Houston Psoriasis Treatments

Westlake Dermatology provides the latest psoriasis treatment options in Houston at our River Oaks and West University locations. Our team of Board Certified Dermatologists are committed to helping their patients manage psoriasis by tailoring a treatment plan that meets their unique needs.

What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition characterized by rapid skin cell growth, resulting in the formation of thick, red patches covered with silvery scales. This condition occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, triggering excessive production of skin cells. The exact cause of psoriasis is still not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Psoriasis can affect any part of the body but is commonly found on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

Symptoms of psoriasis can vary in severity, with some individuals experiencing mild symptoms such as small, localized patches, while others may have extensive coverage across large areas of the body. Aside from the physical discomfort caused by itching and pain, psoriasis can also have a significant impact on a person’s emotional well-being, leading to feelings of self-consciousness and decreased quality of life.

While there is currently no cure for psoriasis, various treatment options are available to help manage symptoms and improve the condition’s overall impact on daily life.

Types of Psoriasis

There are different types of psoriasis, each of which presents its own challenges and may require different approaches to treatment. Psoriasis can be classified as:

Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common form of psoriasis, characterized by raised, red patches of skin covered with silvery-white scales. These patches, also known as plaques, can appear anywhere on the body but are often found on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

Guttate Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis often develops suddenly, appearing as small, red spots on the skin. It is commonly triggered by bacterial infections, such as strep throat, and tends to affect children and young adults more frequently than other age groups.

Inverse Psoriasis: Inverse psoriasis appears as smooth, red patches of skin in skin folds, such as the armpits, groin, and beneath the breasts. Unlike other forms of psoriasis, it lacks the typical scaling associated with the condition.

Pustular Psoriasis: Pustular psoriasis is characterized by white, pus-filled blisters surrounded by red, inflamed skin. It can be localized to certain areas of the body or involve larger areas, and it may be accompanied by fever, chills, and other systemic symptoms.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This is a rare and severe form of psoriasis that can affect the entire body. It causes widespread redness, severe itching, and shedding of the skin in sheets. Erythrodermic psoriasis requires immediate medical attention as it can lead to serious complications, including dehydration and infection.

Psoriatic Arthritis: While not a type of psoriasis that affects the skin, psoriatic arthritis is a related condition that causes inflammation and joint pain. It can occur in people with any type of psoriasis and often develops years after the skin symptoms first appear.

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

Psoriasis can sometimes resemble other skin conditions, such as eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, or fungal infections. This is why its important to be properly diagnosed by a skin care professional.

In most cases, psoriasis can be diagnosed through a physical exam during which the provider will closely examine your skin for characteristic signs of psoriasis, such as red, raised patches covered with silvery scales. They may also check for signs of psoriatic arthritis, such as swollen and tender joints. The location and appearance of the skin lesions can help differentiate psoriasis from other skin conditions.

In some cases, a biopsy may be needed to confirm a psoriasis diagnosis. During a skin biopsy, a small sample of affected skin is removed and examined under a microscope. This can help rule out other skin conditions and provide definitive evidence of psoriasis.

Psoriasis Treatments

While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are treatment options that focus on minimizing symptoms. Specifically, today’s advanced psoriasis treatments reduce inflammation, slow down skin cell growth, and alleviate symptoms such as itching and discomfort.

Treatments typically include topical products, such as corticosteroids, retinoids, and vitamin D analogs, which are applied directly to the skin to reduce inflammation and scale formation. Phototherapy, or light therapy, involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light under medical supervision, which can help slow skin cell turnover and reduce inflammation. For more severe cases, oral or injected medications, including immunosuppressants and biologic drugs, may be prescribed to target specific aspects of the immune system involved in psoriasis.

Treatment plans are tailored to each individual based on the severity of their symptoms, the extent of skin involvement, and other factors such as age, medical history, and treatment preferences. Regular follow-up with a healthcare provider is essential to monitor the effectiveness of treatment and make adjustments as needed.

About Westlake Dermatology Houston

Westlake Dermatology is a leading provider of medical dermatology in Texas, with 19 locations throughout Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. Our board certified dermatologists and knowledgeable staff are committed to helping patients manage their psoriasis by tailoring treatments to suit each individual’s unique needs. Our Houston locations provide a full range of psoriasis treatments along with holistic advice on diet and lifestyle changes to minimize symptom flare-ups.

Meet Our Houston Dermatologists

  • Neil Farnsworth, MD: Dr. Neil Farnsworth is a board-certified dermatologist with advanced training in treating psoriasis. Dr. Farnsworth believes in a comprehensive approach to dermatology, with a special emphasis on tailoring of psoriasis treatments through a mix of education, lifestyle changes, and proven treatments.
  • Quynh-Giao (QG) Sartor, MD: Dr. QG Sartor is certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She obtained a Medical Doctorate and completed her internal medicine internship and dermatology residency at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston. Dr. Sartor is passionate about connecting with patients, practicing open communication, and customizing a personalized plan for her patients.