Psoriasis is a common skin disorder that can affect many different skin areas on the body. The most common locations for a psoriasis outbreak are the elbows, knees, scalp, and hands and feet. Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes cells to build up on the skin’s surface, resulting in itchy red patches and thick scales.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Unlike dermatitis or molluscum, the underlying cause of psoriasis is largely unknown, but it appears to be linked to the function of the immune system. T cells, which fight foreign substances in the body, begin attacking healthy skin cells instead. This results in an ongoing cycle that moves skin cells to the surface too quickly, so psoriasis flareups occur. The reason why those T cells malfunction in the first place is not understood completely at this time.
What are Psoriasis Treatment Options?
Although there is no cure for psoriasis at this time, there are many treatment options to help keep uncomfortable symptoms in check. Some of those treatment options include:
- Topical medications
- Oral medications
- Light and Laser therapy
- Biological medications
Topical medications might include corticosteroids, Vitamin D analogues, retinoids, salicylic acid, and coal tar. Oral medications sometimes prescribed for psoriasis include immunosuppressant drugs and retinoids. Light therapy has been used for some time to treat psoriasis that does not respond well to The excimer laser is a form of UVB light therapy that uses a more concentrated beam of light for faster results on limited plaques of psoriasis.
Newer medications called biologics have proven highly effective in targeting the immune system and reducing inflammation linked to psoriasis, and are considered a significant advance in treatment options for psoriasis. These biological medications are often administered by patients in the comfort of their home.