Our doctors are usually able to diagnose psoriasis in a very straightforward manner. They will examine your medical history, your skin, your nails, and your scalp. In some instances, our doctor may take a sample of your skin for a biopsy. The skin is examined under a microscope with the goal of identifying the type of psoriasis you have as well as ruling out other disorders that might mimic the appearance of psoriasis. This can help us determine which psoriasis treatment is right for you.
Psoriasis Treatment Options
The goal of psoriasis treatment is to minimize inflammation and clear up the skin. There are three primary types of treatments available. They are topical, light therapy, and medication.
Topical treatments can be very effective in treating psoriasis when it is a mild or moderate case. As the disease progresses, your doctor may recommend a combination of topical creams, oral medications, and light therapy.
Topical corticosteroids are some of the more popular medications prescribed for addressing moderate or mild cases of psoriasis. These medications can help alleviate itching and minimize inflammation and can be used in conjunction with other treatments.
If psoriasis is affecting your face, a mild corticosteroid ointment is normally what our doctor will recommend. They may also recommend mild corticosteroid ointments if you have large patches of damaged skin.
If you have smaller patches of psoriasis that are harder to treat, our doctor may recommend a stronger corticosteroid. These are usually used on parts of the body that are not as sensitive as the face.
Our doctor will monitor your use of corticosteroids. With time, corticosteroids can cause your skin to thin. For this reason, our doctor will likely only prescribe the use of strong topical corticosteroids for a short period of time, usually when you are experiencing extreme flare ups.
Moisturizers may be used in conjunction with other treatments. Moisturizers on their own do not heal psoriasis. However, they can minimize the itchiness, the dryness, and the scaling of your skin. You want a heavier ointment based moisturizer as opposed to lighter creams or lotions. For best results, you should apply these moisturizers to the affected parts of your skin as soon as you get out of the shower or the bath.
Light therapy treatments use natural light or ultraviolet light. At times, our doctor may simply recommend exposing the affected parts of your skin to controlled bursts of natural sunlight. At other times, artificial UVA or UVB light may be used in conjunction with medications.
When your skin is exposed to the UV rays of sunlight, your skin cell turnover rate slows down. This reduces scaling and inflammation. If you are briefly exposed to small amounts of sunlight every day, you may be able to improve your psoriasis symptoms.
If you are diagnosed with severe psoriasis or if you have psoriasis that resists other types of treatments, our doctor may recommend using oral medications or even injected drugs. These are referred to a systematic treatments because they affect the entire system. Usually, oral medications are used only for a brief amount of time because of potential side effects.
Contact Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD’s office to learn more about psoriasis treatment options or to schedule your consultation! Our team of professionals will develop a personalized treatment plan to help you tackle your psoriasis. We are conveniently located in Sun City and Redlands, CA.