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Psoriasis Specialist

Lakeside Dermatology

Dermatologists located in Libertyville, IL & Gurnee, IL

Psoriasis flare-ups aren’t just unsightly; they’re also itchy and uncomfortable. Red, scaly psoriasis patches on the face, scalp, and hands can make you want to hide. But relief is possible. At Lakeside Dermatology in Gurnee and Libertyville, Illinois, Martha Arroyo, MD, PhD, FAAD uses medication and light therapy to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis in children and adults significantly. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your options.

Psoriasis Q & A

What causes psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a disease that shows up as red, itchy, scaly patches on the skin. It usually appears on the scalp, face, hands, knees, elbows, and genitals, but you can find it anywhere on the body.

Though we don’t know the exact cause of psoriasis, experts believe genetics and the immune system play a part. In people with psoriasis, something seems to trigger the skin cells to grow at a faster-than-normal rate, creating lesions on the skin. Psoriasis isn’t contagious, however.

To diagnose psoriasis, Dr. Arroyo assesses the appearance of the skin and examines it under a microscope. In patients with psoriasis, lesions appear thick and inflamed. Because one-third of people with psoriasis usually have a close family member with the disease, Dr. Arroyo also reviews your family’s health history.

What kind of psoriasis do I have?

Before treatment begins, Dr. Arroyo determines what type of psoriasis you have:

  • Plaque
    • The most common form of the disease is plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis looks like red, painful, raised patches covered with a layer of whitish skin. It’s usually found on the lower back, elbows, and scalp.
  • Inverse
    • Inverse psoriasis appears within skin folds, often under the arms or behind the knees. It looks like smooth, red lesions. Many people with inverse psoriasis often have another type somewhere else on the body.
  • Guttate
    • Guttate is a highly-common form of psoriasis. It’s more common among children and teens than adults and is believed to be triggered by a strep infection. Guttate appears as small, round lesions all over the body.
  • Pustular
    • Pustular psoriasis can show up anywhere on the body, but it usually appears on the feet or hands. It’s made up of groups of white blisters called pustules, which are filled with non-contagious pus. Pustular psoriasis is most common in adults.
  • Erythrodermic
    • Erythrodermic is the rarest form of psoriasis – and usually the most severe. People with erythrodermic psoriasis suffer from intense pain and itching. This type of psoriasis affects the entire body, causing the skin to shed in large pieces.

How is psoriasis treated?

Psoriasis treatment varies depending on what type you have, where it’s located, and how severe your symptoms are. Dr. Arroyo uses medication and light therapy to provide relief. Some patients even find permanent relief with treatment. To discuss the best course of action for your psoriasis, book your appointment online with Lakeside Dermatology today.