Dermatology Clinic located in San Juan Capistrano, CA
Even though it appears as an external skin condition, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes skin inflammation and redness. The skin cells are mistaken as a pathogen and send out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. The disorder is a chronic recurring condition that varies in severity from minor localized patches to complete body coverage. Fingernails and toenails are frequently affected (psoriatic nail dystrophy) and can be seen as an isolated symptom. Between 10-30% of people with psoriasis also have inflammation of the joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis has been linked to an increased risk of stroke. The expert medical team at HK Dermatology specializes in diagnosing and treating psoriasis so you can get long-term relief from itching and other disruptive symptoms. For a whole-person approach and effective treatments for your type of psoriasis, request an appointment online or call the office in San Juan Capistrano, California.
Psoriasis Q & A
How did I get psoriasis?
The exact cause of psoriasis isn’t clear, but scientists do know that genetics and your immune system play significant roles in whether you develop psoriasis. Psoriasis is not contagious but is believed to have a genetic component and local psoriatic changes can be triggered by an injury to the skin known as the Koebner phenomenon. Various environmental factors have been suggested as aggravating to psoriasis, including stress, withdrawal of systemic corticosteroid, as well as other environmental factors, but few have shown statistical significance.
If you have psoriasis, your skin cells grow abnormally fast and build up on the surface of your skin. Typically, something triggers a flare-up, causing red, scaly, sometimes painful patches of skin.
Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Certain medications
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Additionally, if psoriasis runs in your family, your risk of developing the disease increases.
What kind of psoriasis do I have?
There are several different forms of psoriasis, including:
- Plaque psoriasis, the most common type, characterized by dry, silvery scales of skin
- Guttate psoriasis, mainly affects children and young adults after strep throat
- Inverse psoriasis, often on areas of your body that sweat the most
- Pustular psoriasis, which is fairly uncommon and appears on your hands and feet
- Erythrodermic psoriasis, the most uncommon type that covers your whole body
- Psoriatic arthritis, which causes swollen, painful, stiff joints
- Nail psoriasis, which can cause abnormal nail growth and discoloration in your fingernails and toenails
What treatments are effective at relieving psoriasis symptoms?
Symptoms of psoriasis can range from mild to severe, with itching, burning, or sore patches of skin. If psoriasis interferes with your daily activities or becomes painful, it’s a good idea to seek treatment from the knowledgeable team at HK Dermatology. The dermatologists and nurse practitioners create a treatment plan to help manage your individual symptoms and control the severity and frequency of flare-ups.
Depending on the type of psoriasis you have and the severity of your symptoms, treatment may include:
- Topical ointments and corticosteroid creams
- Salicylic acid applications
- Systemic medications for infections
- Light therapy
- Diet and lifestyle modifications
Since psoriasis causes inflammation, and certain foods also cause inflammation, your dermatologist may recommend avoiding or limiting foods like red meat, dairy products, and refined sugar. Managing stress and your emotional well-being may also help reduce symptoms.
To learn more about managing chronic psoriasis and for an individualized, whole-person approach to treating this condition, request an appointment using the online scheduler or call the HK Dermatology office.
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