Avoid Scrapes Cuts Bumps And Infections
It’s extra important for people with psoriasis to avoid bumps and cuts. Trauma to the skin can cause a flare, a condition called “Koebner’s phenomenon.” Infections can also cause problems. Be especially careful when shaving. Avoid acupuncture, tattoos, and do your best to prevent insect bites and chafing. Get more information on Koebner’s phenomenon and psoriasis.
Medical Treatment Topical Agents
The first line of treatment for psoriasis includes topical medications applied to your skin. The main topical treatments are corticosteroids , vitamin D-3 derivatives, coal tar, anthralin, and retinoids. These drugs may lose potency over time, so often they are rotated or combined. Ask your doctor before combining medications, as some drugs should not be combined.
What Causes Psoriasis To Flare Up
- Stress As with other common skin problems such as eczema and rosacea, stress may bring on psoriasis or make existing breakouts worse.
- Infection When ones immune system is compromised, it can lead to a psoriasis flare-up. Strep throat, bronchitis and respiratory infections have all been linked to the development of new or worsening psoriasis patches.
- Injury In what is known as the Koebner phenomenon, psoriasis patches may form in response to skin injury or trauma. Sunburn, vaccinations and cuts can all potentially trigger an outbreak.
- Medications A variety of medications have been shown to cause psoriasis flare-ups in some patients. Just to name a few: Inderal , Indomethacin and Quinidine .
- Weather The severity and timing of psoriasis outbreaks can also be related to weather conditions. For instance, flare-ups are more likely to occur in the winter when the air is dry and skin tends to be, too.
Ultimately, the answer to what causes psoriasis to flare up? will vary from patient to patient. However, any individual with psoriasis should be aware of these common triggers, as this information can help them manage their condition.
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How Is Psoriasis Treated
Psoriasis is usually treated by a dermatologist . A rheumatologist may also help with treatment. Treatments can include:
- ultraviolet light from the sun or from home or office treatments. But in some people, sunlight can make psoriasis worse.
- creams, lotions, ointments, and shampoos such as moisturizers, corticosteroids, vitamin D creams, and shampoos made with salicylic acid or coal tar
- medicines taken by mouth or injected medicines
A doctor might try one therapy for a while and then switch to another. Or a doctor may combine different therapies. It’s all about finding one that works for each person.
Sometimes what works for a while might stop working. This is one reason why it’s important to work closely with a doctor. Trying out new treatments can get a little frustrating, but most people eventually find one that works.
Prevention And Treatment Of Flares
Risks for psoriasis flare-ups can be reduced by adhering to skin care and treatment plans, managing stress, and making lifestyle changes. Avoid changing your treatment without consulting your doctor or dermatologist. Talk to your doctor about techniques for minimizing stress, adopting a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and moderating alcohol consumption. You may want to consult with a dietitian or mental health counselor for additional help.
Be aware of your environment and try to avoid situations that might injure your skin. Prepare for weather changes by using a humidifier inside and dressing appropriately for outside conditions. Some people with psoriasis find it helpful to keep careful track of what triggers their flare-ups.
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Steroid Creams Or Ointments
Topical steroids are other commonly used treatments. They work by reducing inflammation. They are easy to use and may be a good treatment for difficult areas such as the scalp and face. However, one problem with steroids is that in some cases, once you stop using the cream or ointment, the psoriasis may come back worse than it was in the first place. Only milder steroid creams or ointments should be used on your face or for psoriasis affecting flexures. See the separate leaflet called Topical Steroids for more information on how to use them.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
When it comes to managing your psoriasis, Warycha says maintaining a healthy weight can help lower the levels of inflammation in the body. In addition to diet, engaging in physical activity can also help you manage your weight.
If youre finding it challenging to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.
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Natural Skin Treatments For Plaque Psoriasis
Because its a chronic condition, many people with plaque psoriasis will try alternative and natural treatment methods. One method that has gained significant attention in the psoriasis community is the mud and salt of the Dead Sea.
Thousands of people a year invest in expensive Dead Sea skin treatments or vacations to attempt to heal their psoriasis. Although the scientific evidence is limited regarding the effectiveness of these treatments, many believe it can help treat plaque psoriasis.
What Are The Common Treatments For Chronic Plaque Psoriasis
There is no once-and-for-all cure for psoriasis. Treatment aims to clear the rash as much as possible. However, as psoriasis tends to flare up from time to time, you may need courses of treatment on and off throughout your life. There are various treatments options. There is no ‘best buy’ that suits everybody. The treatment advised by your doctor may depend on the severity, site and type of psoriasis. Also, one treatment may work well in one person but not in another. It is not unusual to try a different treatment if the first one does not work so well.
