Psoriasis And Itching: Managing The Itch
- Itching affects most people with psoriasis and negatively impacts quality of life.
- Stick to your treatment plan to help manage itching with psoriasis.
- Avoid scratching. Use a moisturizer or cool compress instead.
- A healthy diet and lifestyle can help reduce disease activity that causes itching.
Itch is one of the most distressing symptoms of plaque psoriasis, the most common form of psoriasis. Some 60 percent to 90 percent of people with psoriasis report that itching also known as pruritus worsens quality of life. Itching can negatively impact daily functioning and psychological well-being.
MyPsoriasisTeam members often discuss their frustrations with itching. Bad start to my morning. Im very itchy today. I have to be at work and can’t take any antihistamines. Fighting the itch! one member posted. So tired of my scalp being itchy, another member wrote. People look at me as if I had head lice. What can I use to stop this itch?
My face is killing me today, all red, tight, and itchy. Im now into day four of barely sleeping. I feel so itchy and its 10 times worse at night, a third member said. No amount of moisturizer is helping. It just seems to aggravate the itch.
In the past, itching in psoriasis was not always taken seriously by doctors. Researchers and health care professionals now recognize that itching is a crucial symptom to manage when treating psoriasis, due to the impact of itch on quality of life.
Why Choose A Board
Dermatologists treat more than 3,000 conditions that affect the skin, hair, and nails. Skin diseases are especially common, affecting one in four Americans each year.
Dermatologists treat a wide variety of skin conditions from deadly skin cancers to warts. Issues dermatologists see may include chronic disease caused by problems with your immune system, allergic reactions to everyday substances, infections caused by bacteria or a virus, and more. Dermatologists also help patients who want to help with cosmetic concerns, including addressing issues with their aging skin, treating wounds caused by surgery to remove a skin cancer, helping to diminish acne or other scars, or helping patients suffering diseases like AIDS restore a healthier appearance. Learn why it’s important to seek the advanced medical expertise of a dermatologist.
You Experience New Or Worsening Symptoms
If youre faithfully sticking to a treatment that has been working but you begin to experience new or worsening symptoms, reach out to your dermatologist. It may be a sign that your treatment has stopped working.
people simply seem to get used to therapies, says Lebwohl. In other words, drugs can become less effective for people over time.
The good news is, with many treatment options available, your doctor will in all likelihood be able to prescribe a new therapy that works for you.
You May Like: How To Stop Plaque Psoriasis
What Is A Dermatologist
What is a dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions involving the skin, hair, and nails. A dermatologist can identify and treat more than 3,000 conditions. These conditions include eczema, psoriasis, and skin cancer, among many others.
The skin is an incredible organ. It is your first line of defense against disease, protects your other organs, warms you up and cools you down, and sends messages about how healthy you are inside. Dermatologists are expert medical doctors and skin surgeons with the unique skills and experience to offer the best care for the organ that cares for you.
Dermatologists have extensive training, going to school for 12 years or more to learn to diagnose and treat more than 3,000 diseases of the skin, hair, and nails as well as cosmetic concerns. Patients see dermatologists for issues that are much more than skin deep. Problems with their skin can harm patients sense of self-worth, create discomfort that can make everyday activities difficult, and, in some instances, threaten lives.
A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating the skin, hair, and nails. Dermatologists care for people of all ages, from newborns to seniors.
If you were to watch a dermatologist at work on any given day, you might see them:
Gaining the expertise to provide this level of care takes many years of schooling. Learn more about dermatologists and the life-changing care they provide to patients.
What Is The Cause Of Psoriasis
Researchers are uncertain of the exact cause of psoriasis, but it appears that a problem with your immune system can trigger abnormal cell development. There also seems to be a genetic component at play, although the condition can skip generations.
You need not panic if any of your ancestors or family members have psoriasis. However, if you have the slightest of symptoms or feel, do consult your psoriasis dermatologist.
Our Psoriasis Specialist in Mt. Pleasant has enlisted the following things can trigger a psoriasis outbreak:
- Strep throat infection
Psoriasis diagnosis is relatively simple as it causes easily recognizable skin plaques.
Read Also: What Causes Psoriasis In Children
What Are The Different Types Of Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of this skin condition. It can cover large areas of your body and creates silver-colored scaly areas of skin, often causing pain and irritation. Other types of psoriasis include:
- Pustular psoriasis that causes symptoms on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet
- Guttate psoriasis that causes small red spots on your torso and limbs, and often starts in childhood
- Inverse psoriasis that causes red, shiny areas of skin in the armpits, groin, and under the breasts
- Psoriatic arthritis that causes inflamed, scaly skin and painful joints
Other less common types of psoriasis affect your fingernails or cover your entire body with a red, burning rash.
What Training Does A Dermatologist Have
No one has completed more training than dermatologists to address concerns with your skin, hair, and nails. Before they can begin practicing, dermatologists receive more than a decade of training, including:
Four years of college to earn a bachelors degree
Four years of medical school to become a medical doctor
A year-long internship
Three years of residency, working alongside experienced doctors and completing 12,000 to 16,000 hours of treating patients.
