very own psoriasis treatment plan, call Dawson Dermatology at (808) 599-3780 today.