Many of the treatments are creams or ointments. As a rule, you have to apply creams or ointments correctly for best results. It usually takes several weeks of treatment to clear plaques of psoriasis.
The following is a brief overview of the more commonly used treatments for chronic plaque psoriasis. Unless psoriasis is very severe, treatment is usually with creams or ointments. If these treatments are not successful, you will usually be referred to a skin specialist for advice about other treatments such as medicines and light treatments.
Note: treatments of the less common forms of psoriasis are similar but are not dealt with here. Your doctor will advise.
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Scalp Psoriasis Vs Dermatitis
Like psoriasis, dermatitis can also affect the scalp. While some of the treatments for these conditions may overlap, the conditions themselves have different causes.
Scalp psoriasis is likely caused by immune dysfunction. Dermatitis is caused by various skin irritants, such as allergens.
With scalp psoriasis, youll notice silvery-red scales that may extend beyond the hairline. Theyll cause itching, flaking, and redness. In dermatitis, scales are white or yellowish and accompanied by dandruff.
A doctor can usually tell the difference between scalp psoriasis and dermatitis by taking a look at the affected area. In other cases, it might be trickier to tell the difference.
They might perform a skin scrape or take a biopsy. An overgrowth of skin cells will be present in cases of scalp psoriasis. In dermatitis cases, there will be irritated skin and sometimes bacteria or fungi.
Dermatitis can cause dandruff. Scalp psoriasis and dandruff share many of the same symptoms, such as:
- white or yellow skin flakes on the scalp
- mild redness
Stay On Top Of Scalp Irritation And Itching
Try to resist the urge to scratch or rub your scalp during a flare-up. Doing so can cause bleeding, scabbing, and even hair loss.
Avoid using shampoos containing fragrance and alcohol. These products can dry out the scalp and worsen or even cause more flare-ups. When washing your hair, be gentle. Avoid scratching or scrubbing your scalp.
A scale softener that contains salicylic acid can help soften and loosen patches of psoriasis plaque during a flare-up.
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Epidemiology Of Guttate Psoriasis
The guttate form of psoriasis is relatively uncommon in the United States, occurring in less than 2% of the psoriatic population. International surveys on the guttate form of psoriasis among patients with psoriasis have found a wide range of prevalences, from 1.6-44%. A 2009 study has shown that the prevalence of psoriasis correlates with the distribution and mortality of streptococcal epidemics.
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Explore Psoriasis Treatment Options At Kessel Dermatology
If you are living with psoriasis and it is affecting your quality of life, the skin disease specialists at Kessel Dermatology can help you find the best course of treatment for you. We offer all the safest and most advanced treatment options for psoriasis, including:
- Biologic medications such as Otezla.
- Topical medications such as corticosteroids and retinoids
- such as laser therapy and Psoralen with Ultraviolet A light
Our dermatologists will consider the severity of your psoriasis and other individual factors in order to guide you to the most appropriate treatment for you. We can also provide information on what causes psoriasis to flare up and help you determine what may be contributing to your flare-ups.
If youd like to schedule an appointment, call the Kessel Dermatology office today at 609-890-2600. We look forward to helping you keep your skin condition under control so that it does not interfere with your life.
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Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Managing the mental aspect of psoriatic arthritis is an important treatment component as well. People with psoriatic arthritis are at a greater risk of anxiety and depression than the general population, and flare-ups are difficult for many to cope with, Crow says. Whatever you can do to invest in your mental health is likely a wise choice.
What Are The Clinical Features Of Guttate Psoriasis
- Acute onset over days
- Pink, scaly, thin patches or plaques of psoriasis
- Scale can be subtle in early lesions
- Widespread lesions predominantly over the trunk and limbs
- Lesions on the face, scalp, and ears tend to be faint and short-lived
- Uniformly distributed red dotted vessels
- Diffuse white-grey scale
- Bright red, dull red, or pink background
These dermoscopy features are diagnostic and are seen in all skin types.
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Sun And Hot Temperatures
The sun and heat are major factors for psoriasis flares. On the one hand, ultraviolet radiation from the sun can help ease symptoms as long as the exposure is limited. On the other hand, too much sun can overheat the skin and trigger a flare.
Extreme humidity is also problematic as it promotes sweating, another common trigger. Even taking a hot bath can trigger a flare by overheating the body.
To avoid sun- and heat-induced flares:
- Wear sunscreen to reduce UV exposure .
- Wear sun-protective clothing and hats when outdoors.
- Dress lightly to avoid sweating.
- Schedule outings for cooler parts of the day
- Limit showers and baths to 10 minutes.
