If your skin is dry and itchy, you could have a health condition known as psoriasis. At Colorado Skin & Vein, we offer a variety of treatments to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis and calm your irritated skin.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition and immune-mediated disease that can affect the skin and joints. This condition changes the life cycle of skin cells, causing them to rapidly build up into thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry, and red patches. Psoriasis is a chronic disease with systemic inflammation and periodic symptom flare-ups that are usually caused by triggers. Most often, psoriasis appears on the scalp, elbows, or knees, but it can appear anywhere on the body. In addition to itchiness and dryness, psoriasis can also burn and sting painfully. It is not contagious or infectious.
We do not know what causes psoriasis, but we do know that genetics and the immune system affect its development. It is thought that one-third of individuals with psoriasis also have a family member with the condition. Most people who develop psoriasis are 15 to 35 years old, though psoriasis may occur at any age. It occurs at equal rates in men and women and is found in all racial groups.
A dermatologist can typically diagnose psoriasis on sight. There are five types of psoriasis:
People with psoriasis have systemic inflammation, and as much as 30 percent of affected individuals also have (or will develop) psoriatic arthritis. Having psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, depression, and diabetes. The onset of psoriasis may follow an infection such as strep throat, an earache, tonsillitis, bronchitis, or a respiratory infection.
Treatment for psoriasis depends on the type, severity (how widespread it is and how it impacts your life), and location. Psoriasis often requires a combination of treatment strategies that may be rotated. For mild psoriasis, topical treatments such as shampoos, creams, moisturizers, steroids, and retinoids may be used. Oral immunomodulation treatments, biological treatments, oral retinoids, or other systemic treatment options may be recommended for moderate to severe psoriasis, especially if the joints are affected. Finally, phototherapy may be used to treat psoriasis, usually in addition to topical and/or systemic treatments.
If you have psoriasis, our experts at Colorado Skin & Vein can work with you to determine the best way to manage your condition and ease your symptoms. Call 303-683-3235 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today.