Treatment Options for Psoriasis in Chicago
Plaque psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease affecting 7.5 million people in the U.S. alone. It causes skin cells to grow faster than normal, increasing the rate of cell maturity from 28 days to 4 days. The result is skin with scaled lesions that may take on a silvery appearance.
These patches are most commonly found on the scalp, face, lower back, elbows, palms, knees, and soles of the feet. It’s not unusual, however, for symptoms to appear on other parts of the body including the mouth, fingernails, and toenails.
The cause of psoriasis is not known but the environment and genetics are factors. Flare-ups are commonly triggered by changes in weather, stress, smoking, and drinking alcohol. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are safe, effective treatment options available. The psoriasis specialists at Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology will create a customized treatment plan for you.
Treatment of Psoriasis
Most psoriasis outbreaks only affect a small portion of the body or small areas of the body. It’s typically mild and often disappears as quickly as it showed up. Patients who experience persistently itchy or painful lesions, however, have options for relief that range from steroids to biologics.
These have proven very helpful in reducing the frequency and severity of outbreaks. This is not meant to be a daily treatment, as skin may become unresponsive and thin over time.
Vitamin D3 Cream
Prescribed calcipotriene or calcipotriol has been beneficial for controlling symptoms, particularly when used in conjunction with topical steroid creams. Vitamin D3 is safe for daily use and will not cause thinning of the skin.
Topical retinoids containing vitamin A can help reduce the scaliness and redness of plaques. It may be used solo or alongside steroid creams. This topical can cause some irritation and should not be used on sensitive or thinning skin.
Daily hair washing is recommended for those who suffer from psoriasis on the scalp. Utilizing a medicated shampoo can help control any associated itching and flaking. Look for a shampoo with one or more of the following ingredients.
- Clobetasol (prescription required)
- Glycolic Acid
- Salicylic Acid
- Selenium Sulfide
- Zinc Pyrithione
Our specially formulated CCSD Rx Clobetasol Cream helps treat itching and other symptoms of psoriasis outbreaks. Our CCSD Correct Smoothing Cream is highly recommended for psoriasis flare-ups. It contains glycolic acid and other ingredients to help soothe psoriatic lesions.
Prescription Oral Medications
Prescribed medications can help treat psoriasis but close physician supervision and blood monitoring are necessary. Females of childbearing age and those who consume alcohol are not candidates for this treatment protocol.
Unlike oral steroids, biologics target only symptomatic areas and can promote long-term psoriasis remission. These prescribed injections are for those with moderate to severe psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
Omega 3 Supplements
Anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids are potent nutraceuticals that help healthy psoriatic skin and improve overall health. These should be taken daily in 2000 mg doses for maximum benefits.
Chicago Dermatologist Treating Psoriasis
While there is no cure for psoriasis, science continues to advance and give us safe, effective methods for treating the disease. Call Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology to schedule an appointment for your customized treatment plan today.
How to control Psoriasis flares?
In most cases, psoriasis is mild and limited to a few body areas. General treatments include: Topical creams, ointments and foams containing steroids, Vitamin D3 , retinoids, aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists, and PDE4 inhibitors. There are oral medications as well that include an immune modifier, Otezla. Biologics available include injectable IL-23 inhibitors, IL17 inhibitors, and TNF alpha inhibitors. Ask your provider what you’re a candidate for to treat your psoriasis. These biologics can clear the appearance of psoriasis and treat psoriatic arthritis as well. The advancements in biologic treatments have been life changing for people suffering from psoriasis, such as Dr. Carolyn Jacob, our Medical Director.
When I was 14, I was diagnosed with psoriasis of the skin, scalp and nails. I thought my social life was doomed, and that I would always be suffering from an itchy, scaly, disfiguring disease. Luckily, I became interested in medicine at the age of 8, and was also fortunate to work for the dermatologist who diagnosed me. Working in a dermatology office through high school and my college years taught me that I had a passion to help others with skin disorders. Fast forward to the mid 2000’s when biologics became available. I first treated one of my best friends who had suffered with psoriasis since age 6. 3 months after initiation of treatment, she called me in tears, because she had not had clear skin since childhood, and now she does! Advancement in treatment options for psoriasis have been phenomenal, and I have the pleasure of now telling patients, I have psoriasis, but you cannot see it! It is life changing to not have to worry about shedding skin, or nail disfiguration, or an itchy scalp.
We at CCSD are committed to getting your psoriasis cleared for you. Please contact us for an appointment to find out how to best improve your skin.