Psoriasis treatment in Dallas typically begins with developing a better understanding of the symptoms experienced and the impact in the areas affected. This is normally evident from a visual examination since this chronic condition often produces noticeable scales and dry patches. A biopsy – the collection and examination of a tissue sample – is sometimes done to rule out other possible skin conditions before any of the treatments discussed below are recommended.
Topical Psoriasis Treatments
Because inflammation is often experienced within affected areas of skin, psoriasis treatment in Dallas TX normally begins with topical medications. If symptoms are mild or moderate, creams and ointments may sufficiently reduce inflammation, itchiness, dryness, and redness. Topical treatment options that may benefit psoriasis patients in Dallas include:
- Topical corticosteroids: If you have mild to moderate psoriasis, corticosteroids applied to the affected areas may provide relief from itching and inflammation.
- Anthralin: This topical medication slows skin cell growth and minimizes scaling to help make skin smoother.
- Vitamin D analogues: A synthetic form of vitamin D topically applied to affected areas to slow down skin cell growth.
- Topical retinoids: Vitamin A derivatives that may reduce psoriasis inflammation.
- Calcineurin inhibitors: Plaque buildup and inflammation may be managed or reduced with this topical medication.
- Salicylic acid: Available as a shampoo, this topical medication tends to be recommended for patients with scalp psoriasis looking to reduce scaling.
- Coal tar: Scaling, itchiness, and inflammation may be minimized with this topical solution, which is derived from coal tar.
- Moisturizers: Best used after showering or bathing to lock in moisture, moisturizers may ease skin dryness, scaling, and itchiness for psoriasis sufferers.
Generally, topical psoriasis treatments are meant to be used for short periods of time or during flare-ups to minimize potential side effects. Topical corticosteroids, for instance, may stop working after long-term use or cause the skin to become thinner.
Also referred to as phototherapy, light therapy refers to the use of various forms of light to slow skin cell turnover and improve mild to moderate psoriasis symptoms. The simplest form of light therapy for psoriasis treatment Dallas TX is brief exposure to sunlight each day. However, too much sun exposure could damage skin, so patients are advised to be cautious. Other forms of light therapy include:
- UVB phototherapy: Exposure to an artificial UVB light source is what's done with this approach to light therapy.
- Narrow band UVB phototherapy: A similar artificial light treatment that involves exposure to a narrower band of UVB light.
- Goeckerman therapy: With this treatment, light therapy is combined with the application of coal tar.
- Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA): With this treatment, light-sensitizing medication is applied before exposure to artificial light. This is done as a precaution since deeper-penetrating UVA light is used.
- Excimer laser: A controlled beam of UVB light is applied to the affected areas of skin with this approach to light therapy.
Oral/Injectable Medications for Psoriasis
If symptoms are severe, topical creams are often combined with oral or injectable medications. Chemically related to vitamin A, retinoids, for instance, maybe prescribed for patients not responding well to topical treatments or light therapy. Additional treatment options with medication include:
- Methotrexate (Rheumatrex): This type of meditation works by suppressing inflammation and decreasing skin cell production.
- Cyclosporine (Neoral): Medications of this nature suppress the immune system.
- Biologics: A class of medications that alter the immune system.
Some patients also benefit from medications normally used as part of treatment for certain autoimmune diseases. Thioguanine (Tabloid) and Hydroxyurea (Hydrea) are two options.
There is no cure for psoriasis. For this reason, psoriasis treatment in Dallas TX is normally focused on managing symptoms. A personalized treatment plan may also reduce the most severe and distracting psoriasis symptoms enough to improve the quality of life.