Psoriasis Specialist

Elk Grove Dermatology

Medical, Surgical and Cosmetic Dermatology Practice located in Elk Grove Village, IL

As many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis — the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the United States. Robert Polisky, MD, and his talented staff at Elk Grove Dermatology in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, can help manage your condition. To find relief for dry, cracked, and scaly skin associated with psoriasis, schedule a consultation at Elk Grove Dermatology online or by phone.

Psoriasis Q & A

Elk Grove Dermatology

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin condition that leads to a red, raised rash developing on your skin.

Healthy skin typically replaces itself every 30 days. When you have psoriasis, your skin renews itself every 3-4 days, which leads to cell buildup. This buildup can cause uncomfortable symptoms as well as cosmetic issues.

Psoriasis can affect people of all ages, including children. You can have mild, moderate, or severe psoriasis, depending on your symptoms. While there’s not currently a cure for psoriasis, there are ways to effectively manage this condition.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

Psoriasis symptoms typically occur on your scalp, knees, hands, feet, elbows, and genitals. While the most common symptoms are itching and burning skin, additional symptoms might include:

  • Thickened nails
  • Red patches of scaly skin
  • Severe pain or tenderness
  • Raised, dry, cracked, or crusty skin

When you have psoriasis, your symptoms might come and go; however, flare-ups typically occur throughout your entire life.

What causes psoriasis?

Psoriasis is caused by an autoimmune disorder that involves your white blood cells.

Instead of attacking viruses and foreign bodies, your T lymphocytes (T cells) fight your healthy skin cells. This dysfunction triggers your body to produce more healthy skin cells. As these cells multiply, they build up on the surface of your skin, creating patches and scaling.

Several factors can trigger psoriasis, including:

  • Stress
  • Infections
  • Skin injuries
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption

How is psoriasis treated?

Treating psoriasis typically involves addressing your current symptoms. Depending on your symptoms, Dr. Polisky might recommend a combination of therapies.

Topical Treatment

Topical treatments usually involve vitamin D, topical retinoids, or corticosteroids. These medications effectively treat mild or moderate psoriasis by addressing inflammation and skin cell growth.

Light Therapy

Light therapy improves the appearance of your skin by using natural sunlight or narrowband ultraviolet-B light. When used in combination with topical treatments, light therapy can also slow the production of skin cells.

Oral Medication

For severe psoriasis symptoms, Dr. Polisky might suggest prescription medications. These include cyclosporine, methotrexate, or retinoid.

Dr. Polisky works closely with you to manage your condition by providing education on proper psoriasis skin care. This generally includes keeping your skin clean and moisturized, protected while sleeping, and making sure that you’re following healthy lifestyle practices like avoiding stress, alcohol, and smoking.  

For help managing your psoriasis symptoms, schedule an appointment online or by phone.