Red, Dry Patches of Skin – Treating Psoriasis

The human body is amazingly designed, but it can develop conditions that are a challenge to deal with. Coping with a skin problem in particular can be difficult, especially when the cause of it isn’t fully known. There are a myriad of reasons a red, itchy patch of skin can develop. One common skin problem that causes chronic symptoms like these is a condition called psoriasis.

Managing a skin problem starts with the right treatment, so we encourage you to learn about the cause, symptoms, and treatments of psoriasis. If you find you are experiencing what is described here, please don’t hesitate to contact NorthPointe Foot & Ankle for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment that will provide relief of your symptoms. Call our office in Berkley, MI at (248) 545-0100 to make an appointment today.

Psoriasis Explained

Psoriasis is a common skin condition that can develop on the scalp, nails, elbows, shins and feet. It is a persistent, chronic disease that doesn’t really have a known cause. It is thought to be caused by a genetic susceptibility and develops through the interaction between a patient’s immune system and their environment. It is a disease when the body, in essence, attacks itself. An increase in a specific white blood cell called a T cell is the root of the problem. T cells can attack healthy cells within the body and this can result in changes to skin.

This skin problem can be a slight nuisance for one person and a completely disabling situation for another. Signs and symptoms vary from person to person but share similar characteristics. You may experience red patches of skin with silvery scales, small scaling spots, dryness, itching, cracked skin, thickened or ridged nails and swollen or stiff joints.

It is common for symptoms to go through cycles. You may have periods of time when the psoriasis improves and even goes into remission or times when it flares up and worsens. Unfortunately, there is no cure but there are several treatment options that are very effective in providing relief of your symptoms.

Treating the Problem

Psoriasis can sometimes be resistant to treatment. If you have an acute flare up of this skin problem on your feet, do not wait to seek treatment. The sooner we treat your symptoms, the more effective we will be at managing your condition. There are moisturizers and soap substitutes we can provide and topical creams and medications that are effective for mild to moderate cases. Coal tar, corticosteroids and salicylic acid are some examples. For more severe cases, we may also include anti-inflammatory medications and other medications such as methotrexate and cyclosporine, which are common in the treatment of psoriasis. There are also cases that respond well to light therapy that involves the use of controlled exposure to natural or artificial ultraviolet light. Our podiatrists will be able to evaluate the nature of your condition and create a treatment plan specific to your needs. 

A psoriasis flare up on the feet can be very painful. Even a minor case can make it difficult to walk and wear shoes comfortably. Additional complications can arise when the natural skin barrier is compromised and a breakout can increase your risk for infection. Don’t wait until the problem gets worse. If you have any of the symptoms described here, contact our NorthPointe Foot & Ankle to make an appointment with our doctors. Call our office located in Berkley, MI at (248) 545-0100 to make an appointment today.