Treatments for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriasis is a persistent skin disorder that occurs in two out of every one hundred people in the U.S., detectable by red, thickened areas with silvery scales. Often found on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back, it can also occur in other areas such as the nails. Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) are both treatable. It is important to know that the symptoms that someone experiences for these conditions are very individualized. At Arlington Dermatology, we believe that your treatment options should be, too. We offer many combinations of treatments including, but not limited to: steroids, Anthralin, vitamin D, light therapy, retinoids, and biologic agents.
The most frequent treatment for psoriasis is a topical steroid using a natural corticosteroid hormone which is produced by the adrenal glands. These steroids work to reduce swelling and redness which are caused by plaques. While a mild version of this topical steroid can be found over the counter, a prescribed corticosteroid may prove to be a more effective treatment.
Anthralin is another topical treatment option that can be used to treat psoriasis. If prescribed by a doctor, it can be used in the form of a cream or a shampoo. Typically applied to arms, legs, torso and/ or scalp, a layer of this cream or shampoo may be used to inhibit the DNA replication of skin cells that lead to psoriasis.
Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. One of its many benefits is that it can help treat psoriasis as many individuals experiencing symptoms of psoriasis also have a vitamin D deficiency. When monitored by a doctor and taken in healthy doses, the presence of vitamin D can strengthen the body’s immune system and help to treat this condition internally. Additionally, a topical oil or ointment containing vitamin D may be used to help treat flare ups.
Light therapy, or phototherapy, is prescribed by a dermatologist and is a process by which the skin is exposed to ultraviolet light on a regular basis. Phototherapy treatment options may be done in a dermatologist’s office or, in some cases, at home. The key is consistency.
Topical retinoids may also slow down the skin cell growth. It can be used to control the multiplication of the cells and, so, prevent shedding, skin thickening, redness, swelling, scales, and inflammation- all typical signs of psoriasis. As prescribed by a dermatologist, retinoids will come in the form of a cream or a gel or, possibly, an oral form.
Biologic agents are medications derived from living material and are intended to interfere with very specific components of the body’s immune system in order to treat and prevent autoimmune responses. The key difference in a biological agent is that it can be used to target specific immunities selectively, rather than general immunosuppressant that will target the entire immune system. Biological agents are given at very specific and defined intervals according to each individual medication’s characteristics.
If psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are preventing you from leading a happy, healthy lifestyle, then know that the friendly staff at Arlington Dermatology are eager to help you with your specific needs. Please take the time to visit our website at www.arlingtondermatology.net or call our friendly staff at 847-725-0824 for assistance today.