Skin disorders can affect you psychologically as well as physically. The skin is the body’s largest, most visible organ. Anything that mars its surface can have an adverse effect on your psyche, even if the condition isn’t life-threatening. In such cases, just any medical dermatologist won’t do. You need a skin expert who’ll treat you effectively.
Oahu native Dr. Kory Kitagawa is Honolulu’s best choice for any dermatological issue. His exceptional skill and easygoing manner make him the perfect choice to treat your scaly skin disorder, whether it be for cosmetic or medical reasons. He is the head of Kitagawa Dermatology in Hawaii, and, together with his staff, offers the latest in medical treatment options for psoriasis and other skin disorders. Continue Reading
About Psoriasis Causes and Symptoms
Psoriasis symptoms include thick red patches that are blanketed with silvery scales, commonly appearing on the knees, elbows, scalp, and back. Though the skin disorder is unsightly, psoriasis is not contagious. The scaly skin disorder usually begins in adulthood and affects only a few parts of the body. For many people, psoriasis rashes often heal and return over the course of their lives. Starting as innocuous looking small red bumps, psoriasis soon grows worse as the scaly skin develops. The tissue seems to thicken, become itchier, and bleed easily if scratched or rubbed excessively. Severe thickening is called plaque psoriasis.
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, though many researchers point to a combination of elements that can bring the skin disorder on. Learn more about the scaly skin disorder at WebMD.com.
When healthy, the tissue replaces its cells roughly every 30 days to ensure the skin remains healthy. However, if the immune system is compromised in any way, inflammation can develop, causing the skin cells to refresh ten times faster – roughly every three days. This overloads the system, causing an uncommon buildup of cells, which gives the scaly skin that silvery look.
There are many triggers for psoriasis, and they are not consistent – a psoriasis trigger for one person might not be for anyone else. Below are common triggers to be aware of:
Stress – This is a common factor in first-time psoriasis flare-ups, though it’s also a frequent aggravator if the condition already exists.
Skin Injury – An injury or localized trauma can trigger the Koebner Phenomenon, which refers to lesions that can form on the injured area. The Koebner phenomenon is treatable if caught early and can result from such simple injuries as cuts or scrapes as well as from harsher things like sunburns.
Medications – Be aware that the following common medications may be triggers for many people with psoriasis:
- Antimalarials, such as quinacrine or hydroxychloroquine
Infection – Nearly any type of infection can be a trigger for psoriasis. Strep throat is a common skin disorder trigger in children, but a psoriasis flare-up can occur due to bronchitis, earaches, respiratory infection, tonsillitis, among others.
Scaly Skin Disorder Treatment
For starters, people afflicted with psoriasis should take serious steps to reduce their stress. Since this is a common trigger for a flare-up, relaxation through meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises can reduce the severity of the psoriasis flare-ups.
There are many types of treatment for psoriasis. Some medications will slow the growth of new scaly skin cells, which reduces the buildup of the skin and silvery scales. Other medications focus on mitigating the itching and dryness. The following are common treatments for lighter psoriasis flare-ups:
- Vitamin D cream
- Retinoid cream
- Steroid cream
- Coal tar lotion, bath solution, or shampoo
- Skin moisturizer
For moderate to severe psoriasis, the following are commonly used:
- Biologic treatments which inhibit the immune system from triggering a flare-up
- Light therapy such as ultraviolet (UV) light, which is used to restrict the fast growth of skin cells
- Retinoid gels, creams, and pills that have similarities to vitamin A
- Cyclosporine can be used to inhibit the immune system
Patients should be very careful when considering treatment involving retinoids, cyclosporine, and methotrexate. These are strong medications that can cause serious side effects, such as liver, kidney, or lung problems. Pregnant women should be especially careful, as birth defects are also a common side effect of treating this chronic scaly skin disorder, especially of retinoids.
Schedule a Consultation with Kitagawa Dermatology in Hawaii
When you speak with Dr. Kory Kitagawa, he will diagnose your psoriasis and select the best treatment plan for you as determined by your rash, its size and location, your overall health, and more.
If you struggle with psoriasis, or you’re concerned that a rash that has recently developed is indeed psoriasis, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kitagawa. His expert knowledge, various treatment options, and compassion will help ease any discomfort you are experiencing.
Psoriasis can affect your emotional health as well as your social life, but it doesn’t have to. Dr. Kitagawa and his expert staff can make a difference, so contact us at 808.533.4434 or visit Kitagawa Dermatology online today to learn more about our other medical services. Their office is conveniently located in Honolulu’s Kuakini Medical Plaza.
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