Diseases of the skin can be itchy and uncomfortable, to say nothing of damaging to your self-esteem. One of the most common skin conditions is called psoriasis. While there is no known cure for this chronic skin condition, several safe and effective treatments can make it completely manageable.
If you have any of the signs or symptoms of psoriasis, please know that there are ways to keep them in check. At Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery, we offer psoriasis treatments to help patients regain their self-confidence throughout Appleton and Green Bay.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a condition that is characterized by red, scaly, itchy patches on the skin. The areas most commonly affected by psoriasis include the knees, elbows, scalp, and trunk.
Those who have psoriasis usually experience it in cycles. Symptoms will flare up for a few weeks or months, then go into remission for a while.
In addition to being cyclical, psoriasis is also chronic. There is no way to completely cure it, though there are options to keep the symptoms under control.
How is the Diagnosis for Psoriasis Done?
Our dermatology providers can confirm your condition with a simple visual examination. They will carefully check your skin, nails, and scalp for signs of psoriasis and ask some questions about your symptoms and your medical history.
While the causes of psoriasis are not clear, it is generally assumed to be a condition of the immune system, which results in the skin regenerating faster than normal. The rapid turnover of skin cells is what leads to the red, scaly areas. The underlying factors that lead to this immune malfunction are unknown but thought to be both genetic and environmental.
There are some potential triggers for psoriasis flare-ups, which can include:
- Infections, such as strep throat
- Cold, dry weather conditions
- Injury to the skin
The symptoms of psoriasis can vary by patient but generally include:
- Red, scaly patches on the skin
- Dry, cracked skin, which may bleed
- Dry skin
- Thickened or ridged nails
- Swollen or stiff joints
How is Psoriasis Treated?
Psoriasis treatment aims to stop the skin cells from regenerating so rapidly and remove those itchy, scaly patches.
Types of Psoriasis Treatments
Your dermatology provider may recommend different types of psoriasis treatments, just depending on the severity of your symptoms. Some of the primary means of treating psoriasis include:
- Topical therapy. Some ointments and creams can effectively control psoriasis symptoms, including corticosteroids, retinoids, vitamin D analogues, and more.
- Light therapy. For moderate to severe psoriasis, your dermatology provider may recommend treatment via exposure to sunlight or broadband light. Laser therapy can sometimes be effective for getting psoriasis symptoms under control.
- Oral and injected medications. Some patients see the best results from taking certain medications, including steroids and retinoids. Additionally, these medications can be used to augment other treatment methods.
What to Expect?
If you have never been treated for psoriasis, it is only natural to have some questions. Here is a general sense of what you can expect when seeking treatment from the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery.
During The Appointment
During your initial appointment, you can expect your dermatology provider to conduct a visual examination of your flare-up areas and ask you some questions about your medical history. From there, you will have a chance to discuss treatment options and ask any questions you may have. Depending on the type of treatment you need, we can usually begin treatment at this initial appointment.
How Long Do Psoriasis Treatments Usually Take?
When it comes to psoriasis treatment, patience is essential. It may take several weeks for the prescribed treatment to take full effect. In fact, some of the medications we use can take up to 12 months to deliver their full results.
Get Your Psoriasis Symptoms in Check
Psoriasis is no fun, but thankfully, the condition can be managed with safe, effective, non-surgical treatments. Our dermatology providers are here to diagnose and care for psoriasis patients in Green Bay, Appleton, and the surrounding area. Contact us at (920) 380-9890 to make an appointment at your next opportunity.