Psoriasis Specialist

Dermatology Specialists of Gainesville

Dermatologists located in Newberry, FL & Chiefland, FL

Psoriasis is a common skin disorder that can be incredibly uncomfortable and make you feel very self-conscious about your skin’s appearance. At Dermatology Specialists of Gainesville in Newberry, Florida, Dr. Christina Mitchell offers comprehensive care for psoriasis and can help you find an effective plan for managing the condition. To explore the options in more detail, book a visit with Dr. Mitchell today using the simple online tool or by calling to speak with a member of the administrative staff.

Psoriasis Q & A

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common skin disorder characterized by abnormally fast skin cell growth. A chronic condition with no cure, psoriasis can be challenging to live with.

Doctors believe psoriasis stems from a problem with your immune system. Specialized cells called neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, defend against a viral or bacterial attack, but in people with psoriasis, these cells mistakenly attack healthy skin cells.

That triggers your body to produce new skin cells. The problem arises when your body cannot shed older cells quickly enough and those healthy new cells accumulate in layers at the surface of your skin.

What are some symptoms of psoriasis?

The primary symptom of psoriasis are plaques, which are patches of thick red skin covered in silvery scales. These areas are often painful, itchy, and can even crack and bleed. They can be small and isolated, or they can be large enough to merge together and cover even more of your skin.

Some men and women with psoriasis also suffer problems with their fingernails or toenails. Nails can become discolored or detach and pull away from the nail bed. Somewhere between 10%-30% of people who have psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, a condition affecting the joints.    

What are some common psoriasis triggers?

Not everyone is affected by the same triggers, and your triggers can change over time. Some things that can prompt a psoriasis flare-up include:

  • Infections
  • Smoking
  • Significant alcohol consumption
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Stress
  • Skin injury, including simple scrapes and scratches
  • Certain medications

There also seems to be a genetic component to psoriasis, so if a close family member has the condition you may be at an elevated risk.

What are some psoriasis treatment options?

Dr. Mitchell works with you to find a treatment plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. Topical treatments can be effective in managing mild to moderate psoriasis. Some work to reduce inflammation and lessen itching, while others help slow skin cell growth. There are even options that hasten the sloughing of dead skin cells.

Light therapy also can help manage psoriasis and works by exposing your skin to carefully controlled doses of UVB light. This approach can slow skin cell production and decrease redness and itching.

There are also several types of oral and injected medications that can deliver systemic treatment for psoriasis. These drugs can cause side effects, so they’re often used only when other approaches have proven ineffective.

If you’d like to learn more about options for managing psoriasis, schedule a visit with Dr. Mitchell today. You can book an appointment online or over the phone.