Did you know that itching is one of the most common psoriasis symptoms? It affects…
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, more than eight million people living in the United States are suffering from psoriasis. If you are one of them, you are far from alone, even though the skin condition can make you feel all by yourself.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Lilly Zhu, MD, dermatologist at Brentwood Dermatology, is here to offer you tips on how you can better manage your psoriasis, as well as steps you can take to prevent breakouts.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin condition that is caused by an overactive immune system.
“This skin condition can drastically decrease a person’s quality of life,” says Dr. Zhu. “Not only is psoriasis a physical condition, but it can also make you uncomfortable, as well as get to the point where it can cause fever and cause hospitalization if not cared for properly. Therefore, if someone begins experiencing the symptoms of psoriasis, it is important to seek medical attention from a knowledgeable and trained dermatologist who can assist in on-going treatment.”
Symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Dry skin, which can crack and bleed
- Itching and burning around patches
- Painful, swollen joints
- Plaques on red patches
- Raised red and inflamed patches
- Soreness around patches of skin
- Thick, pitted nails
“Psoriasis cannot be cured,” states Dr. Zhu. “However, for the majority of people who do suffer from psoriasis, treatment is available to help the symptoms from appearing and prevent flare-ups.
Who Is Affected By Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a condition that can affect anyone at any time. While some people start experiencing the first symptoms of psoriasis as young as nine years old, other people might not see psoriasis until around 40 or 50 years of age.
“Psoriasis really can happen to anyone, although it is more common around people who are around 20 and 30 years of age,” Dr. Zhu says. “There is a certain environmental component to it. Therefore, by avoiding certain triggers, patients can reduce their psoriasis from flaring up as frequently.”
Triggers of psoriasis include but are not limited to:
- Certain medications
- Cold, dry weather
- Trauma to skin
“Although psoriasis can bring fear to a patient, we are here to help,” says Dr. Zhu. “Our goal is to get you back to feeling like you so that you can continue to live your life as normal as possible.”
What Treatment Options Are Available?
When it comes to psoriasis, everyone’s skin condition is different. Therefore, treatment options are individualized based on the severity and the amount of the body covered. In addition, pregnancy plays a role in the treatment options offered to patients.
“Some people with psoriasis might have a spot or two that lasts for a few months and then goes away with an ointment or cream,” says Dr. Zhu. “However, if people are taking certain medications for other medical issues like ulcerative colitis, then other treatment methods will be followed to possibly help both conditions with one medication.”
Besides topical treatments like ointments and cream, systematic treatments like pills and/or injectables might be used if other treatment methods don’t seem to work.
“It is important for patients to remember that it is trial and error when it comes to finding relief from psoriasis,” explains Dr. Zhu. “But, we will not give up on the patient when trying to find the best treatment option for them. We are here to help you regain your quality of life!”
Learn More About Brentwood Dermatology.
The trusted physicians at Brentwood Dermatology can assist you with all of your general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology needs. If you would like to learn more about our services or book an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (615) 377-3448.