Psoriasis

Psoriasis Specialist
Living with psoriasis can mean spending a portion of nearly every day thinking about or trying to hide the condition. Psoriasis can make many people feel uncomfortable; as if they have to explain their skin condition to others and assure them that it isn't contagious. At Coastal Family Dermatology, people from in and around San Luis Obispo, California, can find lasting relief from psoriasis. If you are looking for an effective treatment plan for psoriasis or any other skin condition, call or use the online scheduling tool to set up a consultation.

Psoriasis Q & A

Coastal Family Dermatology

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin disorder in which your skin cells multiply at a much faster rate than average. The cell turnover can approach 10 times that of a person without psoriasis.

As those new cells form, they push the overlying cells to the skin’s surface, where they die and accumulate before your body can slough them off. That leads to areas of raised, red patches with white scales, which is the hallmark symptom of psoriasis.

There are several different types of psoriasis, but plaque psoriasis is the most common. Symptoms of plaque psoriasis include:

  • White or silvery flaky scales that cover patches or plaques of red skin
  • Itching or pain at the site of the skin lesions
  • Discoloration or pitting of the fingernails and toenails

What are the causes of psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system mistakenly responds to internal or external stimuli that do not pose a threat or overreacts to a legitimate trigger. Scientists know that there is a genetic component to psoriasis.

Even if you have a genetic predisposition, something has to trigger your psoriasis before symptoms arise. Many factors can act as a trigger, including:

  • Infection
  • Cuts or scrapes
  • Cold weather
  • Serious sunburn
  • Certain medications

Once psoriasis is triggered, most people have it for the rest of their lives.

What are the treatment options for psoriasis?

There are several ways to treat psoriasis, depending on the severity of your rashes.

For mild to moderate psoriasis, topical treatments like creams and ointments can help. Coastal Family dermatologists often prescribe topical corticosteroids and can be a good option for those with sensitive skin.

Light therapy is another treatment possibility and is an excellent choice for people who want to avoid prescription medications. Your Coastal Family dermatologist can direct a special ultraviolet or broadband UVB light at the affected area, or you can try controlled exposure to sunlight. There are even laser treatments that target only the affected skin.

Certain medications can also help to control psoriasis. People who have severe psoriasis and have not had success with other approaches can try retinoids, methotrexate, cyclosporine, or other prescription drugs. These medications all have side effects, and it's essential to choose an option that doesn’t interact with any of your other medicines.

At Coastal Family Dermatology, you receive the individualized care that you and your family deserve. Contact us to schedule an appointment and begin a path to clearer skin.

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