Psoriasis is a common condition that causes uncomfortable, dry, and irritated patches of skin. The condition can also affect the nails, resulting in crumbling, discoloration, and separation from the nail bed. As an experienced dermatologist, Dr. Liz Damstetter can help with a range of effective psoriasis treatment options. Patients in Glenview Illinois and the surrounding area can turn to Reserve Dermatology for compassionate and friendly care.
Psoriasis is a chronic, systemic inflammatory condition that leads to an overactive immune response in the skin that causes skin cells to build up in patches referred to as plaques. These plaques are commonly scaly, itchy, and dry. In addition, some patients may suffer from nail psoriasis, which causes issues like crumbling or separating nails.
Psoriasis is believed to be an immune system disorder and is very common. The condition is considered chronic, affecting patients long-term despite cycles of flare-ups and remission.
Psoriasis symptoms can vary from patient to patient. However, the most common symptoms are patches of skin that are red and covered in thick scales. These patches may also itch, burn, or bleed. Children with psoriasis may have smaller scaling spots. It is also possible for patients to develop swelling or stiffness in the joints. Psoriasis most commonly affects the lower back, elbows, knees, legs, feet, palms, face, or scalp. It is typical for psoriasis patients to experience periodic flare-ups, which can last several weeks or months, followed by periods of remission.
“Dr. Liz is truly the best dermatologist I’ve ever been to. She is attentive, kind, and genuinely cares about her patients and their overall skin health. I can not recommend her enough!!!”
“Wonderful experience here! The doctor took the time to educate me on a variety of cosmetic options and gave her candid opinion resulting in just the right amount of cosmetic adjustments! Her staff was delightful and attentive! I would highly recommend for general derm needs and cosmetic adjustments.”
“Dr. Damstetter was the first dermatologist I trusted to do my Botox. She is both knowledgeable and professional and did a fantastic job. I will be using her for any and all of my future needs.”
Some patients may experience psoriasis symptoms in the nails. This includes abnormal nail growth, discoloration, and pitting. The nails can become crumbly or separate from the nail bed as well.
Psoriasis flares are commonly triggered by environmental factors. Some common triggers include:
- Cold or dry weather
- Skin injuries
- Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
- Medication side effects
A psoriasis diagnosis begins with a visual examination of the skin. Dr. Damstetter will also ask questions about your personal or family health history to help determine whether you are facing psoriasis. If necessary, a small skin sample may be taken for a biopsy to rule out other conditions.
There are multiple treatment options available for psoriasis patients. Corticosteroids are the most common treatment. Corticosteroid ointments, creams, gels, foams, sprays, or shampoos are available depending on your needs, preferences, and location of the psoriasis plaques. Dr. Damstetter may also prescribe options including vitamin D analogues (synthetic vitamin D), coal tar products, or calcineurin inhibitors, which can slow skin cell growth to prevent build-up. Retinoids or salicylic acid treatments can also be beneficial to exfoliate the excess skin cells and reduce scaling. A number of systemic options, including pills and injectables, are currently available and FDA-approved to combat stubborn or extensive psoriasis. Finally, light therapy may be a good option for some patients.
The best treatment option for you will vary depending on the type of psoriasis you face, your response to previous treatments, and more.
To learn more about psoriasis treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Damstetter. Call Reserve Dermatology in Glenview, IL or contact us online.