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Psoriasis

Psoriasis treatment: therapy for psoriasis in Berlin

Psoriasis is characterized by reddening of the skin, which is often accompanied by itching and silvery-white scales. As a specialist practice for psoriasis in Berlin, we at the dermatology practice Dr. Kors specialize in the treatment of psoriasis. Together with you, we determine the possible causes and triggers of the skin disease and use this to create the most suitable treatment plan for you. When treating psoriasis, it is important to us not only to find a targeted treatment for you, but also one that is as gentle and fast-acting as possible. Below you will find an initial overview of the clinical picture and treatment of psoriasis in Berlin.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is commonly known as psoriasis. It is a chronic inflammatory systemic disease that manifests itself primarily in sharply defined, severely reddened and scaly areas of skin. As a rule, it is hereditary, but an inherited genetic predisposition does not necessarily mean that the disease will break out. Psoriasis is not contagious. It often occurs in episodes, so that intervals with and without symptoms alternate. Those affected not only suffer from itching, burning, stinging and pain, but often also from severe psychological distress caused by the visible areas on the skin. Ashamed of the reddened areas, some of the affected people increasingly withdraw from their social environment.

Forms and frequency of psoriasis

According to estimates, around two percent of all people are affected by psoriasis. The disease can manifest itself in different ways. The most common form of psoriasis is psoriasis vulgaris (also known as plaque psoriasis). It occurs in 80 to 90 percent of cases. The typical reddened and scaly patches of skin occur preferably on the extensor sides of the elbows and knees, in the hairy head area, on the ears and on the back. However, they can also affect other areas such as the palms of the hands, the anal and genital areas and skin folds (e.g. the groin).

Other forms of psoriasis:

  1. Psoriasis capitis (psoriasis on the head, beyond the hairy scalp area)
  2. Psoriatic arthritis (inflammatory disease of the joints, often preceded by plaque psoriasis)
  3. Pustular psoriasis (sterile pustules on the psoriasis lesions, often without genetic predisposition)
  4. Psoriasis guttata (small red spots all over the body, which can be associated with scales and infection)
  5. Psoriasis inversa (exclusively in the larger skin folds (e.g. hollow of the knees, armpits), does not form scales)
  6. Nail psoriasis (in the fingernail area, in around one in two psoriasis sufferers)

Psoriasis symptoms: How can psoriasis be recognized?

In psoriasis vulgaris, the skin reddens and forms silvery-white, shiny, slightly raised lesions that scale heavily. Medically, these changes are referred to as plaques, which gives rise to the term plaque psoriasis. In many cases, the plaques occur symmetrically on both halves of the body. Their size can vary from one to more than ten centimeters. In some patients, the plaques are concentrated in one area of the body, while in other patients different areas may be affected. Irritated skin and scratching can also cause skin tears. The cracked skin often causes pain, especially when moving or coming into contact with certain substances.

Possible causes of psoriasis

The cause of scaling of the skin in psoriasis vulgaris is an excessive proliferation of keratinocytes. These cells are found in the uppermost layer of the skin and fulfill an important protective function for the body. Normally, the keratinocytes divide and go through various stages of development before they are naturally shed as dead skin cells within four weeks. In people with psoriasis, the skin cells multiply much faster. In some cases, the process only takes four days instead of 28. As a result, the dead skin cells are not shed quickly enough and accumulate in the affected areas. As a result, the skin becomes red and scaly.

The exact causes of psoriasis are not yet fully understood. It is assumed that hereditary predispositions as well as the immune system and certain risk factors play a role.

Possible risk factors and psoriasis triggers that can cause a flare-up include

  1. Infections and illnesses (e.g. colds, chronic infections, eczema, diabetes)
  2. certain medicines (e.g. antidepressants, antihypertensive drugs, cholesterol-lowering agents)
  3. Injuries (e.g. cuts, abrasions, burns, friction)
  4. Stress and depression
  5. certain stimulants and foods (e.g. nicotine, alcohol, hot spices)
  6. Overweight
  7. Climate and seasons
  8. Hormone fluctuations

Diagnosis of psoriasis

A comprehensive doctor-patient consultation and a careful examination of the body are important prerequisites for the diagnosis of psoriasis. In many cases, an experienced dermatologist can diagnose psoriasis at a glance based on the typical symptoms and characteristic features on the skin. In some patients, a skin sample is examined to confirm the diagnosis of psoriasis. The severity of the disease is also documented during the treatment consultation.

Treatment options for psoriasis

In the treatment of psoriasis, a distinction is made between local and systemic therapy options. Local therapy involves active ingredients that are applied to the skin. Systemic treatment, on the other hand, is characterized by internal application in the form of medication, infusions or injections. If the psoriasis is mild, local therapy is often sufficient to alleviate the discomfort and symptoms. The external application of the specific ointments can be supported by additional light therapy. For moderate to severe psoriasis, local therapy is a complementary option to systemic treatment.

Systemic psoriasis therapy

Systemic psoriasis therapy is usually the most suitable treatment, particularly for psoriasis of a higher degree of severity (“moderate to severe”). The corresponding medication is taken via tablets or administered into the body by means of injections or infusions. They therefore have an effect on the entire body. As immunological processes in particular are involved in the occurrence of psoriasis, a large number of medications are used precisely at this point: They have a direct effect on the immune system and its functions. These are often immunosuppressants that suppress the immune system.

  1. In addition to classic systemic treatment, psoriasis therapy with so-called biologics is also possible. The biotechnologically produced drugs block the inflammation-promoting messenger substances of the immune system. This can inhibit the inflammatory process that leads to psoriasis. In the treatment of psoriasis, biologics are administered either by self-injection or intravenously by the treating doctor. They cannot be taken in tablet form as they are proteins which the stomach acid would break down before the desired effect is achieved.

Goals of psoriasis treatment

  • Healing of the existing plaques
  • Preventing new flare-ups of psoriasis
  • Reduce symptoms and possible concomitant diseases
  • A better quality of life and as few restrictions as possible in everyday life

Can psoriasis be cured?

Psoriasis is a chronic disease and cannot yet be completely cured. However, modern methods of psoriasis treatment achieve very good results: the reddened and scaly patches of skin can often be reduced and the psoriasis kept under control in the long term.

Can psoriasis be prevented?

As psoriasis is usually hereditary, the onset of the disease cannot be ruled out or reliably prevented. However, those affected can actively help to prevent further relapses. With a conscious and balanced lifestyle, patients have a positive effect on psoriasis therapy. This includes, for example, a healthy diet and regular exercise. As psychological factors such as anxiety and stress also have an impact on psoriasis, some patients find targeted relaxation exercises and psychological counseling helpful.

Psoriasis therapy in Berlin – with your experts at the dermatology practice Dr. Kors

In order to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis and control the disease in the long term, it is not only important to find the right therapy, but also to constantly adapt it. If you suffer from psoriasis or suspect that you have psoriasis, I will be happy to advise you on how to proceed. In a personal treatment consultation, we determine the right treatment for you based on a detailed medical history and a thorough examination. At regular intervals, we look at how the psoriasis therapy can be further adapted so that you are restricted as little as possible in your everyday life. As an experienced dermatologist in Berlin specializing in psoriasis, I will be at your side throughout your treatment and take the time to listen to your concerns, questions and wishes.

I am also one of the founding members of PsoNet Berlin and Brandenburg (Regional Psoriasis Network Berlin and Brandenburg). This is an association of dermatologists in the region who have set themselves the goal of promoting the exchange of information about the disease in order to improve care structures and provide patients with modern, interdisciplinary treatment.

 

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