Psoriasis shows up as sharply defined red, scaly patches on the skin. It may come on at any age but is usually linked to some family history of the same condition. The most commonly affected regions are the elbows, knees, and scalp, though it can occur anywhere.
Psoriasis is treated with topical steroids, topical tar, and topical Vitamin D ointments and creams. In some extreme cases, a laser or ultraviolet light therapy may be used in addition to the topical and oral medications.
This chronic disease is the result of a person’s immune system sending faulty signals telling the skin cells to grow quicker than normal. Instead of having new skin cells forming in weeks, they form in days. The cells pile up on the surface of the skin developing psoriasis patches, and because the body does not shed the excess skin cells, the patches end up being rough and thick.
You cannot get psoriasis from touching someone who has it, as it is not contagious. A person must inherit the genes that cause it to form. While the disease does have a hereditary component, an external trigger, such as an infection, drugs, or mental stress, is what ultimately prompts the inflammation.
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Here are some types of psoriasis:
- Inverse (flexural psoriasis or interiginious psoriasis)
- Erythrodermic (exfoliative psoriasis)
It is common for a person with psoriasis to have more than one type, or a person will have one type of psoriasis and then later on in life, develop a different type. Although psoriasis is not curable, the treatments available are often able to reduce symptoms.
Treatments for mild symptoms include:
- Emollients, or complex mixtures of chemical agents specially designed to make the external layers of the skin softer and more pliable
- Ointments or cream that contain salicylic acid
- Avoiding soap
Treatments for moderate to severe symptoms include:
- Prescription creams: creams and ointments that contain cortisone or vitamin D-like substances can be helpful. Creams with strong cortisone act quickly, but the skin can become thin if you have been using cortisone creams for several years.
- Light therapy: This treatment involves exposure to ultraviolet light over a series of sessions. You begin with about 20 to 30 seconds of exposure per session, and at the end of the series, about four minutes per session. Before starting light treatment, the outer layer of skin should be peeled away with a bath or lubrication, as this makes the treatment more effective.
XTRAC Laser Therapy is a highly effective treatment for plaque psoriasis. This treatment can be performed on any part oft he body affected by psoriasis, and is perfect for challenging areas such and the scalp, knees, and elbows, which are notoriously hard to treat with other methods. XTRAC is safe for virtually all patients, including children and women who are pregnant and nursing, and most patients feel no pain or discomfort with treatment. The treatment sessions take only 10 to 15 minutes, and most people see noticeable results within 3 to 4 treatments and totally clearance within 10 to 20 treatments.