Understanding Psoriasis & Treatments


Believed to be an autoimmune disorder, psoriasis involves the excessive buildup of skin cells, causing itchy, scaly patches of skin that may be red or even silver in color. It is a chronic condition that often comes and goes – and, sadly, can last a lifetime.

In addition to inflamed, itchy skin, patients with psoriasis may experience aching joints and changes in the appearance of their fingernails or toenails. The most common type of psoriasis, called plaque psoriasis, often appears on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp.

Psoriasis is not contagious.

Triggers may include:

  • Stress
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Infection
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Certain foods such as gluten, whole milk, fatty foods, and citrus
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Lack of sleep

A skin biopsy can confirm a diagnosis of psoriasis.

Available treatments tend to focus on managing a patient’s symptoms and improving the condition of the skin. Because psoriasis essentially speeds up the production of skin cells, medications that slow skin cell turnover may also be beneficial, as might therapies that suppress immune system activity. These treatments may come in the form of topical creams and ointments, systemic oral medications, and laser treatments.

Know Your Psoriasis Treatment Options

If you have psoriasis, it’s important to know your treatment options. Call dermatologist Dr. Yvette Tivoli at Atlantic Derm in Delray Beach, Florida, at (561) 802-SKIN (7546) to schedule your consultation or you can request one online.

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