Treatment options for psoriasis

This post was written by Melissa Williams, MD, PPG – Dermatology, Bryan, Ohio.

According to recent studies, shared by the National Psoriasis Foundation, more than 8 million Americans are living with psoriasis. Typically, new skin cells form over several weeks, but when a patient has psoriasis, new skin cells are made too quickly and build up plaques on your skin.

Signs of psoriasis

Patients often build up raised pink plaques with silver-white scales on their skin. There are several different types of psoriasis and each type appears differently on the skin. Patches can occur anywhere on the skin, but are most commonly found on the scalp, elbows and knees. In some severe cases, these patches can cover almost the entire body. Psoriasis can also affect the fingernails, toenails and the joints, which can manifest as arthritis.

Treatment

Psoriasis can be treated with one approach or a combination of treatments to get the best results.

Different treatment options include:

  • A variety of topical medications that you apply directly to your skin.
  • Phototherapy or ultraviolet light treatments can provide safe and effective treatment. Too much UV light or the wrong type can increase your risk for skin cancer; therefore, it is important to discuss this with your doctor. Parkview works closely with the company, Daavlin, who provides medical grade light units for use in the physician’s office, as well as convenient in-home treatments.
  • Systemic medications are used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis, and come in either oral or injectable forms. These medications are very effective at treating the skin, nails and joints. 

As with all medical conditions, it is important to weigh all of the options and come up with the treatment plan that is best for each individual patient and their lifestyle.  

 

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