Psoriasis Treatment & Procedures in Indianapolis and Carmel
Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology
Psoriasis Treatment & Procedures Indianapolis and Carmel IN
Psoriasis is a skin condition commonly seen by Turkle & Associates board certified dermatologist, Dr. Matt Strausburg. Many adult psoriasis patients as well as parents with children who have psoriasis are distressed with the condition and are interested in procedures and treatments to help.
We invite you to continue reading for frequently asked questions and more information about psoriasis and how we can help.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a genetic skin disease caused by a disorder in the immune system. The disorder causes skin cells to develop faster than they are shed which causes an overgrowth of skin. These patches of overgrown skin are called plaques.
What Are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?
People with psoriasis develop red, thickened areas on their skin with silvery scales.
The most common form begins with little red bumps. Gradually these grow larger and the scales form. Many psoriasis patients experience itching.
About seven percent of psoriasis patients also have arthritis. Sometimes the arthritis improves when the condition of the patient’s skin improves.
Where Does Psoriasis Usually Appear?
The elbows, knees, groin and genitals, arms, legs, scalp, and nails are the areas most commonly affected by psoriasis. It will often appear in the same place on both sides of the body. Severe psoriasis may cover large areas of the body.
At What Age Does Psoriasis Usually Appear?
Psoriasis can occur at any age but it usually appears between the ages of 15 to 30. People over the age of 30 can develop psoriasis, although it is much less common.
Is Psoriasis Contagious?
No, psoriasis is not contagious.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Generally, the cause of psoriasis is unknown. Recent discoveries point to an abnormality in the functioning of white blood cells which trigger inflammation in the skin and then skin overgrowth.
Psoriasis can be activated when the skin is cut, scratched, rubbed, or severely sunburned, by infections (like strep throat) or by certain medicines. Stress can cause flare-ups and they sometimes occur in the winter, as a result of dry skin and lack of sunlight.
Will My Skin Ever Look Better?
There is no known “cure” for psoriasis, but with treatment it can be reduced or clear completely. Many patients find treating their psoriasis improves their quality of life.
What Are the Psoriasis Treatments?
The goal of psoriasis treatment is to reduce inflammation, slow down rapid skin cell division and relieve symptoms. Special diets have not been successful in treating psoriasis.
If you have a mild to moderate case of psoriasis, you may respond to creams or ointments alone. A combination of treatments may be needed for more severe cases of psoriasis.
The following is not a complete list of psoriasis treatments, but does include most common treatments. After taking a complete medical history and performing a physical exam, Dr. Strausburg will let you know what will work best for you.
External (Topical) Psoriasis Treatments
Psoriasis treatments that are applied directly to the skin include:
- Steroids (Cortisone) – Cortisone creams, ointments, and lotions may clear the skin temporarily and control the condition in many patients. Due to side effects, steroid creams must be used cautiously under the direction of Dr. Strausburg. Note that after many months of treatment, the psoriasis may become resistant to the steroid preparations.
- Anthralin – Anthralin is a medication that works well on tough-to-treat thick patches of psoriasis. It can cause irritation and temporary staining of the skin and clothes. Newer preparations and methods of treatment have lessened these side effects.
- Vitamin D – A synthetic Vitamin D, calcipotriene, is now available in prescription form. It is useful for individuals with localized psoriasis and can be used with other treatments. Limited amounts should be used to avoid side effects. Ordinary Vitamin D, as one would buy in a drug store or health food store, is of no value in treating psoriasis.
- Retinoids – Prescription Vitamin A-related drugs may be prescribed alone or in combination with ultraviolet light for severe cases of psoriasis. Close monitoring is required together with regular blood tests.
- Coal Tar – For more than l00 years, coal tar has been used to treat psoriasis. Today’s products are greatly improved and less messy. Stronger prescriptions can be made to treat difficult areas.
- Moisturizing Creams and Lotions – Moisturizing the skin helps to loosen scales and control itching.
- Light Therapy – Sunlight and ultraviolet light slow the rapid growth of skin cells. Though ultraviolet light or sunlight can cause skin wrinkling, eye damage, and skin cancer, light treatment is safe and effective under a doctor’s care. People with psoriasis all over their bodies may require treatment in a medically approved center equipped with light boxes for full body exposure. Psoriasis patients who live in warm climates may be directed to carefully sunbathe. Seek the advice of a dermatologist before self-treating with natural or artificial sunlight.
Internal Psoriasis Treatments–Oral and Injectable Drugs
Psoriasis treatments that are considered internal include:
- Cortisone (Steroid) Injections – Dr. Strausburg may inject cortisone in difficult-to-treat spots. These injections must be used in very small amounts to avoid side effects.
- Methotrexate – Methotrexate is an oral anti-cancer drug that can produce dramatic clearing of psoriasis when other treatments have failed. Because it can produce side effects regular blood tests are performed and chest x-rays and occasional liver biopsies may be required.
- Biologic Medication – Biologics are used to target certain aspects of inflammation which are linked to psoriasis and provide very good results for difficult cases which previously had not responded to treatment.
Combination Internal and External Psoriasis Treatments
- Psoralen Plus Ultraviolet A Light (PUVA) – When psoriasis has not responded to other treatments or is widespread, PUVA is effective in 85 to 90 percent of cases.
The PUVA treatment involves taking a drug called psoralen, then being exposed to a carefully measured amount of a special form of ultraviolet (UVA) light.
Approximately 25 treatments, over a two- or three-month period, are needed before clearing occurs and bout 30-40 treatments a year are usually required to keep the psoriasis under control.
Patients must wear UVA blocking eyeglasses whenever using sunlight for illumination from the time of exposure to psoralen until sunset that day. PUVA treatments over a long period increase the risk of skin aging, freckling, and skin cancer. PUVA treatment must be monitored very carefully by dermatologists and their staff.
Do You Take Insurance For Psoriasis Patients?
Yes, we do take insurance. We suggest you contact your plan administrator to determine if we participate with your insurance plan.
Contact Us About Psoriasis Treatment
If you have more questions about psoriasis treatments and would like further information, or if you are ready to schedule an appointment, contact Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology by clicking here for our online quick-contact email form or feel free to call us at 317-848-0001.
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*Fees are approximate only and subject to physical examination and consultation. We do try to keep the fees on our website up to date, however be advised fees are subject to change without notice. Please feel free to inquire about any price changes.
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