Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition with symptoms including thick, red, scaly areas of skin that may itch or bleed. Psoriasis plaques or patches commonly appear on the scalp, face, hands and feet. In more more severe cases, it can also affect the nails, eyelids, genitals and other areas of the body.
A dermatologist (skin, hair loss and nail specialist) is the best person to correctly identify and treat psoriasis. A psoriasis treatment plan must be tailored to your needs, based on the severity of your psoriasis and individual triggers. Psoriasis treatments work by reducing inflammation, slowing the production of skin cells, restoring skin health, and in turn, enhancing your personal confidence.
Psoriasis is not contagious and is caused by a disorder within your immune system, which are the organs and cells in your body that actively fight off infection. In the case of psoriasis, your immune system mistakes skin cells as foreign invaders, and works to destroy them. This constant attack sends your body into overdrive, producing more skin cells than required to replenish the ones that have been destroyed. This results in a buildup of skin cells, which we visibly see as psoriasis plaques or patches.
There is currently no cure for psoriasis, however there are plenty of thoroughly-researched treatments options available to effectively manage your triggers and improve your wellbeing. Receiving treatment advice from a professional is the best way to ensure you feel in control of your triggers, and to experience noticeable results.
Other skin conditions, such as eczema, rashes and fungal infections can also present similarly, so the first step to successfully treating psoriasis is an accurate diagnosis.
The majority of people who experience psoriasis have mild psoriasis, which affects less than five per cent of their total body. These patients can often be effectively treated with proven skin-based therapies including:
Adding phototherapy (light therapy) into a treatment plan can also be beneficial for patients with mild psoriasis, and can assist in rejuvenating your skin’s comfort and appearance.
Patients with moderate to severe psoriasis – which affects more than five per cent of their total body or involving the hands, feet, face, or genitals – require a multi-faceted treatment plan that may include:
Since psoriasis is caused by a disorder within your immune system, if left untreated, it can increase the likelihood of other immune conditions developing, too. The most common is psoriatic arthritis, which is pain and stiffness in joints. Other conditions linked to psoriasis include coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. If you suspect you have psoriasis, you should seek professional advice promptly.
It is important to understand your individual triggers. What causes a flare-up in one person may have no effect on another. Psoriasis symptoms may appear for weeks to months before disappearing again, which can make it difficult for you to track and manage it on your own. Common triggers can include stress, alcohol, injury, medications, and infection (which causes your immune system to go into overdrive).
There is a high demand and limited availability of phototherapy (light therapy) clinics in Melbourne. ODE Dermatology has two advanced devices: one can treat psoriasis on your hands, feet and genitals, and another for your face and full-body treatments. We understand the need for frequent visits and welcome you to call us for a same-day appointment. For added peace of mind, all phototherapy treatments for psoriasis, using either of our devices, will be bulk-billed.