What Causes Psoriasis?
When there is trauma or injury to the skin, we know that the skin has the amazing ability to heal itself. The skin heals by producing collagen, which bonds with other proteins in the skin to promote healing; however, in some cases, the tissue grows past the injured area, causing a thick, raised scar to develop around the area. This is known as a keloid scar.
Psoriasis Q & A
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by skin cells that reproduce much faster than usual. When an abnormal number of cells reach the surface of the skin, raised, scaly plaque develops. These flaky skin patches cause discomfort and pain, and without proper treatment can even cause disfiguration in the affected area.
Infections, severe sunburn, stress, trauma, and certain medications trigger the condition. It can also flare up due to a withdrawal of regular psoriasis treatment. Patients who have psoriasis experience periods of frustrating flare-ups and remissions over their lifetime. There's no cure for psoriasis, but Dr. Boucher offers several treatment options to reduce red, scaly areas of the skin.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
Psoriasis is most common on the elbows, knees, soles of the feet, palms, and torso. It can even occur on the scalp. Common symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Red skin covered with scaly, painful lesions
- Cracked or bleeding lesions
- Lesions growing together
- Fingernail and toenail discoloration or detachment
Psoriasis may also lead to psoriatic arthritis, a painful condition marked by swelling in the joints.
What psoriasis treatment options are available?
The primary goal of treating psoriasis is stopping the excessive growth of skin cells. Dr. Boucher may first recommend lifestyle changes, including stress management techniques. If you’re a smoker, he can recommend effective smoking cessation assistance.
Dr. Boucher creates a custom treatment plan to alleviate pain and reduce scaly flare-ups. Other treatment options for psoriasis include:
Prescription creams and ointments reduce inflammation and prevent itching for mild cases of psoriasis.
Prescription oral medications
Slow the growth of skin cells for mild to severe psoriasis.
Reduce inflammation and scaly patches in severe psoriasis cases. Dr. Boucher may use immune system-altering injections when other therapies fail.
Laser Therapy can be used to slow skin cell growth and reduce scaling for mild to moderate psoriasis.
Dr. Boucher performs a comprehensive physical exam of your psoriasis symptoms to determine the best treatment. He may initially try a combination of methods to observe your body's response.
Untreated psoriasis can cause further medical complications and increase your risk of developing other diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other autoimmune conditions.