Tips For Getting The Right Diagnosis
For the best chance of getting the right diagnosis, a person should make sure they give an accurate history when a doctor or dermatologist asks. The more information a medical professional has to work with, the more likely they are to diagnose a persons illness correctly.
This is especially important with skin conditions such as psoriasis. A medical professional will typically rely on both a history and a visual assessment to work out what a persons skin condition is. A visual assessment alone may not be enough.
If a person is unsure about their diagnosis, they can request further diagnostic tests. This may involve speaking to a dermatologist, who might use dermoscopy or recommend a skin biopsy.
A skin biopsy involves taking a small sample of the skin and sending it to a lab for testing.
Get A Prescription From Your Dermatologist
Your dermatologist may prescribe a low-potency corticosteroid ointment, cream, lotion, or spray to reduce redness and swelling. Another treatment for facial psoriasis is synthetic vitamin D, such as calcipotriene or calcitriol ointment or cream. Some dermatologists recommend pimecrolimus and tacrolimus , which are FDA-approved for atopic dermatitis, but should only be used for a short time.
Otc Treatments And Home Remedies
In addition to using steroids, rinsing the facial skin with a saline solution can also help reduce discomfort and pain.
Available OTC treatments include:
- tazarotene cream or gel, an off-label treatment that currently has approval for treating acne
- UV light, which a person should only use under a doctors supervision
If psoriasis affects the skin around the eyes, a doctor will advise taking great care when applying medications to the area. This is because many OTC psoriasis treatments can cause damage to the eyes that may lead to the development of glaucoma or cataracts.
That said, doctors sometimes recommend two off-label eczema treatments that may work especially well for treating psoriasis on the face.
These medications are unlikely to cause glaucoma. However, using them may lead to uncomfortable side effects, such as a stinging sensation.
In addition to using these topical medications, there are several precautions a person can take to reduce irritation as much as possible. These include:
- using gentle, non-soap cleansers to keep the skin clean
- applying moisturizers often
- regularly putting on sunscreen to reduce the effects of UV radiation
Practicing frequent and thorough self-care can help a person control their facial psoriasis as much as possible.
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Can I Go To A Spa If I Have Psoriasis
If you live with a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, you might flinch at the very thought of going to a spa. While its true that some treatments could trigger a reaction, the good news is that a tailored spa treatment could actually be beneficial for your skin. In this article, we take a look at eczema and psoriasis in more detail and at some spa treatments that anyone suffering from these skin conditions might enjoy.
More Than Skin Troubles
A 2017 study from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that people with psoriasis that covers 10% of their body or more are 64% more likely than those without psoriasis to develop type 2 diabetes. “About 30% of people with psoriasis also might develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes destructive inflammation in your joints,” says dermatologist Dr. Gideon Smith. Psoriasis also may signal a higher risk for fatty liver disease and heart attacks.
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Seborrheic Dermatitis: Itchy Scaly Patches
A psoriasis skin rash tends to itch, burn, and feel sore. Patches of psoriasis commonly occur on your knees and elbows. Many people also have scalp psoriasis. The common skin rash seborrheic dermatitis also causes scaly, itchy skin patches. It can occur on your scalp, where it may be called dandruff, or on your face and chest. While doctors don’t know the exact cause of seborrhea, it occurs across the age spectrum, in babies as well as in adults, and is usually treated with creams and lotions.
Can Psoriasis Affect Only My Nails
In some cases, psoriasis may involve only the fingernails and toenails, although more commonly, nail symptoms will accompany psoriasis and arthritis symptoms. The appearance of the nails may be altered, and affected nails may have small pinpoint pits or large yellow-colored separations on the nail plate called “oil spots.” Nail psoriasis can be hard to treat but may respond to medications taken for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Treatments include topical steroids applied to the cuticle, steroid injections at the cuticle, or oral medications.
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Treatment Options For Psoriasis On The Face
If you develop psoriasis on your face, you might want more aggressive treatment to manage your symptoms.
Tailoring the treatment options to a patient and their need is really important with psoriasis, Farah says. Thats really something we work with patients on. Were always asking, How much does this bother you?
Typically, doctors will start with topical treatments. Facial skin is more sensitive, so long-term use of topical steroids may cause shininess, thinness, or enlarged capillaries. Your doctor will consider these factors and might alter your treatment schedule or prescribe a low-potency steroid cream.
If topical therapies dont offer results, your healthcare provider may recommend or injectable, biologic medicines.
What Does Psoriasis Look Like
Psoriasis usually appears as red or pink plaques of raised, thick, scaly skin. However, it can also appear as small, flat bumps or large, thick plaques. It most commonly affects the skin on the elbows, knees, and scalp, though it can appear anywhere on the body. The following slides will review some of the different types of psoriasis.
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What Are The Benefits Of Using Witch Hazel For Psoriasis
Full disclosure: We dont know for sure. Theres really no research confirming witch hazel as a treatment for psoriasis.