Some dermatologists will then pursue additional advanced training in particular areas, known as fellowship training.
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Things A Dermatologist Wants You To Know About Psoriasis
Its a chronic skin problem with no cure, but heres what experts, and especially sufferers, want you to understand about the condition.
Psoriasis isnt just about looks, and its not contagious. And although this rash consisting of red, scaly and patchy spots is one of the more common skin diseases dermatologists see, public misunderstanding persists, says Michigan Medicine dermatologist Frank Wang, M.D.
Wang, who also directs Michigan Medicines Dermatology Treatment Center, an outpatient clinical program utilizing intensive topical therapies for psoriasis and other inflammatory skin disorders, says its important to be aware that psoriasis impacts both physical and emotional health.
Its a condition to be taken seriously, Wang says. The way patients may be treated by others who are not familiar with psoriasis can really impact their self-esteem and emotional wellbeing.
Here, Wang addresses the five facts more people should know about the condition, which has been a longtime research focus for Michigan Medicine dermatologists.
Vitamins And Psoriatic Disease
There is no direct link between vitamins and dietary supplements and psoriatic disease. However, many with psoriatic disease find that including vitamins and supplements in their diet helps their skin clear and may ease joint pain.
Dietary supplements can be extracts or concentrates, and they can occur in many forms, such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids or powders.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness. This can also lead to an inconsistency when it comes to active ingredients. Itâs important that you talk to your doctor before adding any vitamins or supplements to your treatment plan, as some may interfere with your medications.
Here are some of the more popular vitamins and supplements used to combat psoriatic disease.
Read Also: Is It Ok To Swim With Psoriasis
Youre Planning To Get Vaccinated
Traveling to certain places in the world often requires getting certain vaccinations, and then there are more routine shots such as the annual flu shot and, more recently, the COVID-19 vaccine. Before you finalize your plans and schedule your shot, its worth talking to the dermatologist treating your psoriasis.
Many drugs we use specifically state that you shouldnt use live vaccines because of the concern that they might either reduce the response to the medication or might even make you get sick when you get vaccinated, notes Lebwohl.
While the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended by the NPF for all people with psoriasis, including those on systemic treatments, you should also check in with your psoriasis care provider before getting vaccinated, he says.
Talk With Others Who Understand
MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 88,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis.
Are you living with itching from plaque psoriasis? What has worked for you to ease itching? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.
Recommended Reading: Dr Blaine’s Revitaderm Psoriasis Treatment Reviews
How Do Dermatologists Treat Psoriasis
If you have psoriasis, a dermatologist can create a treatment plan to meet your individual needs. To create this plan, your dermatologist will consider the:
Type of psoriasis you have
Places psoriasis appears on your body
Severity of the psoriasis
Impact psoriasis has on your life
Other medical conditions you have
Your treatment plan may include medication you apply to your skin, advice to help you care for your skin, and tips to help prevent flare-ups. To control psoriasis, some people also need light treatments or medication that works throughout the body.
You can find out about the different treatments for psoriasis at: Medications and light treatments for psoriasis
Your dermatologist will want to see you for follow-up appointments. These appointments can be very helpful because your dermatologist can:
Find out how well the treatment plan is working for you
Modify your treatment plan if necessary
Watch for signs of psoriatic arthritis, a disease that you want to catch early
Assess your risk of developing other diseases that are more common in people with psoriasis
Help you set realistic expectations for managing your psoriasis
A dermatologist can also answer questions you have about treating psoriasis. Common questions that patients ask include:
ReferencesBergstrom KG and Kimball AB. 100 questions and answers about psoriasis. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers 2005.
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
Preparing For A Virtual Consultation
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that more people than ever are having their healthcare appointments held by telephone or video. For many, this is a completely new experience and it can be a little disconcerting having to rely on technology when youre used to seeing your doctor or nurse face-to-face. While many aspects of a virtual appointment will be the same as in-person, others will be different, which is why weve put this resource together.
The tips have been divided into two sections: those to bear in mind in advance of your appointment and those to consider during the appointment itself. We hope they will be helpful, whether your next appointment is with a GP, nurse, dermatologist or rheumatologist. If you have any tips of your own that you think we should add to the resource, please do get in touch and let us know.
Read Also: What Helps Psoriasis Flare Ups
What Is Psoriatic Arthritis
Arthritis means inflammation of one or more joints.
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory form of arthritis associated with psoriasis, that can cause pain, swelling and damage to joints, but can be treated.
PsA is less common than other forms of arthritis such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
How To Use Cbd For Psoriasis
There are many different ways to treat psoriasis using CBD.
CBD can be consumed in the form of oil, edibles, and capsules.
Topical products such as balms, creams, and roll-ons are also considered effective treatments for psoriasis.
