Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin health of more than 7.5 million people in the United States. While there’s currently no cure for the disease, with the right treatment plan, you can manage it for the rest of your life.
At Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics, board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, has years of experience diagnosing and treating psoriasis symptoms. To get the help you need, Dr. Bushore provides a closer look at the condition to help you recognize the telltale signs of psoriasis.
What to know about psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that’s linked to dysfunction in the immune system. While the disease isn’t completely understood, it’s thought that a reaction in the immune system causes it to mistakenly attack healthy skin cells. This attack causes the cells to multiply faster than they should.
You might be more likely to develop psoriasis if you have a family history of the disease. It’s possible to have psoriasis for years before you experience physical symptoms of the disease.
Psoriasis symptoms can be triggered by a number of factors, including:
- Infections, especially strep throat
- Skin injuries
- Drinking alcohol
Use of certain medications, such as high blood pressure drugs, may also trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
4 telltale psoriasis signs
Exposure to psoriasis triggers can cause symptoms that range from mild and occasional to severe and disruptive.
Common symptoms of psoriasis can include:
1. Scaly skin patches
When skin cells multiply rapidly, they form scaly patches of skin, especially on the knees, elbows, and scalp. The scaly patches may appear silver in color and feel thicker than the rest of your skin.
2. Widespread skin rashes
The skin rash that psoriasis can cause may spread to many parts of your body. The rash can make your skin itch, burn, or bleed. Persistent skin soreness can disrupt your activities and interfere with your ability to get quality sleep.
3. Dry, cracked skin
During a psoriasis flare up, you might notice your skin on your scalp, knees, and elbows is drier than usual. The extra-dry skin might also crack open and bleed.
4. Changes in your nails
Psoriasis can affect your finger and toenails, causing them to become pitted or discolored. In those with severe psoriasis, your nail may separate from the nail bed and crumble.
If you have telltale signs of psoriasis and need help managing your condition, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics.
Treatment options for psoriasis
As a board-certified dermatologist, David A. Bushore, MD, customizes a treatment plan to ease your existing symptoms and help you prevent psoriasis flare-ups in the long term.
Since there’s no cure for psoriasis currently, the goal of your treatment plan is to prevent your skin cells from multiplying too quickly. This can be accomplished with topical, injectable, or oral medications, such as:
- Vitamin D
We also offer narrow band ultraviolet B (NBUVB) phototherapy to treat scaly skin caused by psoriasis. NBUVB uses a specific wavelength of ultraviolet (UV) light to calm chronic inflammation in your skin. Treatment with this technology can slow the rate of cell reproduction and reduce the frequency of psoriasis flare-ups.
To learn more about preventing or treating psoriasis flare-ups, call 512-459-4869 or book an appointment online with Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics today.