Psoriasis is a very common chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease of the skin that is notorious for creating social discomfort and embarrassment. It affects one to 3 percent of the US population and is characterized by symptoms such as pain, in the areas of the thick, dry, red skin lesions develop and in some cases silvery scales are formed. Psoriasis is most commonly described as looking like a plaque or patch with a silvery scale.
This condition is caused by defective signals involved in skin cell growth, causing the cells to build up rapidly onto the surface of the skin. This “piling up” of skin cells forms thick, silvery scales, and itchy, dry patches and plaques that can be painful in some cases. The appearance of psoriasis can cause significant emotional stress for those suffering from a skin disorder.
Dr. Rokhsar is a board-certified dermatologist and leading cosmetic expert that provides psoriasis treatments in NYC. Below, he discusses the causes, symptoms, and treatments available for this condition.
The exact cause of psoriasis is unclear, but it has been linked to an immune system problem with a white blood cell called T lymphocyte. These T cells travel throughout the body fighting off foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria. But in the case of psoriasis, the T cells mistakenly attack healthy skin cells. As a result, the body increases the production of healthy skin cells, causing an ongoing cycle that creates new skin cells too quickly. The dead skin doesn’t shed quickly enough and piles up to form its characteristic thick, scaly patches.
Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be spread by skin contact. However, it is a chronic, long-lasting condition with a genetic root, increasing the risk of development for those with a family history of the disease. It may be triggered or worsened by certain factors, such as strep throat, HIV infection, certain medications, areas of physical trauma, severe sunburn, cuts, scrapes, bug bites, stress, cold weather, smoking, or heavy alcohol consumption. The symptoms vary in severity depending on each case, but some cases may require regular attention from a dermatologist.
Psoriasis is most frequently seen on the head, groin, elbows, and knees, but can be located anywhere on the body. Nails and joints may also be affected. Without treatment intervention, symptoms can advance to debilitating levels, causing joints to become malformed to the extent that they can limit movement and cause significant pain.
Psoriasis can affect anyone, however, more women are diagnosed than men and it is found most often to appear in late teens and early adulthood. If you fall within this category, you should be aware of your susceptibility and if psoriasis is anywhere in your family history.
Furthermore, there are different types of psoriasis, including:
Psoriasis cannot be cured, but it can be successfully managed. There are many treatment options for psoriasis. Treatment can minimize plaques, boost self-esteem, and greatly improve well-being. In some patients, treatment completely clears their skin of any plaques.
Psoriasis can be treated with strong topical steroids or oral medications, as well as light or laser therapy. Psoriasis cannot be cured but it can be successfully managed. Photodynamic therapy or light therapy involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light on a regular basis under controlled medical supervision. The UVB rays are effective because they penetrate the skin and slow the growth of affected skin cells. An excimer laser is another specially designed laser that can produce ultraviolet radiation at a precise wavelength that is used to treat stubborn cases of psoriasis such as plaques that develop on the elbow or knee.
Dermatologists such as Dr. Rokhsar can diagnose and treat more than 3,000 diseases including skin, cancer eczema, acne, and psoriasis. A consultation with Dr. Rokhsar can provide assured results and treatment plans that best fit the patient’s condition and skin type. With offices located in New York City and Garden City, Long Island, Dr. Rokhsar can provide exceptional expertise due to his deep understanding of laser treatments.
To learn more about Dr. Rokhsar’s work, contact his clinic and book a consultation today.
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