A 2021 review evaluated studies that used witch hazel with other herbal remedies for inflammatory skin conditions. Unfortunately, the data wasnt very helpful and the studies didnt have enough evidence to prove any benefits.
Thing is, psoriasis also causes internal inflammation. If you have psoriasis, your immune system turns against your own skin cells when it gets triggered. As your skin goes wild trying to heal, skin cells can build up into thick, scaly rashes.
So external treatment of an internal condition wont ever get to the root of the problem. But soothing botanicals like witch hazel or aloe vera might help calm your skin symptoms.
We do know that witch hazel has anti-inflammatory properties. So we can assume itll help soothe common psoriasis symptoms like:
Good question! If you have psoriasis, its super important to be aware of your triggers. Ease into new skin care products slowly. Use them sparingly until you know that theyre not causing a reaction.
A few more precautions:
Most folks can use witch hazel without any problems. However, if you have sensitive skin , this liquid might cause stinging or irritation.
We recommend a patch test before applying it to a large patch of skin:
What Is Cdc Doing About Psoriasis
In 2010, CDC worked with experts in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and public health to develop a public health perspective that considers how these conditions affect the entire population. The resulting report is Developing and Addressing the Public Health Agenda for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis pdf icon. You can read a short article about the agendaexternal icon in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
CDCs National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , an intermittent source of national psoriasis data, has included questions about psoriasis as late as the 2013-2014 cycle. A recent analysis of NHANES data estimates that 7.4 million adults had psoriasis in 2013external icon.
- Psoriasis causes patches of thick red skin and silvery scales. Patches are typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of feet, but can affect other places . The most common type of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis.
- Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that eventually occurs in 10% to 20% of people with psoriasis. It is different from more common types of arthritis and is thought to be related to the underlying problem of psoriasis.
- Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are sometimes considered together as psoriatic disease.
Who is at risk for psoriasis?
Anyone can get psoriasis. It occurs mostly in adults, but children can also get it. Men and women seem to have equal risk.
Can I get psoriasis from someone who has it?
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Research Is Still Ongoing Into The Causes Of Psoriasis
Although research is continuing to advance, theres still more to learn about how and why patients develop psoriasis.
Were starting to understand the inflammatory pathways involved in psoriasis, and addressing that inflammation is making treatment much more effective nowadays, Wang says.
Genetics play an important part, Wang says, so if someone has a parent with the condition, they are at higher risk for developing it. However, there are likely multiple factors involved that eventually lead to development of psoriasis.
How Is Psoriasis Treated
Psoriasis is usually treated by a dermatologist . A rheumatologist may also help with treatment. Treatments can include:
- ultraviolet light from the sun or from home or office treatments. But in some people, sunlight can make psoriasis worse.
- creams, lotions, ointments, and shampoos such as moisturizers, corticosteroids, vitamin D creams, and shampoos made with salicylic acid or coal tar
- medicines taken by mouth or injected medicines
A doctor might try one therapy for a while and then switch to another. Or a doctor may combine different therapies. It’s all about finding one that works for each person.
Sometimes what works for a while might stop working. This is one reason why it’s important to work closely with a doctor. Trying out new treatments can get a little frustrating, but most people eventually find one that works.
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What Parts Of The Face Does Psoriasis Affect
When psoriasis shows up on your face, it typically affects the following areas:
- Hairline A rash can develop on your upper forehead, around your hairline. This may be isolated or an extension of .
- In the ears If psoriasis scales build up in your ears, they can block your ear canal. Be sure to tell your doctor if this happens.
- Around your eyes Psoriasis scales can form on your eyelids and may cover your lashes. Areas around the eyebrows are also common sites for psoriasis on your face.
- Between the nose and upper lip This area is often sensitive. If scales form around your mouth, they may affect how you chew and swallow food. Rarely, psoriasis lesions can also surface inside your mouth, such as on the gums and tongue, or in the nose.
Does Psoriasis Worsen With Age
While psoriasis may get better or worse depending on different environmental factors, it doesnt get worse with age. Obesity and stress are two possible components that lead to psoriasis flares. However, the severity of your psoriasis is ultimately determined by your genetics.
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There Are Ways To Shorten Flare
Psoriasis is a big star on TV drug ads, but this autoimmune skin disease is something most people try to keep well hidden.
“Psoriasis is among the most common skin conditions, affecting about 2% of the U.S. population, and while the condition doesn’t affect everyone the same way, the approach to treatment and prevention is often similar,” says Dr. Gideon Smith, an assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Tips For Living With Facial Psoriasis
Donât scratch your psoriasis. Be gentle with your skin. Use a cold compress on your psoriasis. To make a cold compress, dampen a cloth in cold water and squeeze out any extra water so itâs not dripping wet. You could also use an ice pack. But donât put ice directly onto your skin. Moisturizing the area can also help. You may want to pick a fragrance-free moisturizer.
