WHAT IS Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition characterized by red, inflamed patches of skin covered with silvery scales. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, speeding up the skin cell turnover process. Normally, skin cells grow deep within the skin and gradually rise to the surface, where they are shed. In psoriasis, this process is accelerated, causing skin cells to build up rapidly on the surface, resulting in the formation of thick, scaly plaques. Psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body but commonly affects the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. It often presents with symptoms such as itching, burning, or soreness, and may also affect the nails, causing pitting, ridges, or discoloration. Psoriasis is a chronic condition with periods of flare-ups and remissions, and while the exact cause is not fully understood, it is believed to involve genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. Treatment for psoriasis aims to alleviate symptoms, reduce inflammation, and slow down the skin cell turnover process, and may include topical treatments, phototherapy, oral medications, and biologic therapies.

DERMATOLOGY AND PSORIASIS

Dermatology offers a variety of treatments to help manage psoriasis and alleviate its symptoms. Dermatologists can create personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual’s needs, which may include topical medications like corticosteroids, vitamin D analogs, or retinoids to reduce inflammation and slow down skin cell turnover. Phototherapy, involving controlled exposure to UV light, can also be recommended to improve symptoms. In more severe cases, oral medications such as methotrexate or biologic therapies targeting specific components of the immune system may be prescribed. Dermatologists may also suggest combining different treatment modalities for optimal results. Additionally, they provide guidance on lifestyle modifications to help individuals manage psoriasis and reduce flare-ups, including stress management techniques, dietary changes, and skincare practices. By offering comprehensive care and access to a range of treatment options, dermatology plays a crucial role in helping individuals with psoriasis achieve better skin health and overall well-being.