August is Psoriasis Awareness month!
It’s estimated that over 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis. While many people have heard about psoriasis, most have no idea what it is. Since August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, the team at Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery want to give you some information about this skin condition.
What is it?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that shows itself as patches of red, silvery scales on the skin.
When behaving normally, skin grows at a consistent, gradual rate and old skin cells are typically shed every four weeks. When a person has psoriasis, however, they have abnormal lymphocytes that cause this to happen at an accelerated rate. This results in thick patches with dry flakes. It is most common on the elbows, scalp, hands, lower back, and knees. It is seen often in adults, but children can have it, too. Because there are varying severities of psoriasis, many people may have it and be unaware because it is only showing up in faint dry patches. For others, severe psoriasis can leave red, thick, scaly skin across much of their body. In these cases, sufferers often avoid activities like swimming that require exposing their skin.
What causes psoriasis?
Doctors consider psoriasis to be an incurable, chronic skin condition. Psoriasis is not contagious. Exact causes are unknown, but it is believed that an overreaction in the immune system causes the skin to react with rapid cell turnover that leads to inflamed, itchy, and flaky skin. There are likely genetic and environmental factors involved as well. Cold, dry weather tends to make psoriasis worsen. Also, stress, infections, and certain medications can exacerbate psoriasis.
How is psoriasis treated?
At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery we understand the impact of psoriasis of a patient’s life and we treat psoriasis differently for each patient. Mild cases can be treated with creams, ointments, and lotions. Shampoos, solutions, and sprays can be used for treatment on the scalp. Phototherapy (light) treatments are beneficial to many patients. If your psoriasis is more severe, we might prescribe oral medications or biologics which can greatly improve psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis research has led to new treatment options that allow patients clearer skin than ever before.
It’s important for psoriasis sufferers to know they’re not alone. “Many people live with psoriasis and symptoms can be relieved with professional help,” says Dr. Gasch, a board-certified dermatologist at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery. “If you think you have psoriasis, I encourage you to see a board-certified dermatologist to learn about your treatment options.” Don’t suffer with psoriasis alone, call the team at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, (503) 297-3440, to make an appointment.
August is Psoriasis Awareness Month. The Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery helps dispel misinformation, myths, and stigmas surrounding this skin condition.
Seeing big red spots on your skin? It may be more serious than you think. It could be psoriasis, a skin condition that can be itchy, burning, and painful.
“Most patients suffering from psoriasis feel self-conscious and embarrassed by the way they look,” says Dr. Bernard Gasch, a board-certified dermatologist at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery. “This may prevent them from getting help. But the best thing to do is to see a doctor.”
Psoriasis affects more than 7 million Americans. Although there’s no cure, the good news is that psoriasis can be successfully treated.
“There are a variety of options that can control psoriasis for months, years, or even permanently,” says Dr. Gasch. “Depending on the individual, we use topical medications, oral or injectable medications, and phototherapy. We can develop a plan to treat your psoriasis that is tailored to your needs.”
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder that results in thick, red, scaling plaques commonly on the elbows and knees. But they can also form on the scalp, face, trunk, hands, feet, buttocks, skin folds, and genitals.
What causes psoriasis?
In psoriasis, the body’s immune system sends out false signals that cause skin growth to accelerate. This response can be triggered by an infection, such as strep throat, or by certain medications. Psoriasis also has some genetic influences.
Why should I see a doctor?
Psoriasis can have more severe implications. “Many times, psoriasis appears with other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, as well as depression,” says Dr. Gasch. “The National Psoriasis Foundation also estimates that almost 30 percent of people with psoriasis can develop psoriatic arthritis, which can cause swelling, stiffness, and joint pain.”
If you have psoriasis, it’s important to know that you’re not alone.
“Many people live with psoriasis and symptoms can be relieved with professional help,” says Dr. Gasch. “If you think you have psoriasis, I encourage you to see a board-certified dermatologist to learn about your treatment options.”
The National Psoriasis Foundation sponsors Psoriasis Awareness Month every August. This month-long initiative aims to not only raise awareness of psoriasis, but also educate the public, as well as dispel the misinformation, myths, and stigmas surrounding the disease.
The Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery’s Dr. Bernard Gasch takes a moment to discuss this widespread and sometimes debilitating skin condition.
“Psoriasis is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in the U.S.,” Dr. Gasch reports. “It affects over 7 million Americans, and there is no permanent cure. Patients can get their skin under control with the correct treatment, but they first need to overcome their embarrassment and actively consult a dermatologist.”
What is psoriasis?
Dr. Gasch describes psoriasis as a “sometimes hereditary autoimmune skin disorder which often results in thick red scaling plaques most commonly appearing on the elbows and knees. Depending on the type of psoriasis, however, the scalp, face, trunk, hands, feet, buttocks, skin folds, and genitals may also be affected. Sometimes these plaques are itchy, burning, and painful.
What causes psoriasis?
Occasionally, psoriasis can be triggered by an infection, such as a strep throat, whereas other times it can be triggered by certain medications. Basically in psoriasis, false signals are being sent out by the immune system causing skin cell growth to speed up.”
Dr. Gasch reports that psoriasis can be linked to other serious health conditions, as well. “Many times, psoriasis appears with other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, as well as depression. Moreover, the National Psoriasis Foundation also estimates that almost 30% of people suffering from psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints.”
Psoriasis Treatment Options
The mental effects of psoriasis on the patient are yet another one of the many aspects to consider when designing a treatment plan, according to Dr. Gasch. “Most patients suffering from psoriasis feel self-conscious and embarrassed because of it. Patients need to be aware that even though there is no cure for their psoriasis, various treatment options exist which can control their psoriasis for months, years, or even permanently. These treatments vary depending on each individual case, but topical medications, oral/injectable medications, and phototherapy are all commonly used.
Dr. Gasch again emphasizes how important awareness of this condition is. “Patients need to be aware that there are plenty of others living with psoriasis, and that many symptoms can relieved with professional help. I encourage anyone who thinks that they are suffering from psoriasis to find a board-certified dermatologist and learn about their treatment options.”
Do you think you may have psoriasis? Call us at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, 503-297-3440, and let’s have a look.