A dermatologist may diagnose you with psoriasis if you experience reddened, thickened areas of skin with silvery scales. These patches of skin can be itchy, dry, and sometimes uncomfortable. Psoriasis symptoms tend to develop in a cyclical fashion; you may experience flare-ups when the symptoms worsen and periods when the symptoms are relatively mild. To better manage your condition, your dermatologist may ask that you keep careful track of your flare-ups.
Perhaps the most effective way to track your skin changes over time is simply to take pictures of your skin where the patches develop. Be sure that the pictures are date-stamped. Bring the pictures with you when you visit your dermatologist.
Your dermatologist may also ask to see any written notes you have about your symptoms. Write down your observations about how well your current treatment regimen is or isn’t working. If you’ve neglected to apply the topical creams or take medicines as directed, write this information down. Make daily notes about your exposure to potential psoriasis triggers. These can include alcohol, caffeine, infections, cigarette smoke, wintry weather, emotional stress, certain medications, and skin damage. Over time, you may start to see some patterns emerging regarding these possible triggers and your symptom flare-ups.
Preventing Skin Damage
In addition to recommending medicines, light therapy, and other treatments, your dermatologist will advise you to reduce your risk of skin damage. Dry skin tends to crack and bleed easily, so use plenty of moisturizer each day. If you tend to be sensitive to skin products, look for a hypoallergenic moisturizer or ask your dermatologist for recommendations. If your skin itches, resist the urge to scratch it. Instead, apply an anti-itch lotion or cream to the area. If you shave in the area where you typically get psoriasis symptoms, consider switching to an electric razor.
If you’re in need of effective psoriasis treatments and you live near Arlington Heights, you can turn to Arlington Dermatology. Our clinical and cosmetic dermatology practice is dedicated to helping our patients live life well. Call us at 847-392-5440 to request an appointment today.