Psoriasis Treatment Center In Southampton Pa
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system causes the epidermis to grow much faster than normal. In healthy skin, the cells within the epidermis are usually produced at a rate which is roughly equal to the rate in which theyre shed. In psoriasis-affected skin, the cells are produced so rapidly that they build up in thick layers. Also, because theyre produced so fast, they dont have time to mature like normal skin. As a result, psoriasis-affected skin doesnt have the same strength and resilience as healthy skin, so it tends to flake, itch, burn, etc.
Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists offers a full line-up of therapies in our Psoriasis Treatment Center. We are fully adept at the use of modern topical medications, oral/pill options, injectable biologics, and phototherapy to offer a complete solution for our psoriasis patients.
There is still no known cause for the overactive immune response which occurs with psoriasis. Patients often report that others in the family have psoriasis, so genetics does seem to be a factor. Unlike most genetic conditions, though, psoriasis usually doesnt express itself until were adults. Some patients with psoriasis may also experience inflammation internally, within their joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis.
If you suffer from psoriasis, there are a number of general recommendations you should consider:
Which Specialists Will I Need
That will depend on your situation. For example, if your psoriasis is mild and doesn’t affect your life very much, you may need only your primary doctor. If you have a flare or your symptoms are getting worse, you may want to bring in a dermatologist.
If you start to feel stiffness, pain, or tenderness in your joints, it might be time to add a rheumatologist or a physical therapist to the mix. If your psoriasis starts to take a toll on your mental health, a psychologist or psychiatrist should join the roster.
Your psoriasis doctor can help build your team as you need to expand it. Make sure everyone you see for your psoriasis knows about everyone else, so they can work together to give you the treatment you need.
How To Find A Dermatologist
People who think that they might have psoriasis may wish to schedule an appointment with their primary care doctor, who can likely refer them to a dermatologist. Alternatively, they can visit the NPFs Patient Navigation Center.
Once a person has obtained the names of some local dermatologists, the American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends visiting each of the doctors websites to check whether they are board certified.
In the United States, a qualified dermatologist will have certification from the American Board of Dermatology, the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Some dermatologists with these credentials may have the initials FAAD after their name, which stands for Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The AAD provides this search tool to find dermatologists in a certain area.
Before making an appointment, a person may also wish to check with their insurance provider whether the dermatologist is in their network and whether their insurance plan covers the visit.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- How long does treatment last?
- Will I have to be on medicine for the rest of my life?
- Should I make any changes to my skin care routine?
- Are there any skin products or foods that I should avoid?
- If symptoms get worse, when should I call the doctor?
- If I have psoriasis, will my children get it?
- Is there a support group that you recommend?
Psoriasis Treatment: How To Find The Best Doctor For You
by Content Producer
Following a diagnosis of psoriasisa chronic autoimmune disease marked by red, itchy, scaly patchesa patients next step is to find the best doctor for long-term treatment. There are many factors that may influence this decision, including doctor location, cost and credentials. Asking the right questionsfrom where to look for a dermatologist to how to develop a successful long-term patient-doctor relationshipis a crucial to ensuring that patients make the best choice for their specific needs.
Where to look for a doctor
Patients with psoriasis may be treated by a primary provider however, in order to have the best possible care and the most treatment options available, they should seek the care of a specialist, such as a dermatologist. Dermatologists are particularly helpful for patients with moderate-to-severe cases of psoriasis because they typically have more familiarity with prescribing psoriasis treatments than do primary providers.
There are many resources to help people diagnosed with psoriasis locate a doctor with whom they feel comfortable. If a patient has a general practitioner who they see regularly, asking him or her for recommendations or referrals is a good place to start.
Patients should also write down a list of questions and have them answered during the consult. Kathleen Carter, Outreach Manager for the National Psoriasis Foundation , suggests the following questions for psoriasis patients to ask a doctor:
Read Also: How To Treat Genital Psoriasis Naturally
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
It may be hard to diagnose psoriasis. This is because it looks like other skin problems, such as eczema. Talk to your doctor if you think you have psoriasis. The doctor will do a physical exam and review your symptoms. They may take a biopsy of skin and look at it in the lab to help with your diagnosis. They may refer you to a dermatologist .
There are different degrees of psoriasis:
- Mild: symptoms cover less than 3% of your body.
- Moderate: symptoms cover 3% to 10% of your body.
- Severe: symptoms cover more than 10% of your body.
Topical Medications For Psoriasis
Topical medications are applied directly to the skin. For mild or moderate psoriasis, they can be enough to manage the condition for more severe cases they may be used in combination with other therapies. Topical treatments that have been successful with psoriasis include ointment or cream forms of corticosteroids, vitamin D3, retinoids, coal tar, anthralin, and moisturizers.