- Use warm rather than hot water when bathing.
Psoriasis: Triggers That Cause Flare
Does your psoriasis flare up for no rhyme or reason? What if I told you that behind almost every flare-up are triggers that are causing it? Dont believe me? Keep reading.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells in days versus weeks. The scales build up quickly on the surface of the skin, causing red, scaly patches that can itch and be painful at times. Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis, and can be found on the knees, elbows, lower back, scalp, and other places
Finding the Triggers
Psoriasis, like other autoimmune diseases has periods where symptoms become better, or worse. The worsening of symptoms is called a flareup. Flareups can be triggered by common everyday things, so finding what they are, is not always set out before you in black and white. The American Academy of Dermatology has put together a chart of common triggers to use as a guide. We have the highlights below:
Armed with Knowledge
With this trusty little chart, you can begin to reduce the amount of flareups you have. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease, but it doesnt have to control your life. Again, the chart covers the most common triggers of psoriasis, so this is not an all-encompassing list. Keeping a daily journal can help you identify those outliers.
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What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
What Are Some Tips To Help Get The Condition Under Control
You can take steps to feel more in control of your condition. Some of these steps you can take at home, while others need to be supervised by your doctor.
If youre regularly experiencing flares, discuss your symptoms with your doctor. They can assess your condition and determine if your treatment plan is working effectively.
When it comes to making changes at home, these tips and lifestyle modifications are all options that you can try on your own:
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Diet And Psoriasis: What’s The Connection
Can your diet help keep psoriasis under control? Maybe. An observational study published online July 25, 2018, by JAMA Dermatology found that people with psoriasis who followed a Mediterranean diet an eating pattern rich in fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, fruit, nuts, and extra-virgin olive oil experienced fewer severe flare-ups. This was only an association and more research is needed, but experts believe the Mediterranean diet contains many foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and may offer extra protection against psoriasis triggers.
Identifying Triggers Is The First Step In Preventing Symptoms
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder characterized by the spontaneous appearance or worsening of symptoms, known as flares, followed by periods of remission. The cause of flares is poorly understood but triggers such as skin trauma, cold weather, stress, and smoking are known to set the stage. It’s believed that the sudden rise in inflammation that these psoriasis triggers prompt reactivates the autoimmune response.
When this happens, the immune system releases compounds called cytokines as if the body has encountered an actual threat. The ensuing inflammation is what causes the outbreak of symptoms, primarily skin lesions known as plaques.
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How Do Medications Make Psoriasis Worse
Several different medications can make psoriasis worse or cause you to develop psoriasis, even if youve never had it. They can cause all different types of psoriasis, from the most common to the least common .
We dont know exactly why this happens, but there are a few different ways a medication can affect psoriasis, including:
Worsening the psoriasis spots you already have
Causing new spots to form on skin that was clear before
Developing psoriasis for the first time, even if youve never had it
When you stop the medication, sometimes the psoriasis will get better and sometimes it wont. Each person is different, and you may need to treat the psoriasis in order to improve it .
What Psoriasis Medications Can I Take
Biologics for Psoriasis
The following drugs are categorized under the term biologic because they are all proteins produced in the laboratory by industrial cell culture techniques and must be given either subcutaneously or intravenously. The frequency of treatment depends on the specific drug. All of these medications are very precise in that they block only one or two parts of the inflammatory reaction and are moderately immunosuppresive.
Biologics are expensive and do not cure psoriasis but as a group are quite effective and reasonably safe. If it is decided to start a patient on a biologic drug, the choice will depend on the particular physicians expertise, as well as insurance coverage and payment issues.
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How Is Guttate Psoriasis Diagnosed
Your doctor can identify signs of guttate psoriasis during a physical examination. Your doctor will likely refer you to a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis.
The dermatologist will examine your skin and make note of the affected areas. This mapping will help them track treatments after diagnosis.
Theyll also take a complete medical history to rule out other conditions, like an allergic reaction. People often have allergic reactions to the antibiotics used to treat the infection that precedes the guttate psoriasis outbreak.
Your dermatologist can usually diagnose guttate psoriasis by examining your skin. But the following conditions may occasionally be mistaken for guttate psoriasis:
- scarlet fever rash, which can occur after strep throat
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Light Treatment For Plaque Psoriasis
Light therapy is a common treatment for plaque psoriasis. Because light therapy is nonpharmaceutical, its a popular choice prior to systemic medications.
Some people are able to achieve healing through regular limited sessions of sun exposure, while others fare better using a special light machine.
Check with your dermatologist before treating your psoriasis through exposure to sunlight. Too much sun exposure can burn your skin and make plaque psoriasis worse.
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