Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin condition that impacts over eight million Americans. It is estimated that 2-3% of the world’s population is affected.
Signs and symptoms include itchy, dry, red, scaly plaques that usually are covered with silvery or white flakes. Common locations include the hands, elbows, and knees. However, it can occur anywhere on the body, including on the scalp, genital skin, and the skin folds. It can even affect the nails and they may look pitted, crumbly or yellow in color. Some people may have very few symptoms, others may notice itching. Psoriasis has an emotional impact as well. People with this skin condition can feel embarrassed, depressed or anxious. It’s important to tell your doctor about these symptoms, too.
We don’t know exactly what causes psoriasis to appear. Certain things like genetics, environmental factors and the immune system play significant roles. For example, you are more likely to get psoriasis if you have family members with the condition. Additionally, there are many recognized “triggers”, such as stress, skin injury, certain infections, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption and even some medications.
Your dermatologist should be able to tell if you have psoriasis by doing a thorough skin exam and asking questions. In some cases, she may take a small sample of skin, called a biopsy, to confirm the diagnosis
There are many therapies that can relieve the signs and symptoms of psoriasis, but unfortunately, the condition cannot be cured. Most people need to try different treatments or combinations of treatments to find what works best for them. The board-certified dermatologists at Iowa Dermatology Consultants will work with you to understand your concerns and develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
One of the best ways to reduce symptoms is to use mild cleansers and thick moisturizing creams and ointments to keep the skin from getting dry. Your dermatologist can recommend certain over-the-counter brands and topicals that may be helpful for controlling psoriasis.
There are also many medical treatment options for psoriasis. These work by slowing the overgrowth of skin cells and controlling the inflammation that causes psoriasis. Prescription creams and ointments are often very effective. They are applied topically to the skin, and have a very low risk of side effects. Phototherapy uses UVB light to treat psoriasis and can be very effective, too. In the past years, there has been an explosion of more aggressive and more effective psoriasis therapies. These are categorized as “systemic” therapies, and include the use of pills or injections. While many people have obtained control of their psoriasis using these types of medicines, each has potential side effects that you will want to discuss with a board-certified dermatologist at Iowa Dermatology Consultants.
Iowa Dermatology Consultants believes in a patient focused approach to care. We work with patients forming an active partnership in treatment to help repair the physical and emotional damage of skin disease. Our Ames and Ankeny locations allow us to conveniently treat patients across the Des Moines metro area and all of Central Iowa including Ames, Marshalltown, Huxley, Slater, and Indianola.
At Iowa Dermatology Consultants, all of our physicians are board-certified dermatologists. Your care provided by Dr. Snider, Dr. Smith, or Dr. Myers is founded in knowledge and experience which exceeds that of a general practitioner. Together they have almost 50 years of combined experience in diagnosing and treating a vast array of skin conditions. This includes over 16,000 hours of patient care training to ensure that a board-certified dermatologist can expertly diagnosis and treat over 3000 dermatologic conditions.
Whether you’re coming to us for help with skin cancer or diseases like acne, psoriasis, and eczema; or to reverse the signs of aging with Botox, chemical peels or other cosmetic procedures, at Iowa Dermatology Consultants you will be getting the best dermatologic care in Central Iowa.
We are accepting new patients at our new Ankeny and Ames locations. We look forward to helping you with your skin care.
All online appointment scheduling requests are subject to physician schedules and operating hours. You will be contacted within two business days to confirm date and time.