Skin conditions can often be itchy and uncomfortable, but more than that, they can be deeply damaging to your self-image. One of the most common skin diseases is called psoriasis, and while there is no cure for this condition, there are a number of treatments that can keep symptoms in check.
If you have struggled with any of the signs and symptoms of psoriasis, seek clinical care as soon as possible. At the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery, we are pleased to provide psoriasis treatments for patients near Oshkosh, WI and the surrounding community.
Psoriasis is typically characterized by red, itchy, scaly patches on the skin. Most often, these patches are experienced on the knees, elbows, scalp, and trunk.
Psoriasis is a condition that operates in cycles. In other words, symptoms tend to “come and go.” Patients with psoriasis may have a flare-up that lasts for a few weeks or even a few months before temporarily going into remission.
How is Psoriasis Diagnosed?
If you believe you have psoriasis, the first step toward treatment is seeking a diagnosis. Our dermatology physician assistants are here to provide a visual examination of your skin and nails, which can help us confirm that what you are experiencing is indeed psoriasis.
Causes of Psoriasis
While there remains some debate about what precisely causes psoriasis, the consensus is that it is a disorder of the immune system, causing the skin cells to regenerate at a rapid rate. This fast turnover of skin cells is what results in those scaly or itchy patches. The underlying factors that lead to this autoimmune dysfunction may include both genetic and environmental factors.
Flare-ups of psoriasis symptoms can happen for any number of reasons. Some of the most common triggers include:
- Infections, such as strep throat
- Exposure to cold, dry weather conditions
- Prolonged or chronic stress
- Injury to the skin, including cuts and scrapes
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Patients with psoriasis may experience any of the following symptoms:
- Red, scaly patches on the skin
- Dry, cracked skin
- Skin that bleeds easily
- Itchy skin
- Dry skin
- Thickened or ridged nails
- Swollen or stiff joints
What are the Treatments for Psoriasis?
Though there is no known cure for this skin condition, there are a number of treatments that can safely and effectively slow the regeneration of skin cells, which in turn removes those itchy, scaly patches.
Types of Psoriasis Treatments
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, and your overall skin health, your provider may recommend one or more of the following psoriasis treatment methods:
- Topical treatments. Topical treatments, including corticosteroids, retinoids, and vitamin D analogues, can be used to control the outbreak of psoriasis symptoms.
- Oral medications. Many patients see the best results from taking oral medications, including steroids and retinoids. However, due to some potential side effects, oral treatment may not be best for everyone. Steroids may also be administered as injections.
- Light therapy. Exposure to sunlight or broadband light can also help alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis.
What to Expect from Psoriasis Treatment
If it is your first time seeking treatment for psoriasis, it is natural to have some questions and concerns. Here is a general sense of what you can expect when you join us at our practice near Oshkosh, WI.
What Happens During the Appointment?
When you join one of our skincare specialists for a private, one-on-one appointment, the first step will be a simple evaluation. Your specialist will want to visually inspect areas where you are experiencing psoriasis flare-ups. They may also ask to take a look at your scalp or your nails, seeking additional indicators about your condition. Also, be prepared to answer a few basic questions about your medical history.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your specialist will walk you through treatment options and potentially even start treatment during that same appointment.
How Long Do Psoriasis Treatments Usually Take?
Patience is warranted during psoriasis treatment. It may take a few weeks for the prescribed treatment to take full effect, and some medications may not deliver full results for up to a year.
Get Psoriasis Treatment near Oshkosh, WI
Psoriasis is a chronic condition, but the symptoms can be managed effectively, assuming you have the right treatment. To find out more about managing psoriasis, make an appointment with us at the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery. Learn about the other dermatology services we offer near Oshkosh, WI and schedule a consultation with us at (920) 944-6614.