Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory disease that causes your skin cells to grow much faster than usual. Plaque psoriasis, the most common type, causes red, raised patches of skin covered with silvery-white scales. The skin disease experts at Integrated Dermatology of Brookline provide advanced management strategies for people of all ages with psoriasis. Call your nearest office in Brookline or Andover, Massachusetts, today, or book an appointment with Dr. Rockoff or Dr. Wang online at any time.
Psoriasis is caused by an error in your immune system that makes your skin cells grow too quickly. Instead of taking a week to form, as they would normally, the disease causes new skin cells to form in a matter of days.
As excess cells pile up on the surface of your skin, they form patches that become thicker and scalier as time goes on. Psoriasis patches are often itchy or sore; they tend to crack and bleed when they become too dry.
Psoriasis isn’t an infection, nor is it contagious. Although experts are still trying to determine exactly what causes it, research indicates that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in its development. Factors that are known to trigger or exacerbate the condition include:
Some prescription medications, including beta blockers for hypertension and lithium for bipolar disorder, have also been known to trigger or worsen psoriasis.
Psoriasis takes many forms. Most patients are affected by one of the following:
Plaque psoriasis, which accounts for up to 90% of all psoriasis cases, is the most common form of the condition. It produces red, raised lesions covered with white or silvery scales that may appear anywhere on your body.
Often triggered by a bacterial infection, this form of psoriasis causes smaller lesions on your back, chest, arms, legs, or scalp. It mostly affects children and teens.
This type of psoriasis, which is often precipitated by a fungal infection, causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin in your armpits, groin, or under your breasts.
Because psoriasis can’t be cured, so the primary goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation, clear your skin, and keep the condition under control.
While applying topical corticosteroids or retinoids directly to lesions is often all it takes to control mild psoriasis, moderate to severe cases often require oral or injected medications as well.
To manage severe psoriasis, the team at Integrated Dermatology of Brookline uses biologics, an innovative injectable medication designed to target the specific immune cells and proteins that contribute to the development of this disorder.
Light therapy, another advanced psoriasis treatment that involves controlled exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, helps slow cell turnover and reduce inflammation for faster clearing and longer periods of remission.
If you’re ready to get your psoriasis under control, call Integrated Dermatology of Brookline, or schedule an appointment online today.