Is your skin dry, patchy or scaly? Does your skin have red spots? Do you have thick nails or suffer from joint pain?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have psoriasis, which is a skin disease that more than eight million people in the United States suffer from. But you don’t have to be one of them.
At Michigan’s Pinnacle Dermatology in Birmingham, we’re ready to help treat your psoriasis and return you and your skin to health. To learn more about psoriasis treatment, or to schedule an appointment, contact Pinnacle Dermatology today.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a disease of the autoimmune system that can lead to scaly and rough patches of skin. While anyone can contract it, there are certain factors that can increase your risk of getting it.
These risk factors include:
- Family History: If one or both of your parents have psoriasis, your risk of getting it is higher. It runs in families.
- Infections: There are various bacterial and viral infections that can hike your risk of getting psoriasis. Also, people with autoimmune diseases, including HIV, can be more likely to come down with psoriasis.
- Stress: High stress can negatively affect your immune system. And that increases the risk of psoriasis.
- Weight: Being extremely overweight is another psoriasis risk factor. That’s because plaque can form in skin folds that come with being obese.
- Smoking: Smoking hikes your psoriasis risk. And if you already have psoriasis, smoking can worsen your symptoms.
The good news is psoriasis is typically easy to diagnose and a variety of treatments are available. At Pinnacle Dermatology, our doctors will examine you, discuss your medical history and develop a treatment plan that is safe and effective for you.
Some patients may require a biopsy. This helps us determine whether you are suffering from psoriasis or eczema, a skin condition that shares some symptoms with psoriasis.
About 30 percent of people with psoriasis suffer from joint pain, a condition known as psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms can include joint pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints, general fatigue and issues with your fingernails and toenails. X-rays may be needed to diagnose psoriatic arthritis because x-rays help us rule out other types of arthritis and joint diseases.
There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are treatments to ease your symptoms. Typically, psoriasis can be treated with two types of medication, biologics and systemics. Biologics are given to patients via injection or an IV. Systemics can be taken orally.
Both are effective treatments and our medical team at Pinnacle will help determine which treatment is best for you. Topical medications also can be used.
Another treatment option is known as phototherapy, or light therapy. These treatments expose your skin to ultraviolet light that can reduce painful psoriasis symptoms.
Research into psoriasis treatment is ongoing, and our medical team at Pinnacle Dermatology keeps up with the latest developments that may someday be used to treat our patients. Don’t let painful, unattractive psoriasis outbreaks prevent you from leading a full and active life. Contact Pinnacle Dermatology today to learn how we can help treat your psoriasis.