Psoriasis is a common skin condition that affects the life cycle of skin cells. Millions of people in the United States are affected by psoriasis. While some consider psoriasis a nuisance, for others it is a disabling condition. Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. This rapid growth causes thick, scaly patches to form that are red, dry, itchy, and sometimes very painful. Psoriasis is a chronic condition. People may go through periods where their symptoms go on remission, but they generally deal with psoriasis for their entire lives.

Many people who have milder cases of psoriasis are able to treat their symptoms at home in order to find relief. Using an over the counter cortisone cream and exposing the skin to small amounts of sunlight can improve symptoms of psoriasis. For others, their psoriasis is on a much larger and more severe scale and must have medical intervention in order to treat their symptoms to find relief.

People who suffer from pain, difficulty performing tasks, joint problems, pain, swelling, or for those who find it difficult to emotionally handle the appearance of their skin need medical attention. Medical treatments for psoriasis aim to interrupt the cycle that has caused the skin to increase its production of skin cells. Doctors can remove the scales and smooth the skin with topical treatments applied directly to the affected skin areas. Light therapy is also a common treatment for severe psoriasis. This treatment uses natural or artificial ultraviolet light in controlled amounts to lessen certain symptoms.

If you have mild to severe psoriasis, see your dermatologist for the best treatment options. You don’t have to cover up and remain locked inside your house because of your skin condition. There are treatment options available for all levels of psoriasis. Call your dermatologist to see which one is right for you.

Posted on behalf of Dr. John Kayal, Northwest Georgia Dermatology