By the time patients visit California Skin Institute for Psoriasis treatments, many have experienced years (and even decades) of self consciousness about the red patches that seem to come and go randomly. For many, the issue started slowly, with just a few red or itchy spots on the skin, but the amount of affected skin continued to increase over time. Eventually, the symptoms became unmanageable and the patient decided to seek professional Psoriasis treatments. However, in many cases, the situation isn’t very clear cut. To help you better understand how Psoriasis treatments work, let’s take a closer look at this skin condition, underlying causes, and some of the biggest misconceptions about it.*
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that can come in many forms. The most common is Psoriasis Vulgaris, which is characterized by patches of red, thick plaques on the skin that can form anywhere on the body.
“Psoriasis is a very common problem…Roughly 3% of the world population has symptoms of this condition,” says Dr. Todd Anhalt, one of the expert dermatologists at CSI, who has helped countless patients control Psoriasis over the decades.
“What’s really heartbreaking is when a patient thinks that it’s somehow their fault. Some of the patients I’ve met over the years unnecessarily blamed themselves and thought it was their hygiene or their diet. But Psoriasis is actually caused by genetic factors. So the first thing I like to explain to patients is that it’s not anything they’re doing wrong, and that the only way to really get it under control is to get it properly diagnosed and to get professional help.”
Further, some patients have to struggle with the stigma of this condition because their uninformed friends, co-workers, and random strangers think that it’s contagious. But “the condition isn’t contagious at all,” continues Dr. Anhalt, “it’s completely genetic, and you don’t get to choose your genes.”
Can Psoriasis be Cured?
When considering Psoriasis treatments, it’s important to keep in mind that because the condition is genetic, it cannot be cured – only controlled.* Therefore, it’s vital to work with an experienced dermatologist and carefully follow the treatment regimen.* Otherwise, the flare-ups are very likely to return.*
How to Treat Psoriasis
The first step toward successful Psoriasis treatment is to correctly diagnose the condition.* According to Dr. Anhalt, “other issues, like rash or Eczema can be confused with Psoriasis by the untrained eye.* That’s why you have to see a dermatologist, or you may be treating the wrong condition with the wrong over the counter creams.”*
If the skin patches do turn out to be Psoriasis, there is a variety of treatments available*:
- Topical: Mild cases of Psoriasis can be treated with cortisone creams.* Further, the effectiveness of these creams can in some cases be enhanced with vitamin D.* There are virtually no side effects, and the treatment can be used on a long term basis.*
- Oral Medication: For more serious cases, California Skin Institute providers may suggest the use of oral medications.* In some situations, the oral treatment may be administered initially, to reduce symptoms quickly, and then followed up with a topical regimen.*
- Biologics: In cases where over 10% of the patient’s skin is affected by Psoriasis, the treatment can include injections of Biologics.* This approach can yield powerful results when administered correctly.*
- Light Therapy: Psoriasis also responds well to light therapy, using UVA and UVB light.* In situations where a large surface area of the skin is affected by this condition, the patient can undergo light box treatments.* This involves disrobing and stepping into a box that exposes virtually the entire surface area of the skin to light.* For targeted, spot treatments, California Skin Institute providers can also use the XTRAC laser.*
Get Psoriasis Under Control
If you are struggling with Psoriasis, there’s no need to go it alone. Contact a California Skin Institute practice near you to schedule your treatment consultation today, or use the online scheduler now!*
(Dr. Todd Anhalt is a Board Certified dermatologist who has been helping patients treat Psoriasis, and many other skin conditions for over 20 years.* In addition to healing patients, Dr. Anhalt also serves as a Clinical Professor Emeritus of Dermatology at Stanford.)
*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.