Expertly Managing Psoriasis in Williamsport, PA
Psoriasis affects approximately 7.5 million people in the U.S. and is characterized by inflamed, red, raised areas that often develop as silvery scales on the scalp, elbows, knees and lower back.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of psoriasis in Williamsport, PA, speak with a skilled dermatologist at UPMC Susquehanna.
The causes of psoriasis are unknown; however, it is thought to be caused by abnormally fast-growing and shedding skin cells. The skin cells multiply quickly, causing the skin to shed every three to four days. Though not contagious, the condition is hereditary. Psoriasis is often recurrent and occurs in varying severities.
The following are the most common symptoms of psoriasis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently, as psoriasis comes in several forms and severities.
Symptoms may include:
- Discoid psoriasis: Also called plaque psoriasis, this type of psoriasis is the most common. Symptoms may include patches of red, raised skin on the trunk, arms, legs, knees, elbows, genitals, and scalp. Nails may also thicken, become pitted, and separate from the nail beds.
- Guttate psoriasis: This type of psoriasis affects mostly children. Symptoms may include many small patches of red, raised skin. A sore throat usually proceeds the onset of this type of psoriasis.
- Pustular psoriasis: Symptoms may include small pustules (pus-containing blisters) all over the body or just on the palms, soles, and other small areas. The symptoms of psoriasis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
How is Psoriasis Diagnosed?
When the condition progresses to the development of silvery scales, the physician can usually diagnose psoriasis with a medical examination of the nails and skin. Confirmation of diagnosis may be done with a skin biopsy (taking a small skin specimen to examine under a microscope).
Psoriasis Treatment at UPMC Susquehanna
Specific treatment for psoriasis will be determined by your physician based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Severity of the condition
- Your tolerance of specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the condition
- Your opinion or preference
The goal of psoriasis treatment is to reduce inflammation and slow down the rapid growth and shedding of skin cells.
Treatment may include:
- Ointments and creams to moisturize the skin
- Sunlight or ultraviolet light exposure under a physician's supervision
- Steroids, such as cortisone creams
- Vitamin D cream
- Creams containing salicylic acid or coal tar
- Anthralin, a drug that treats the thicker, hard-to-treat patches of psoriasis
- Methotrexate, an anti-cancer drug that interrupts the growth of skin cells
- Oral or topical retinoids
- Immunosuppressive medications, such as Cyclosporine
If you’d like to learn more about psoriasis diagnosis and treatment, Find a Provider at either one of our locations:
Dermatology at UPMC Susquehanna at Rural Ave.
699 Rural Avenue, Suite 201
Williamsport, PA 17701
(570) 321-3122 (Fax)
Dermatology at UPMC Susquehanna at Grampian Blvd.
1205 Grampian Boulevard, Suite 1D
Williamsport, PA 17701
(570) 320-7882 (Fax)
At UPMC Susquehanna, we provide expert care and treatment for psoriasis in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas, as part of our dermatology services.