Psoriasis Specialist

Purnima Sau, MD -  - Dermatologist

Silver Spring Dermatology

Purnima Sau, MD

Dermatologist & Dermatopathologist located in Silver Spring, MD

Half of those who suffer from psoriasis experience the negative impacts of this skin condition daily. The painful symptoms and embarrassment from the unsightly lesions that occur during psoriasis outbreaks affect the quality of life of millions of children and adults. The health professionals at Silver Spring Dermatology, including lead physician Purnima Sau, MD, offer many highly effective treatments for psoriasis. Patients in and around the Silver Spring, Maryland and Washington, D.C.-metro area can learn more about psoriasis relief by scheduling an appointment online or by telephone today.

Psoriasis Q & A

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis affects the rate of cell turnover. This natural process usually takes 30 days to shift the cells deep inside the skin up to the surface. When you have psoriasis, cell turnover happens at an accelerated rate.

Because the skin cells grow so fast, they build up and form thick, red patches with silvery scales. These patches, or lesions, are itchy and painful. Lesions typically appear on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but can show up anywhere on the body.

Problems with your immune system trigger psoriasis, so you can’t catch it from others, and the lesions aren’t infectious. Men and women seem to get psoriasis equally, and many have a family history of the condition.

Having psoriasis means you are more prone to developing other serious health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, and obesity. You are also more likely to get psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint pain and swelling.

Because psoriasis looks like many other skin conditions, Dr. Sau confirms your diagnosis by looking at pieces of your skin under a microscope.

What causes psoriasis?

The root cause of psoriasis is unknown, but genetics and the immune system play a role. The physical and environmental factors that trigger psoriasis include:

  • Infection: bronchitis or strep throat
  • Injury: bites, burns, and cuts
  • Medication: beta blockers and thyroid drugs
  • Smoking: nicotine affects skin cell growth
  • Stress: an immune system disrupter
  • Vitamin D deficiency: supplements may improve symptoms
  • Weather: dry skin causes flare-ups

How is psoriasis treated?

There is no cure for psoriasis. You can, however, manage this skin condition with medical treatment. Dr. Sau creates your personalized treatment plan depending on the type of psoriasis, the severity of symptoms, and how this skin condition impacts your daily activities.

She uses one or a combination of the following treatments to reduce psoriasis symptoms and flare-ups:

  • Light therapy: Naturally- or artificially-produced ultraviolet light thins lesions.
  • Topical medication: Prescription creams reduce inflammation, unclog pores, and slow down skin cell turnover.
  • Systemic treatment: Medications target the immune system to slow down cell turnover.

Take the first step toward relief from your psoriasis discomfort by scheduling an appointment with Silver Spring Dermatology online or by telephone today.