Psoriasis in Tucson, AZ
Improve Your Quality of Life by Eliminating Symptoms
Approximately two percent of people suffer from an inflammatory disease of the skin, nails, and joints called psoriasis. Tucson women and men suffering from the condition can take some solace in the fact that it is one of the most common diseases seen by dermatologists. Psoriasis most often appears between the ages of 20 and 30, but can begin at any age. For most people, it is a lifelong disease that can be controlled with proper treatment—but not cured.
Skin lesions caused by psoriasis usually look like sharply circumscribed, red, scaly plaques. They most commonly appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back, but may occur anywhere on the skin. Most often, only a few small places on the body are involved, but occasionally a large portion of the skin surface may be involved. In some people, the lesions come and go, whereas in other people, the lesions are stable or even spread over time. Trauma to the skin can cause new lesions to form. Psoriasis of the skin can have a negative impact on one's quality of life not only because of the appearance of the skin lesions but also because the lesions are sometimes very itchy. In addition, psoriasis can cause arthritis, which can result in significant pain and joint deformities.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Scientists have identified specific genes that are different for people who suffer from psoriasis. While some patients have such genes without ever suffering from the symptoms, those that do are experiencing skin cells reproducing on overdrive, growing exponentially faster than normal skin cells and collecting on the surface of the skin. These same genes can cause painful joint inflammation and arthritis.
Patients with this condition might experience periods without symptoms, but certain triggers can cause a flare-up. These triggers include cuts and scrapes, bug bites, sunburns, strep infections, the flu, pneumonia, certain medications, and stress.
What Types of Psoriasis Treatment are Available in Tucson, AZ?
Once a dermatologist has examined your skin and concluded that you suffer from psoriasis, there are a number of treatment options that might be effective. Topical creams and ointments including corticosteroids, Vitamin D treatments, and topical retinoids are a popular approach to addressing mild to moderate cases. Light therapy—whether with natural or artificial light and including excimer laser—is one of the best options, although it's important to follow the dermatologist's instructions to avoid further damaging the skin. Patients who fail to respond to these options might be prescribed oral medications or injections to help decrease skin cell production, inflammation, and joint destruction.
Fiona Behr M.D., F.A.A.D.,
Julie E. Dixon M.D., F.A.A.D.,
Robyn Glaesser M.D., F.A.A.D.,
Colin Trout M.D., F.A.A.D.,
Carlos Rodriguez M.D.,
Dermatopathologist, Derm. Surgeon
Psoriasis treatment is a process and may require some patience and willingness to attempt different treatment options until you settle on the right one. What works for one patient might not work for another, but with the right treatment it is possible to significantly minimize the symptoms. Fortunately, psoriasis is the focus of much dermatologic research, and new treatment options are constantly in development.
Psoriasis Treatment Cost in Tucson, AZ
The cost of treatment varies significantly depending on the type used, whether a topical cream, light therapy, laser, or an oral or injectable medication. Factors such as the severity of the condition impact how often or how much of the treatment the patient will require, also impacting costs. Many insurance companies will cover the full or partial costs of treatment. Patients with financial concerns about the cost of psoriasis treatment should discuss this with one of our providers, who can work with each patient to develop a treatment plan that meets their lifestyle and budget.