Orit Markowitz, MD, a certified dermatologist based in New York, has been treating psoriasis patients for more than 17 years. And the biggest misconception among patients coming from her office, she says, is that psoriasis is nothing more than a skin problem. “People think that the only thing they need to worry about is their skin, and that if it does not bother them that much, then it is better to treat it than to treat it,” he says.
Instead of turning to a dermatologist for help, he has seen people try to manage their psoriasis on their own. They may attempt to scrape or remove pumice from the typical dense red scales. This not only makes things worse for the vulnerable psoriatic skin, but also completely ignores the root cause of the problem. “Psoriasis is a chronic disease of your immune system, and as with any chronic disease, you will always need a 360-degree holistic treatment,” says Dr. Markowitz.
In recent years, advances in psoriasis technology have greatly facilitated the finding of such treatments. Keep reading about what Dr. Markowitz.
What is psoriasis?
Before diving into the most effective treatments for psoriasis, it is first important to understand what it really is. Psoriasis is an overgrowth of the upper layer of skin cells in the epidermis, caused by an overactive immune system. The condition tends to be circular, explains the Mayo Clinic, which flares up for a few weeks or months before subside. Common triggers include infections, cuts or burns, and certain medications and fragrances often found in beauty products.
Examples of textbooks usually show a demarcated rash that has a silvery flake. The most commonly affected areas are the elbows, knees, buttocks, scalp and nails, which can vary in severity. However, the more severe your psoriasis, the more it can affect other systems in your body, so it is crucial to consider it to be much more than “just a skin problem,” says Dr. Markowitz. “If it affects more than 10 percent of your body surface 2: 0, it can cause heart disease, heart attacks and irreversible joint damage,” he says. “The reality is that once you get it, it’s part of who you are, but treatments can help you keep it under control and manage it.”
What are the psoriasis treatments that really work?
Historically, treatments for psoriasis have ranged from “ineffective” to “dangerous” (think: intensive phototherapy and excessive exfoliation). Thanks to new innovations in technology, however, dermatologists agree that it is a lucky time for people suffering from psoriasis, because the treatments are evolving more and more. “The more innovative we are and the more technology we have, the better these holistic therapies become,” says Dr. Markowitz. “But not every patient has the same genetic markers of psoriasis, so while the treatment must be 360, it must also be very tailored and tailored.”
If you have psoriasis (especially if it is severe), you always You want to work with a dermatologist certified by the board to reach your best course of action. Although psoriasis is not curable, it does exist is treatments that have been found to be particularly effective when used under the guidance of a professional.
“When it comes to prescriptions, there are many different medicines and different remedies that are amazing for psoriasis,” says Dr. Markowitz. “When it gets a little more aggressive or starts to affect more systemic things like the heart and the joint, there are a lot of systemic drugs that reduce the inflammatory response.”
Among them are biological ones, which use antibodies to suppress the immune system in the psoriatic tract, but will not affect the rest of the body, so there are minimal side effects. They work by stopping the part of the immune system that is responsible for causing skin cells to multiply and allow the rest of the immune system to function normally. They are prescribed by a doctor, but are given by injection at home (usually four times a year).
“The newest drugs for severe cases of any inflammatory disease – especially an inflammatory disease such as psoriasis – have to do with which parts of the body you block and where you can block your body’s response to reduce the disease and all the unwanted systemic side effects. “These newer drugs work farther and farther down this path, and the lower they work, the more specific response and fewer side effects you will have,” says Dr. Markowitz.
Unlike the dangerous PUVA treatments (incredibly intense phototherapies that skin is now categorized as dangerous) used in the past, doctors now prescribe something called UVB narrow band therapy. “It’s a completely different array of ultraviolet light that is much less harmful,” says Dr. Markowitz. A 2011 study found that this type of phototherapy helps suppress a portion of the immune pathway that leads to skin overgrowth, and other research has found that it is not associated with the same skin cancer risk as previous UV treatments.
3. Current issues
If you have a mild case of psoriasis, Dr. Markowitz notes that there are some over-the-counter topical medications that can help you live more comfortably. “Gentle washes with oatmeal were helpful, and charcoal tar shampoo can definitely help relieve psoriasis,” he says. “There are also some alternative anti-inflammatory drugs, such as safflower oil, tea tree oil and some cannabis compositions that may also be helpful.” However, since these ingredients only target the skin element of psoriasis, it is still important to consult a doctor such as a dermatologist, rheumatologist or autoimmune specialist to make sure nothing more serious is happening under the surface.
4. Lifestyle changes
Regardless of the treatment plan prescribed by your dermatologist, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do to keep the symptoms of psoriasis at bay. Although lifestyle habits do not cause psoriasis (if you have a genetic predisposition, it will occur on its own), things like excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and weight fluctuations are known to cause flare-ups.
“If my patients who have experienced psoriasis have an exacerbation, my first questions are: ‘Do you have increased stress?’ Have you recently eaten less healthy than usual? “Has your exercise routine changed?” And the answer is inevitably always yes, “says Dr. Markovic. healthy lifestyle”.
What is the future of psoriasis treatments?
As treatments continue to improve, there are even more innovations to get excited about. Dr. Markowitz is currently working on a study that uses non-invasive imaging to look at the differentiated effects of psoriasis medications very early in the process. This procedure will not only help dermatologists predict when and how much psoriasis will clear up in a particular treatment plan, but it will also make it easier to distinguish when a treatment is not working so that we can change the course of care.
“These are all really innovative new ways of managing the disease,” says Dr. Markowitz. “We now have topical, oral medications and injections that we did not have before, and [treatment] it can really adapt to exactly what the patient needs. “
To learn more about psoriasis (and what skins say about treating it), take a look at the video below.
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