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Psoriasis Specialist

Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry

Board Certified Dermatologists & Cosmetic Surgeons located in Hilton Head, SC & Okatie, SC

If you have psoriasis, you’re not alone. Approximately 7.5 million people in the United States have this skin problem, and 150,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. While there may be comfort in numbers, these facts may do little to help ease your experience with psoriasis. Seeking the medical expertise of a dermatologist like Oswald L. Mikell, MD at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry can make all the difference. At the practice’s three locations in Hilton Head, Okatie, and Beaufort, South Carolina, Dr. Mikell and his team offer advanced light treatment therapy that relieves the symptoms of psoriasis. To learn more, you may call our office.

Psoriasis Q & A

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is caused by a malfunction in your immune system that signals your skin cells to grow at a far faster rate than usual and leads to patches of extra cells on the surface of your skin. The condition is hereditary and chronic, periodically flaring up and then dying down.

Psoriasis strikes both males and females, and most develop the condition between the ages of 15 and 35. Despite its rash-like appearance, psoriasis is not contagious.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

There are many different types of psoriasis, so symptoms can vary from one person to the next, depending upon the extent of the condition and the type. The most common symptoms are:

  • Patches of red skin with thick scales, also known as plaques
  • Dehydrated skin that can crack and bleed
  • Small, round lesions on the skin
  • Red lesions in skin folds
  • White pustules

These skin lesions can be itchy and even painful, not to mention unsightly.

What are the types of psoriasis?

There are many different types of psoriasis, including:

Plaque psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis, the most common type of psoriasis, is characterized by red, scaly patches of skin that have a buildup of dead cells, which appear to be white or silver, on the top.

Guttate psoriasis

This type of psoriasis develops in children or young adults and leads to dot-like lesions on the surface of the skin.

Inverse psoriasis

If you’ve developed large red discolorations in the folds of your skin, you may have inverse psoriasis.

Pustular psoriasis

With this type of psoriasis, white pustules containing pus develop on your skin, though there’s no infection present.

How is psoriasis treated?

There is no cure for psoriasis, but there’s much that Dr. Mikell can do when you have a flare-up. Using a technology called XTRAC®, Dr. Mikell delivers a beam of UVB light to the affected areas on your skin to get rid of the extra skin cells.

This technology was cleared by the FDA in 2000 and has been used successfully ever since. The laser is highly targeted and works only on the skin that’s affected, leaving your skin intact.

Typically, Dr. Mikell needs to treat you 10 to 12 times, but each session takes only minutes, and you can resume your normal activities directly after.

To learn more about how ultraviolet light can clear up your psoriasis, call Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry, or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.