Whether you choose a full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate is also something to consider.
In this section, we will be looking at the different treatment options and helping you decide what will work best for you.
Oils Gummies Or Capsules
How you consume CBD for psoriasis is entirely up to you. Taking CBD orally with oil gives you the most flexibility as you can adjust your dose depending on how many drops are taken.
Consuming CBD-infused gummies, capsules, or other edibles makes it easier to regulate how much CBD you are taking throughout the day. Each edible or capsule has a specific dosage, making it easier to monitor your CBD intake.
Final Thoughts: Can Cbd Help With Psoriasis
Unfortunately, psoriasis is currently incurable but its certainly treatable. CBD is a great way to combat this chronic skin condition.
Using orally consumed products alongside topical products will provide you with instant and ongoing relief from your symptoms. If youre new to CBD remember to start small and work up your dosages to see how you react to the substance.
Make sure you purchase your CBD from a reputable and reliable brand to ensure you are ingesting a safe product that will provide results.
Its also recommended that you speak to a dermatologist before using CBD to treat your psoriasis. Some medication you currently use may react with CBD, so be sure to check with your doctor if youre concerned about the medication youre using.
What Are The Most Common Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms
Youre probably wondering, What does scalp psoriasis looks like? Generally, you might notice flaking or scaly patches of raised skin on your scalp first, Dr. Bhutani says. These patches can also be inflamed, thick, and swollen6, and sometimes extend to the forehead, the back of the neck, or behind the ears. On light skin tones, psoriasis plaques on the scalp typically appear pink or red with silvery scales. For people with dark skin, these lesions may range in color and appear salmon-y pink, silvery white, violet, or brown, depending on your specific skin tone7.
But the signs of scalp psoriasis go far beyond the physical effects. Scalp psoriasis, honestly, causes some of the largest impact on quality of life, Dr. Bhutani says. Thats because severe symptoms can interrupt sleep, create feelings of anxiety, and hurt a persons self-esteem, especially if the scalp psoriasis plaques are clearly visible.
In addition to plaques, other scalp psoriasis symptoms include6:
- An extremely itchy scalp that can be distracting
- A burning sensation or soreness on your scalp
- Cracked and/or bleeding skin from scratching too much or from having a dry scalp
- Temporary hair loss if you excessively touch your scalp or attempt to pick off your scales, which can forcibly remove hair follicles
You Want To Try A Natural Remedy Or New Treatment
While herbal or other natural remedies might seem harmless, you should always talk to your dermatologist before trying them, Lebwohl advises.
When tested in the lab, some supplements have been shown to contain steroids that can have many side effects when used long-term and can lead to psoriasis flares, he says. Others can interfere with certain medications, he adds.
And although it can wait until your next scheduled appointment, also keep your dermatologist in the loop on any new medicine another doctor prescribes to you, says Lebwohl. He or she can monitor you for potential drug interactions or side effects.
When To See A Dermatologist For Psoriasis
The National Psoriasis Foundation advises that anyone with symptoms that may indicate psoriasis should see a dermatologist. The symptoms of psoriasis may include thick, raised patches of dry, itchy skin.
The NPF adds that it is particularly beneficial to find a dermatologist who has experience in treating psoriasis if any of the following applies:
- The symptoms are worsening, or a flare-up is occurring.
- The treatments that a primary care doctor prescribed are not relieving the symptoms.
- The individual wishes to try a treatment that their primary care doctor is unfamiliar with, such as phototherapy or a biologic medication.
What Causes Nail Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder. It alters the immune system and causes an increase in skin cell turnover in the body. The disease causes unsightly skin patches to develop and may disrupt the individuals quality of life.
It can also make one self-conscious. Various environmental and genetic factors cause the disease. Many theories explain the etiology of the disease,
- Candida stimulates the production of superantigens and secretion of cytokines that can initiate pathogenesis
- Increased expression of Interleukin-10 in the affected nail bed
- The appearance of skin lesions due to nail trauma
Explore Your Treatment Options With Our Psoriasis Specialist
Lets check out the answer to the question that might be popping in your mind, what are my treatment options for psoriasis? There are numerous treatments that can help keep your psoriasis under control. Our Psoriasis Specialist, Dr. Fatteh, MD creates a customized treatment plan depending on your symptoms and needs.
Steroid creams can help control outbreaks and reduce inflammation. There are also prescription retinoid ointments and creams that can help. Certain types of light therapy can help by slowing skin cell growth.
For severe cases of psoriasis, oral medications can reduce plaque formation and help your skin stay clear. These drugs can cause serious side effects, so its important to try other methods first and to remain under the care of a dermatologist throughout treatment.
When you get to know more about psoriasis and how our expertise can help you, we begin by creating a peaceful and relaxing environment. We want you to discuss your issues comfortably with us. Our medical staff completely understand that it is not just the treatment procedure, but the overall experience that heals, supports, and nurtures the patient in their pursuit.
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