Psoriasis Treatment In Belleville, IL

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation an estimated 8 million people in the U.S. suffer from psoriasis, a non-contagious, chronic skin condition. Often identified by patches of red, scaly skin, psoriasis occurs when the immune system sends out incorrect signals that cause skin cells to grow too quickly. With psoriasis, cells build up on the top layer of skin, creating patches of itchy, dry skin. The most common locations for psoriasis are on the elbows, knees, or trunk, but it can develop anywhere on the body.

Psoriasis is thought to be an autoimmune disease, which arises from an overactive response by the body towards substances and tissues normally present in the body. In the case of psoriasis, white blood cells, called T cells, attack healthy skin as if to fight off infection or heal a wound.

Instead of new cells moving to the outermost layer of skin in a normal manner, they develop more rapidly. The dead skin can’t slough off fast enough to keep up, so thick, scaly areas form on the skin’s surface.

Usually, the first occurrence of psoriasis happens sometime between ages 15 to 35. However, approximately 20,000 children under age 10 also live with psoriasis. Although psoriasis seems to have a genetic component, not everyone with that gene develops the disease.

 

Signs and Symptoms

 

Each case differs based on the individual, but people with psoriasis often experience at least one of the following symptoms:

  • Burning, itching, or soreness
  • Patches of red skin with silvery scales
  • Dry skin that can bleed
  • Pitted, ridged, or thickened nails
  • Stiff, swollen joints

If you think that you could have psoriasis, contact Dr. Vicik and his team and schedule a complete exam.

Wart Treatment Belleville

Triggers

 

Because psoriasis is chronic, anyone with the condition will live with a cycle of flare-ups and remissions over a lifetime. Typically, patients with psoriasis may develop initial symptoms or experience flare ups because of various triggers, including

  • Certain medications
  • Cuts, scrapes, burns, or other damage to the skin
  • Diet
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Other infections such as strep throat
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Weather

Treatment

Psoriasis is classified as Mild to Moderate when it covers 3% to 10% of the body and Moderate to Severe when it covers more than 10% of the body. The severity of the disease impacts the choice of treatments.

Over-the-Counter Medications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved of two active ingredients for the treatment of psoriasis: salicylic acid, which works by causing the outer layer to shed, and coal tar, which slows the rapid growth of cells. Other over-the-counter treatments include:

  • Scale lifters that help loosen and remove scales so that medicine can reach the lesions.
  • Bath solutions, like oilated oatmeal, Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts that remove scaling and relieve itching.
  • Occlusion, in which areas where topical treatments have been applied are covered to improve absorption and effectiveness.
  • Anti-itch preparations, such as calamine lotion or hydrocortisone creams.
  • Moisturizers designed to keep the skin lubricated, reduce redness and itchiness and promote healing.

Prescription Topical Treatments

Prescription topicals focus on slowing down the growth of skin cells and reducing any inflammation. They include:

  • Anthralin, used to reduce the growth of skin cells associated with plaque.
  • Calcipotriene, that slows cell growth, flattens lesions and removes scales. It is also used to treat psoriasis of the scalp and nails.
  • Calcipotriene and Betamethasone Dipropionate. In addition to slowing down cell growth, flattening lesions and removing scales, this treatment helps reduce the itch and inflammation associated with psoriasis.
  • Calcitriol, an active form of vitamin D3 that helps control excessive skin cell production.
  • Tazarotene, a topical retinoid used to slow cell growth.
  • Topical steroids, the most commonly prescribed medication for treating psoriasis. Topical steroids fight inflammation and reduce the swelling and redness of lesions.

 

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