Among the most prevalent autoimmune diseases, psoriasis affects millions of patients in the United States alone. With the guidance of a dermatologist, you can learn more about the causes of and treatments for managing your psoriasis. The next time you are at your doctors’ office, ask him or her about the condition using the questions below.
- What is Psoriasis? Psoriasis describes a chronic autoimmune disease that develops when the immune system relays faulty signals to the body, affecting your skin’s cell growth cycle. While it is not contagious, psoriasis can develop on any part of the body and is sometimes linked with a number of other serious health conditions including heart disease, depression, and diabetes.
- Why Did I Develop Psoriasis? Nearly anyone can develop psoriasis; however, there are certain risk factors that may increase your chances of having the disease, such as your family history, history of recurrent viral or bacterial infections, increased stress, obesity, and smoking.
- How is Psoriasis Diagnosed? A qualified and experienced dermatologist can diagnose psoriasis through a physical skin examination and possible culture test. Your physician will determine if you are suffering from the disease by looking for certain symptoms, including red patches of skin covered with silvery scales; dry, cracked skin that may bleed; small scaling spots of skin; joint stiffness or swelling; and an itching or burning sensation of the skin.
- What Are My Treatment Options? The treatment method your dermatologist recommends will vary based on the severity of your psoriasis and its responses to prior treatments. Treatment options may include topical medications, phototherapy treatments using ultraviolet light, and oral medications. Your doctor may combine treatments of various levels or switch treatment methods based on your body’s responsiveness or experienced side effects.
For more information about psoriasis, please contact the dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. As part of the largest dermatology practice in America, our doctors can assist you with all of your cosmetic or clinical skincare needs. Immediate appointments are available at one of our Tampa offices. To locate an office or doctor near you, please visit Advanced Dermatology online or call us today at (866) 400-3376.