Psoriasis Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suffer from Psoriasis, you are not alone. Approximately 2-3% of the United States population suffers from this common skin ailment. That is almost 8 million people! Whether you are newly diagnosed with the condition, or have been suffering for a few years, there is relief out there. The key is to research all of your options and find a knowledgeable doctor that can help you explore your options.

Psoriasis has been known to afflict individuals of all races, sex, and age groups, though the majority of sufferers are adults. The condition begins when skin cells quickly rise from below the surface and begin to pile up on the surface before they have a chance to fully mature. While in a normal adult, the process takes about a month, a person suffering from Psoriasis can have this occur within a week. This excess growth of cells can lead to patches of thick inflamed skin, covered with silvery scales. They often itch and are very sore to the touch. Most sufferers have these patches on their elbows, knees, legs, lower back, etc.

Psoriasis can also affect fingernails, toenails, and the genitals. It is said that approximately 1 million people suffer from a condition called psoriatic arthritis, which is an inflammation of the joints.

The first step to getting treatment is to get diagnosed. Many physicians overlook Psoriasis because it appears similar to other skin diseases. There are many different forms of Psoriasis, which can range from smooth red patches to oozing lesions. The most reliable method of diagnosis involves a small skin sample. The doctor will look at it under a microscope to confirm.

Once you are diagnosed with Psoriasis, you can begin treatment. There are several different options, and depending on the severity of the condition, you may need several different mediations or treatments at a time. There are basically three different kinds of treatments available. These include topical creams, light therapy, and oral medications:

o Corticosteroids

o Calcipotriene

o Retinoid

o Coal tar

o Anthralin

o Salicylic acid

o Clobetasol propionate

o Bath solutions

o Moisturizers

o Light therapy- natural and artificial

o Immune suppressing treatments taken orally

While there is no known cure, there have been some major breakthroughs in the field of study. New medications and treatment options are popping up every day, and a cure is just right around the corner. Laser therapy has become extremely popular, and you can expect to see them integrated into your treatment plan in the near future.

The key is to find out what works for you. Many Psoriasis sufferers can benefit from group therapy. They can discuss their thoughts and feelings about having the condition, and form a support group of others going through the same problems. Online research and support groups are also very popular. The more you know about your condition, the better prepared you are for what lies ahead. So do a search on your favorite search engine and discuss your options with your doctor.