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What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a disorder of the skin that causes the skin cells to multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. This can cause the skin to build up, causing red, bumpy patches covered with white scales. These patches can appear anywhere but are most commonly found on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. This condition usually appears in adulthood.

Symptoms of psoriasis may include:

  • Plaques of red skin covered with silver scales. These may be itchy and painful.
  • Disorders of the fingernails and toenails. This may include pitting and discoloration of the nails.
  • Plaques or scales on the scalp.

While the exact cause of psoriasis is not yet known, it may be caused by a problem with the immune system which causes inflammation. Psoriasis often runs in families but may skip generations.

Psoriasis Treatment Options

There are many different treatment options that can be used to treat the symptoms of psoriasis for a more comfortable daily routine. Some of the popular include:

Topical Therapy


These medications are the most popular treatment option for mild to moderate psoriasis. They are available as ointments, lotions, creams, gels, foams, shampoos, and sprays. It is not recommended that corticosteroids be used long-term, as they may cause thinning of the skin.


Tazarotene, a type of retinoid, is available as a cream or gel and is usually applied 1-2 times daily. Retinoids are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women or if you intend on becoming pregnant.

Calcineurin Inhibitors

These medications are used to reduce inflammation and buildup of plaque. They are not recommended for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or intend on becoming pregnant. It is also not intended for long-term use as it may increase your risk for skin cancer.

Vitamin D Analogues

Synthetic forms of vitamin D can slow skin cell growth. These drugs may be used alone or with topical corticosteroids.

Light Therapy

  • Sunlight: Daily, brief exposure to sunlight may improve psoriasis symptoms. It is important that you ask your doctor the safest ways to use natural light for treatment.
  • UVB broadband: Regulated amounts of UVB broadband light from an artificial light source may be used to treat psoriasis that doesn’t improve with topical treatments.
  • UVB narrowband: UVB narrowband light therapy can be administered 2-3 times weekly to improve psoriasis.

Oral or Injected Medications

  • Steroids: An injection of triamcinolone may be recommended for small, stubborn patches of psoriasis.
  • Retinoids: Retinoid pills can be used to reduce the production of skin cells. These drugs should not be used by those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or intent to become pregnant.
  • Biologics: Biologics are drugs that alter the immune system to disrupt the disease cycle and improve symptoms. They are usually administered by injection. Common biologics that have been approved to treat psoriasis include Enbrel, Humira, Stelara, Cosentyx, Skrizi, Tremfya, and Taltz.

Psoriasis FAQs

Can you spread psoriasis by touching it?

Psoriasis can be aggravated by aggressive scratching, but the condition itself doesnt spread through contact.

Do I have eczema or psoriasis?

Although similar, eczema is a skin condition that results in dry, sensitive, itchy skin, as opposed to the thick patches of skin caused by psoriasis.

Can I put steroid cream on psoriasis?

Yes, the use of topical corticosteroids are the most common treatment for mild to moderate psoriasis.

Is Psoriasis an autoimmune disease?

The specific cause of psoriasis is yet unknown, although it has been linked to immune issues, sometimes passed down from family members.

Can psoriasis kill you?

Psoriasis is not cancerous, and rarely leads to any side effects other than discomfort and unsatisfying appearance of patches of skin.

Does hydrocortisone treat psoriasis?

If you have a few small patches of psoriasis, hydrocortisone may work, but if you have more than that, youll likely need a prescription medication.

Ideal Candidates for Psoriasis Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis or believe that you may have psoriasis, it is important that you see a dermatologist such as Dr. Erwin to properly treat your symptoms. During your first appointment, Dr. Erwin will assess your skin and speak with you regarding your symptoms to properly diagnose and treat your skin. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, contact our office today!

Contact Us Today

If you are looking for relief from your psoriasis symptoms, do not hesitate to contact our office by calling 979-543-9933. We will be happy to assist you in scheduling your initial appointment!