Though psoriasis affects the skin, this condition is a result of faulty signals sent out by the body's immune system. These signals lead to the accelerated growth of skin cells, in which new cells form faster than old cells can die and fall off. Psoriasis affects as many as 7.5 million people in our country, and is linked to various other health conditions, including arthritis (psoriatic) and cardiovascular disease.
A non-contagious condition, psoriasis may occur in several forms. Specifically, there are five different types of psoriasis, each of which has unique characteristics. Plaque psoriasis is the type most commonly diagnosed. This type of psoriasis appears as patches of raised, reddened skin. A silvery buildup of plaques, or dead skin cells, will appear in affected areas as well. Areas most commonly affected by plaque psoriasis include the scalp, elbows and knees, the lower back, and the palms/soles of hands and feet.
The inflammation caused by psoriasis can produce itching, pain, and bleeding if a break in the skin occurs. Though these symptoms are uncomfortable, the emotional distress that stems from visible skin inflammation can be debilitating. Dr. Koreen is an experienced Huntington, NY dermatologist who provides care for psoriasis that incorporates the latest therapeutic advances.
During a consultation for psoriasis, an accurate diagnosis comes from:
- A thorough examination of the skin, including the scalp and nails
- Discussion of family medical history. As an autoimmune disorder, psoriasis can be hereditary
- Discussion of lifestyle and events. It is important to discuss the level of stress that exists, present or recent illness, and the use of any medications or drugs.
Sometimes, diagnosis is reached or confirmed via a skin biopsy. Taking a small amount of cells from the surface of skin in the affected area is simple and virtually painless. This step allows us to examine skin cells under magnification, where psoriasis is most easily identified.
Advances in medicine have made it possible for millions of people to experience a decrease in psoriasis symptoms. Dr. Koreen designs care around the individual patient. Treatment options include topical or oral medications, which can reduce itching and inflammation on the surface and systemically. Phototherapy may also effectively improve the health of the skin.
We also offer psoriasis treatment that includes innovative laser therapy. The XTRAC® excimer laser targets affected areas of the skin with a specific, single-wavelength ultraviolet light source. Treatment includes several sessions in which the laser painlessly works on inflamed skin. Each session lasts only a few minutes, and produces a progressive improvement that often results in remission lasting several months.
Psoriasis can cause lasting physical and emotional distress. Regain comfort and confidence with precision psoriasis treatment in our Huntington, NY dermatology practice. Contact us today to schedule your visit.