Read Also: When To See A Doctor For Psoriasis
Tips For Finding The Right Psoriasis Specialists
Having moderate to severe psoriasis puts you at risk for developing other conditions. Your physician may not be able to treat all your conditions, but they can refer you to specialists. You may want to consider consulting one or more of the following specialists in order to get the best treatment.
Can Psoriasis Be Cured
There is no known cure for psoriasis, but doctors have made medical advancements that have produced effective treatment plans that help to reduce the severity of the condition and control many of the most aggravating symptoms. The condition responds to both systemic forms of treatment as well as topical creams and ointments. Topical ointments are applied directly to the affected area, while systemic treatment options involve oral medications or injectables that provide continued relief. Most doctors also rely on nutritional support to ensure the skin receives the nutrients it needs to remain healthy and vibrant.
Also Check: Vitamin D Cream For Psoriasis Over The Counter
Don’t Forget Your Pharmacist
They can be an important part of your team. Your pharmacist can help you create a plan to make sure you can follow your doctor’s instructions safely and easily, no matter how many times your plan changes. They might also be able to suggest over-the counter products that may help your treatment plan work even better.
The Department Of Dermatology At Northwestern University
The Department of Dermatology at Northwestern University prides itself on its service to patients, working with patients to find the best, individualized treatment for their skin conditions. Ranked second in the country among dermatology departments in 2014, we offer multidisciplinary clinics where specialists from other disciplines see patients alongside our dermatologists. We also offer the services of highly skilled surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists who are specialists in the treatment of melanoma.
Also Check: Are Eggs Good For Psoriasis
How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Psoriasis
To diagnose psoriasis, a dermatologist will examine your skin, nails, and scalp for signs of this condition. Your dermatologist will also ask if you have any:
Symptoms, such as itchy skin
Joint problems, such as pain and swelling or stiffness when you wake up
Blood relatives who have psoriasis
Recent changes in your life, such as an illness or increased stress
Sometimes, a dermatologist also removes a bit of skin. By looking at the removed skin under a microscope, a doctor can confirm whether you have psoriasis.
Understanding psoriasis is key
Alexa Boer Kimball, MD, MPH100 Questions and Answers about Psoriasis
What Are Common Symptoms Of Psoriasis
The symptoms of psoriasis will range according to where it appears on the body. For the most part, it is characterized by large, red patches of scaly or flaky skin that tend to fall away or become irritated. The surface of the inflamed area may appear as silvery scales. The skin may become extremely dry, causing it to crack and bleed. The irritated area may continue to spread, creating large areas of red, itchy skin. When psoriasis occurs on the scalp, the person may lose their hair in specific areas. Toenails and fingernails that become affected by the condition may also start to crack and fall off.
Read Also: Scalp Psoriasis On Black Skin
Questions The Psoriasis Doctor May Ask You
Psoriasis can cause other physical or mental health problems. To get you the best treatment, your doctor may want to know:
- How much does psoriasis affect your daily life?
- Do you have anxiety or depression?
- Are you tired a lot?
- Do you have trouble using your hands and feet?
- Do you have joint pain?
- How well do you sleep at night?
- Have your symptoms changed or gotten worse?
What Are The Symptoms Of Psoriasis
The symptoms of psoriasis are different from person to person and also depends on the type of psoriasis. However, the most common symptoms are:
- Inflamed, red, and raised patches on the skin
- Whitish-silver scales on the patches
- Skin drying and cracking
- Sore skin around the patch
- Thick and pitted nails
- Swollen and painful joints
Read Also: Is Coconut Oil Good For Psoriasis
It All Begins With Your Gp
Your GP is your first port of call if you have a rash which you think may be psoriasis, or, if you have already been diagnosed with psoriasis and need to get it under control.
A psoriasis rash is one of the more common rashes that GPs see and this puts them in a good position to diagnose psoriasis.
Your GP will talk to you about your medical history, any medicines you are taking, if you are a smoker and how much alcohol you drink. Because about one-third of people with psoriasis have a family member with the condition, they will also be interested in your family’s medical history.
To understand how your psoriasis is affecting you, your GP may also ask if you have been feeling sad or down lately, if your rash is causing you distress, or is affecting your social life or ability to work.
Try to be as open as you can with your GP. Your answers to these questions will help them organise the best treatment and referrals for you.
As well as taking your history, your GP will:
- examine your skin there is a pattern of psoriasis rashes that most GPs will recognise
- check your nails for signs of nail psoriasis
- check your joints for signs of arthritis as this also follows a particular pattern when it’s associated with arthritis
How To Find A Psoriasis Doctor
If you’re looking for people to treat your psoriasis, there are a few ways you can find who you’re looking for.
