psoriasisAccording to the National Psoriasis Foundation, more than eight million Americans are living with psoriasis. For those in Mt. Pleasant and East Lansing, Michigan, the services of Saif Fatteh, MD, of Lansing Podiatry & Dermatology can be a welcome relief from this chronic skin condition. If you’re tired of the discomfort and embarrassment of psoriasis, book an appointment with Dr. Fatteh today to explore treatment options. Online scheduling allows you to set up your visit around the clock, or you can call during business hours to check availability.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common skin condition characterized by excessive skin cell development. It’s a chronic skin disease that can come and go over time. The problem usually arises in early adulthood.

If you have psoriasis, your skin cells can multiply as many as 10 times faster than a person without the condition. Your body is unable to shed old cells fast enough to make room for these new skin cells, so they begin to accumulate in stacks that look like patches of rough, scaly skin.

Most men and women with psoriasis only develop patches on a few areas of their body. In rare cases, psoriasis is widespread and covers larger areas. Your skin will go through cycles of healing before the condition worsens and patches return.

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the condition, but there are several other types of psoriasis that cause slightly different symptoms.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

The most common symptom of plaque psoriasis is patches of red, flaky skin covered in silvery scales. These patches are called plaques. At times they can crack and bleed. In some cases, your plaques can spread to the point where they merge and cover large areas of your body.

Some men and women also develop changes in their fingernails and toenails. Your nails can become discolored or pitted, and can eventually crumble and pull away from your nail bed.

It’s also possible to develop plaques on your scalp, which can cause large flakes that look like dandruff.

What is the cause of psoriasis?

Researchers are uncertain of the exact cause of psoriasis, but it appears that a problem with your immune system can trigger abnormal cell development. There also seems to be a genetic component at play, although the condition can skip generations.

Various things can trigger a psoriasis outbreak, including:

  • Strep throat infection
  • Certain blood pressure medications
  • Emotional stress
  • Cuts or scrapes
  • Surgery

Because psoriasis causes easily recognizable skin plaques, it is relatively simple to diagnose.

What are my treatment options for psoriasis?

There are numerous treatments that can help keep your psoriasis under control. Dr. Fatteh creates a customized treatment plan depending on your symptoms and needs.

Steroid creams can help control outbreaks and reduce inflammation. There are also prescription retinoid ointments and creams that can help. Certain types of light therapy can help by slowing skin cell growth.

For severe cases of psoriasis, oral medications can reduce plaque formation and help your skin stay clear. These drugs can cause serious side effects, so it’s important to try other methods first and to remain under the care of a dermatologist throughout treatment.

If you’re tired of itchy, inflamed, and unsightly psoriasis plaques, schedule a visit with Dr. Fatteh today to discuss treatment options. You can book a visit online or by phone.