What is Psoriasis Scalp (Scaly Skin)?
Psoriasis is a persistent, inflammatory skin condition. It is not contagious, but does, however, have a tendency to run in families.
What are the causes of Psoriasis?
The immune system seems to play a key role. It is believed that some trigger factor activates the person’s immune system which mistakenly activates T cells, a type of white blood cell. Once activated, the T cells trigger inflammation, which causes the skin to grow too rapidly. Normally, the skin replaces itself about every 30 days. In psoriasis, this happens in three to four days.
Psoriasis can be triggered by stress, injury, an infection, such as strep throat; and by taking certain medicines, such as interferon and lithium. Cold, dry winter weather and lack of sunlight also can trigger psoriasis.
Psoriasis on the elbow
What are the types of Psoriasis?
There are five major types of psoriasis, each with unique signs and symptoms:
- Plaque psoriasis:
The most common type, plaque psoriasis appears as patches of raised, reddish skin covered by silvery-white scale. Patches frequently form on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp, but can occur anywhere on the skin.
- Guttate psoriasis:
Appearing as small, red spots, guttate psoriasis usually affects children and young adults. It often starts after a sore throat, and frequently clears up by itself in weeks or a few months.
- Pustular psoriasis:
Characterized by white pustules surrounded by red skin, pustular psoriasis tends to confine itself to certain areas of the body, usually the palms and soles.
- Inverse psoriasis:
This type occurs when smooth, red lesions form in the skin folds. Lesions can appear in the armpit, under the breasts, and around the groin, buttocks, and genitals.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis:
Causing widespread redness with severe itching and pain, erythrodermic psoriasis can be life threatening.
Psoriasis affecting nails
Psoriasis frequently develops on the scalp resembling dandruff, and the nails causing thickening, pitting and splitting of the nails.
Between 10% and 30% of people who develop psoriasis get a related form of arthritis called “psoriatic arthritis.”Without treatment, permanent joint degeneration and destruction can occur.
How is it diagnosed?
Dermatologists diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, nails and scalp. A skin biopsy may be taken to confirm the diagnosis.
What is the treatment of psoriasis?
A number of treatment options can help control psoriasis.
- Topical creams and ointments
Containing cortisone compounds, retinoids, tar, or anthralin may be used in combination with natural sunlight or another ultraviolet (UV) light treatment. The more severe forms of psoriasis may require oral or injectable medications with or without UV light treatment. Corticosteroids (cortisone)
Cortisone creams, ointments, and lotions may clear the skin temporarily and control the condition in many patients. Corticosteroids must be used cautiously and with your dermatologist’s instructions. When used for many months, psoriasis can become resistant to the corticosteroid. Difficult-to-treat spots may be treated with an injection of a corticosteroid.
Often effective on tough-to-treat thick patches of psoriasis.
Useful for individuals with localized psoriasis, calcipotriene may be combined with other treatments.
For more than 100 years, coal tar has been used safely and effectively to treat psoriasis.
- Light Therapy
Ultraviolet (UV) light, which is found in sunlight, slows the rapid growth of skin cells. Under a dermatologist’s care, light therapy UVB light therapy, PUVA, or Goeckerman treatment with or without combination with other modalities of treatment, offers many patients a safe and effective treatment option.
Although UVB is very safe and effective, it does have possible side effects that include burns, freckling, and premature aging. Risks of skin cancer appear to be no greater than the risk caused by sun exposure.
An acronym, PUVA stands for “psoralen + UVA,” which are the two components of this treatment. Used to treat widespread psoriasis and psoriasis that has not responded to other therapies, PUVA is effective in approximately 85% of cases. PUVA treatments over a long period increase the risk of premature aging, freckling, and skin cancer.
eximer laser 318 nm has been found in some studies to be effective for localized stable plaque psoriasis.
- Systemic Therapies
This anti-cancer medication can dramatically clear psoriasis. Because methotrexate can cause serious side effects, particularly liver disease, it is reserved for treating moderate to severe psoriasis that has not responded to other therapies.
An oral retinoid may be prescribed alone or in combination with ultraviolet light for severe cases of psoriasis. Patients taking oral retinoid require close monitoring, which includes regular blood tests.
While cyclosporine proves extremely effective in treating psoriasis, it is generally reserved for patients with severe psoriasis who have not responded to other therapies, due to potential side effects.
Biologics pinpoint precise immune responses involved with psoriasis. Many medical tests are required before finding the most appropriate biologic treatment. The biologics used to treat psoriasis are:
By blocking the over-activated T cells. The patient typically receives one injection per week for 12 weeks.
This biologic agent blocks tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF), a messenger in the immune system that directs cells to cause the inflammation that leads to psoriasis. Etanercept is typically used as long-term subcutaneous injection therapy.
This biologic blocks tumor necrosis factor-alpha. It is given as an infusion.
This biologic blocks tumor necrosis factor-alpha. It is given by subcutaneous injections.
What is the cost for the treatment of Psoriasis?
The expenditure of the treatment varies depending upon the type of treatment chosen. Treatment with topical creams, creams containing retinoids, corticosteroids costs much lesser compared to that using Lasers, since Laser therapy requires multiple sessions of treatment. In general, a consultation with Dr. Rinky Kapoor is chargeable at INR 1000/-
For more information on Dr. Rinky Kapoor’s work, click on: www.theestheticclinic.com/dr-rinky-kapoor.html
The Esthetic Clinic is a world class center dedicated to skin care and plastic surgery of the entire body – and specializes in housing an experienced Dermatologist, Dr. Rinky Kapoor, who can provide world class Skin Treatments, for skin diseases and make your skin look beautiful. So if you want to go ahead and get your hair, skin, and nails treated, The Esthetic Clinic is the right place for you.
About Dr. Rinky Kapoor
Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Co-founder of The Esthetic Clinic, is one of the best dermatologists in the world & currently practices in Mumbai, India. Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist at S L Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, India. Dr. Kapoor is trained at the National Skin Centre, Singapore & at Stanford University, USA. A celebrity skin doctor, Dr. Rinky Kapoor has won many honors such as “Best Dermatologist Mumbai”, “Top 10 Cosmetologist India”, etc for her evidence based expert dermatology care, affordable & reliable skin care, hair care & nail care …Read more
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