Patients often come into our office seeking help with severely dry patches of skin that just won’t go away – especially this time of year. These thick, red often asymptomatic or slightly itchy areas with silvery flaking skin is what tips us off to the diagnosis of psoriasis.
Psoriasis happens when the body generates too much inflammation that results in faster skin growth than skin shedding (hence the thickened skin).
Psoriasis is not curable but thankfully has several very effective medications ranging from topical medicated creams/ointments, to light therapy, pills, or injectable medications. Choice of the treatment will depend on location, size of the rash, and whether or not the patient has associated joint stiffness/discomfort.
This brings us to the next point: Psoriasis is NOT just a skin disease. It has the potential to affect every part of the body including the heart and joints. Psoriatic arthritis (characterized by morning stiffness that improves throughout the day) develops in about 30% of people with skin psoriasis regardless of severity, and warrants more aggressive treatment.
Psoriasis can often be diagnosed by close examination by a trained eye, but sometimes requires a biopsy (a small sample of skin) to confirm the diagnosis since several other skin conditions can mimic psoriasis.
If you notice any new “dry patches”, this may be more than just dry skin. To be evaluated by any one of our eight dermatology specialists, please call our office at 763-321-8700.
Winter skin! What can we do about this?
Winter is in full swing and many of us are feeling the bitter changes in our skin! Colder air and harsh winds can increase skin sensitivity and leave us feeling tight, dry, and flaky. It is our goal to help you avoid the winter skin blues that affects so many of us!
•Adjust your skincare products as needed
Making the appropriate changes in your skincare routine to accommodate our dry weather can save your skin!
– Something as simple as switching from a foaming cleanser to a creamy cleanser can make a difference in the tightness of our skin.
– Eliminate any toner that contains alcohol, which can strip and pull much the needed moisture from our skin.
– Finding an antioxidant serum that contains Vitamin E can be a huge help! Our favorite hydrating antioxidant serum is CE Peptides by Viver Skin. Not only will your skin be getting a huge anti-aging boost from an antioxidant and peptide complex, your skin will feel dewy and soft from the added hydration of the Vitamin E. It’s a winter skin must have!
• Don’t skip exfoliation
Exfoliation is necessary when it comes to healthy skin and that doesn’t change in the winter! Using heavy moisturizers and oils will not be able to properly hydrate the skin when there is a layer of dry flaky skin at the surface. The Skin Speaks staff favorite is the Knutek Microdermabrasion scrub. This scrub is gentle, yet aggressive and will leave your skin feeling freshly polished after just one use!
• Don’t forget the lips!
Our lips are affected by the dry winter air just like the rest of the face. Keep them soft by locking moisture in them with a good lip product! Here at Skin Speaks Spa, we love Aquaphor and Cortibalm lip repair. Aquaphor is a healing emollient free of color and scent and gives the lips a nice glossy finish! Cortibalm, for severely dry and chapped lips, is a chapstick style product that contains 1% hydrocortisone. This helps calm inflammation and heal the already damaged skin while also preventing new damage from occurring. It’s time to stock up!