Visit your regular doctor. They can check your general health and look for other conditions related to your psoriasis. Theyâll also help you find the right specialists. They might refer you to a:
- Board-certified dermatologist. Theyâll handle most of your psoriasis treatment. If you have a child with psoriasis, you may want to take them to a pediatric dermatologist. To find out if a doctor is board-certified, ask them or check the American Academy of Dermatology website.
- Rheumatologist. This is a doctor who specializes in treating arthritis and other problems with the joints, muscles, and bones. They can treat any joint pain caused by psoriasis. Thatâs called psoriatic arthritis.
- Physical therapist. Physical therapists use exercises, equipment, and hands-on techniques to help people maintain or regain proper body movement. Theyâll work with you to prevent or ease pain from psoriatic arthritis.
- Mental health professional. If you have psoriasis, you’re more likely to have depression. If you start to feel that way, you’ll want to have a psychologist or psychiatrist as part of your team. They could offer things like cognitive behavioral therapy , a way to learn techniques to help you deal with negative or disruptive thoughts in a more productive way.
You May Like: Is Psoriasis Skin Disease Contagious
How Often Should You See Your Doctor
It depends on your condition and how long youâve been on your current treatment. At first, your doctor may want to see you every few months. If they put you on a biologic drug, theyâll want to see you more often. You may need to check in every 6-12 weeks. Once your psoriasis is under control, you may only need to go in every 6 months.
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.
Also Check: Psoriasis Spreading All Over My Body
The Symptoms Of Psoriasis
The excess skin cells form thick, scaly, dry, itchy skin thats often red and painful. These patches are typically found on your knees, elbows, and scalp, but they sometimes appear on your palms, lower back, and soles of your feet. The symptoms of psoriasis vary in severity and location on your body. The most common symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Red, raised, inflamed skin
- Dry skin that cracks and bleeds
- Burning, itching, and sore skin
- Pain in your joints or joint stiffness
- Dents in your nails
- Fingernails or toenails separating from the nail bed
- Thick patches of skin
Plaque Psoriasis is the most common of all types. In fact, its estimated that 80 percent of people have this type of psoriasis to some degree. Dermatologists often refer to it as psoriasis vulgaris. This type of psoriasis presents raised, inflamed skin thats covered with white or silvery scales. Typically, you see it on your elbows, knees, scalp, or lower back. These patches itch and can even be painful.
Guttate Psoriasis only makes up about two percent of all cases, although most often, this condition affects children. It presents itself as small red spots scattered on your skin, typically on your scalp, thighs, upper arms, or torso. Its commonly triggered by infections, such as strep throat and certain medications.
- Under your breasts
- Under your arms
- Around your genitals and buttocks
- Rapid heart rate
- Stiff joints
- Warm joints
Does Your Insurance Cover It
Insurance coverage is a practical matter you should consider when considering a doctor.
Remember, you dont have to rush to choose a dermatologist. Psoriasis is a chronic condition, and treating it can be a process. Thats why its important to find a doctor who will listen to you, and partner with you, to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Also Check: Will Apple Cider Vinegar Help Psoriasis
How Is Psoriasis Treated
The goal of psoriasis treatment is to reduce inflammation and to control shedding of the skin. Moisturizing creams loosen scales and help control itching. Special diets have not been successful in treating psoriasis, except in isolated cases increasing fish in the diet may benefit some patients with psoriasis and a low glycemic diet is likely of some benefit. Toronto Dermatology Centre is cutting edge as far as understanding all the medical treatment options as well as the more natural options for psoriasis. treatment. Scientific studies now also suggest improvement in psoriasis with weight reduction and stopping smoking.
Psoriasis treatment is based on a patients health, age, lifestyle, and the severity of the psoriasis. We will evaluate your psoriasis on an individual basis and give you the optimal treatment plan for you. Different types of treatments and several visits to your dermatologist may be needed.
Sunlight exposure helps the majority of people with psoriasis but it must be used cautiously. Ultraviolet light therapy may be given in a dermatologists office or a hospital for your psoriasis. Toronto Psoriasis Centre offers phototherapy which is a service covered under OHIP .
Psoriasis Specialists And Care Centers
Your skin is your bodys largest organ and keeping it healthy is important, not just for how you look and feel about yourself but also for your overall health and well-being. Our dermatologists* understand that good health includes your bodys surface and know that skin health and appearance are important not only to your self-image, but to your general health as well.
We offer general, surgical, adolescent and cosmetic dermatology services, including treatment for psoriasis, to keep your skin healthy and looking its best.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Psoriasis To Flare Up