Wear sunscreen every day. Youâd want to do this even if you didnât have psoriasis to help prevent skin cancer and wrinkles. With facial psoriasis, itâs also important to avoid sunburns because they can make your psoriasis worse.
Check on makeup. If you want to hide your psoriasis, you can ask your doctor if you can use makeup to conceal. Donât assume itâs OK to do, since some products can prevent treatment from working.
Practice stress management. Stress is a possible trigger for psoriasis. There are many healthy ways to handle stress, such as exercise, meditation, making time to relax, and spending time with people you like.
If youâre self-conscious about your facial psoriasis and itâs getting in the way of your life, consider talking to a licensed therapist. They can see if you have depression, and if you do, you can get it treated. Therapy can also help you start to build the confidence to move forward, without feeling like psoriasis is holding you back.
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What Causes Psoriasis On Your Face
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation and skin cells to grow too quickly. Healthcare providers do not know why some people develop psoriasis while others do not. There appears to be a genetic factor because you are more likely to experience psoriasis if your parents have it.
Common triggers that lead to a psoriasis outbreak include stress, skin injury, infection, cold weather, and certain prescription medications. Facial psoriasis is not contagious, and you cannot give it to or get it from someone else.
Treatment Of Psoriasis: An Algorithm
ASHA G. PARDASANI, M.D., STEVEN R. FELDMAN, M.D., PH.D., and ADELE R. CLARK, P.A.-C., Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Am Fam Physician. 2000 Feb 1 61:725-733.
See related patient information handout on psoriasis, written by the authors of this article.
Psoriasis is characterized by red, thickened plaques with a silvery scale. The lesions vary in size and degree of inflammation. Psoriasis is categorized as localized or generalized, based on the severity of the disease and its overall impact on the patient’s quality of life and well-being. Patient education about the disease and the treatment options is important. Medical treatment for localized psoriasis begins with a combination of topical corticosteroids and coal tar or calcipotriene. For lesions that are difficult to control with initial therapy, anthralin or tazarotene may be tried. The primary goal of therapy is to maintain control of the lesions. Cure is seldom achieved. If control becomes difficult or if psoriasis is generalized, the patient may benefit from phototherapy, systemic therapy and referral to a physician who specializes in the treatment of psoriasis.
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Medical Treatment Topical Agents
The first line of treatment for psoriasis includes topical medications applied to your skin. The main topical treatments are corticosteroids , vitamin D-3 derivatives, coal tar, anthralin, and retinoids. These drugs may lose potency over time, so often they are rotated or combined. Ask your doctor before combining medications, as some drugs should not be combined.
Dry Cracked Skin: Irritation That Can Lead To Infection
Dry, cracked skin is a psoriasis symptom. However, dry air can also cause your skin to become dry and itchy. When the skin is dry and irritated , it’s more likely to get infected. Infection may cause your skin to become red and swollen. If you have any skin rashes that keep coming back or won’t go away, see your doctor. Most cases of psoriasis can be diagnosed with a physical examination but because psoriasis can look like many other skin conditions, a skin biopsy may have to be done to definitively diagnose it.
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Psoriasis On The Face
- About half of people with plaque psoriasis on their bodies also develop psoriasis on the face.
- Psoriasis on the face can affect self-esteem and well-being, causing some people to feel embarrassed and depressed.
- Facial psoriasis can be treated with topical treatments, systemic treatments, phototherapy, and moisturizers.
Lets face it, psoriasis on the nose, cheeks, forehead, and ears is not only irritating, it can be embarrassing. About 50 percent of people with plaque psoriasis on their bodies also develop psoriasis on their faces.
The appearance of discolored, scaly patches on your most prominent body part can take a toll on self-esteem and quality of life. Now that psoriasis has attacked my face, I cant face going out, said one member of MyPsoriasisTeam. People look at me like I have a disease, shared another.
Psoriasis is also harder to treat on the face than elsewhere because the skin is thinner, and stronger steroid creams cannot be used there. It can also be hard to avoid picking and scratching the lesions, and covering up dry, blotchy spots can be frustrating. Any makeup I use sticks to the flaky patches and makes me look a million years older than I really am! lamented one member.
Yet another wrinkle: face masks. Masks worn to protect against COVID-19 can cause skin irritation for some people. According to some research, more than 70 percent of people with facial psoriasis experience the Koebner phenomenon .
Ways To Treat Psoriasis At Home
Even though it affects your skin, psoriasis actually begins deep inside your body in your immune system.
It comes from your T cells, a type of white blood cell. T cells are designed to protect the body from infection and disease. When these cells mistakenly become active and set off other immune responses, it can lead to psoriasis symptoms.
Even though theres no cure, many treatments exist to ease the symptoms of psoriasis. Here are 12 ways to manage mild symptoms at home.
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