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.
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
- Excessive alcohol use
- Other infections such as strep throat
The Four Subtypes of Rosacea
Rosacea exists on a spectrum, with specific symptoms varying depending on the subtype. That’s why classifying Rosacea into 4 different categories allows for a better understanding and treatment of the condition.
Type 1: Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea (ETR)
Type 1 is the most common type of Rosacea and is categorized by erythema (skin redness), flushing, and telangiectasia (spider veins). All of these symptoms are caused by an increase in blood flow to the facial region.
- flushing and redness in the center of your face
- visible broken blood vessels
- swollen skin
- sensitive skin
- stinging and burning skin
- dry, rough, and scaly skin
Type 2: Inflammatory Rosacea (Papulopustular)
Type 2 Rosacea is distinguished by papules (red bumps), pustules (pus-filled spots), and reddening of the skin. Symptoms include:
- acne-like breakouts and very red skin
- oily skin
- sensitive skin
- broken blood vessels that are visible
- raised patches of skin
Type 2 rosacea is treatable with topical and oral medications. Although topical medication is usually used as a treatment, low doses of oral medication are sometimes taken simultaneously to increase the effectiveness of the topical treatment.
Type 3: Phymatous Rosacea
Type 3 Rosacea symptoms involve the thickening of the skin on the face. Gnathophyma, Rhinophyma, and Metophyma are the terms that describe the thickening of the skin on different parts of the face. Symptoms include:
- bumpy skin texture
- thick skin on nose
- thick skin on chin, forehead, cheeks, and ears
- large pores
- visible broken blood vessels
Type 4: Ocular Rosacea
Unlike all of the other types of rosacea, which affect the skin, ocular rosacea affects the eyes. Symptoms include:
- bloodshot and watery eyes
- eyes that feel gritty
- burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
- dry, itchy eyes
- eyes that are sensitive to light
- cysts on eyes
- diminished vision
- broken blood vessels on eyelids
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.
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.