Plaque psoriasis is a condition where the immune system overreacts and causes skin cells to be overproduced. This overproduction causes a buildup of skin flakes in certain parts of the body with inflammation and itching, usually on the scalp, elbows, and knees.
An Overview of Plaque Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is often characterized by small, scaly red bumps that itch and flake off. Patients with plaque psoriasis are predisposed to being obese and to having a type of arthritis, diabetes, and premature cardiovascular disease.
Diagnosis of Plaque Psoriasis
Most of the time, plaque psoriasis can be diagnosed based on the visual appearance of the patches. The appearance of the individual lesions, the tendency to form plaques, plus the distribution of these plaques on the knees, elbows, and scalp all help healthcare professionals diagnose plaque psoriasis.
Treatment of Plaque Psoriasis
Once diagnosed, there are several treatment options available to patients with plaque psoriasis. However, it is important to note that, despite being able to deal with the symptoms, there is no permanent cure for plaque psoriasis. The main goal of plaque psoriasis treatment is, therefore, to help improve the patient’s well-being and to give them greater independence and control over their condition.
Medication for Plaque Psoriasis
Topical therapy is often used to treat mild, localized plaque psoriasis. For more extensive and severe plaque psoriasis, the treatment options usually involve systemic and expensive methods that can at times be potentially hazardous.
Topical medications for plaque psoriasis include those that contain topical steroids. These include halcinonide, flurandrenolide, betamethasone, desonide, alclometasone, mometasone, fluocinonide, and triamcinolone acetonide.
Another effective therapy is the use of ultraviolet light when administered under controlled conditions at various wavelengths.
Other systemic therapies include acitretin and methotrexate. There is also short-term cyclosporine therapy for severe flares.
These are only some examples of treatments that can help with plaque psoriasis. All treatments for plaque psoriasis need to be continued indefinitely. This is because, if stopped, plaque psoriasis will return in most instances.
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