Psoriasis | Lynchburg, VA
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a persistent skin condition that is characterized by skin cells that multiply at a much faster rate than normal skin cells. In healthy skin conditions, the underlying epidermal cells reach the skin’s surface and die. With the increased volume of dead skin cells in patients suffering with psoriasis, the cells that would normally slough off become raised, red plaques covered with whitish scales. Psoriasis typically occurs on the knees, elbows and scalp; however, it may affect other areas of the body. The symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Red, inflamed patches of skin
- Small scaly spots
- Dry, cracked skin that has a tendency to bleed
- Itching, burning and soreness
- Thickened nails
- Swollen, stiff joints
Causes of Psoriasis
The exact cause of psoriasis is currently unknown. Researchers believe it may be an autoimmune response within the body that causes the skin cells to become inflamed and work in overdrive. No doubt, psoriasis is an irritating skin disorder that can cause discomfort and anxiety within its community.
Psoriasis usually starts to worsen due to a trigger. As you become aware of the triggers, you may attempt to avoid them to keep your psoriasis under control. Some possible triggers include:
- Strep throat, infections
- Severe sunburn, bug bites, cuts or scrapes
- Cold weather
- Alcohol use
- Certain prescription medications
Anyone can develop psoriasis, but there are factors that increase the risk of developing the disease including:
- Family history
- Viral and bacterial infections
Treatment for Psoriasis
At Seven Hills Dermatology, we offer many treatment options for people who sufferer from plaque psoriasis. Although it is incurable, treatment can provide relief during flare-ups. Treatment options include:
- Topical ointment rubbed directly into the affected skin to provide relief without using the more invasive oral medication approach.
- Steroid-based creams to decrease inflammation, decrease production of cells and relieve itching.
- Salicylic acid in ointment form to smooth the skin by promoting the shedding of psoriatic cells.
- A Vitamin D topical ointment, which has been proven to be highly effective, especially when combined with a topical corticosteroid cream.
- Prescription retinoids are topical preparations that contain synthetic forms of Vitamin A, helping to improve psoriatic conditions.
- When less invasive treatments fail, an oral medication for psoriasis may be be prescribed by a dermatologist.
At Seven Hills Dermatology, we will help you manage the itching and discomfort of psoriasis. Dr. Bohrnstedt is highly compassionate towards patients with skin conditions that affect their self-esteem and quality of life. We offer tailored treatments that will be most effective for you in the management of psoriasis.