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Advanced Laser Treatments for Psoriasis

Oval Laser Medical Aesthetics offers cutting-edge laser treatments for psoriasis, providing patients with an effective and non-invasive solution for managing this chronic skin condition. The clinic’s treatments utilize advanced laser technology to target the overactive skin cells responsible for psoriasis plaques, reducing inflammation and promoting healthier skin. 

These laser therapies are tailored to each patient’s needs, ensuring optimal results with minimal discomfort. Focusing on precision and safety, Oval Laser Medical Aesthetics helps patients improve their skin’s appearance and quality of life. Dedicated to compassionate care, the clinic’s expert team supports patients throughout their treatment journey, offering a comprehensive approach to psoriasis management.

Client Testimonial

“The first day I saw Tara, I took a photo of my psoriasis rash on my elbows to benchmark how truly out of control it was. I’ve had this autoimmune condition over 15 years now, but after a very stressful and grief filled year in 2022 my skin was the worst it had ever been. My GP referred me to a dermatologist – which can take 12-18 months to be seen, and the steroid topicals I was offered don’t deal with the root cause of this skin condition – whenever I would use them, the rash returns when I stop using the topical.

Tara immediately offered me hope in her multi-faceted approach to healing my skin. A combination of laser treatment, supplements, topicals, dietary changes – as well as mindset and stress reducing tools were all added to my skin repair kit. Change started happening after my first appointment – the rash was softer, lighter, and the itch was reduced. After a series of treatments and keeping up with my at home routine…my skin is nearly 90-95% clear of any psoriasis symptoms. It is truly priceless to feel comfortable in my own skin – and I have the amazing team at Oval to thank for that.”

Jolene Mackie

Pathophysiology of Psoriasis

Psoriasis arises from a complex interplay between genetic predisposition, immune system dysfunction, and environmental factors. The condition is primarily driven by an overactive immune response, where T cells mistakenly attack healthy skin cells. This immune reaction triggers a cascade of events leading to the rapid proliferation of skin cells, resulting in the characteristic plaques of psoriasis.

Immune System Dysfunction

The immune system malfunctions in psoriasis, causing inflammation and accelerated skin cell turnover. T cells, a type of white blood cell, become overactive and produce inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha, IL-17, and IL-23. These cytokines promote the rapid growth and shedding of skin cells, which accumulate to form psoriatic plaques.

Genetic Factors

Genetics plays a significant role in the development of psoriasis. Research has identified several genetic loci associated with an increased risk of the condition, most notably the PSORS1 locus on chromosome 6p21. A family history of psoriasis significantly increases the likelihood of developing the disease, indicating a hereditary component.

Environmental Triggers

Various environmental factors can trigger or exacerbate psoriasis in genetically predisposed individuals. These triggers include:

  1. Infections: Streptococcal throat infections can precipitate guttate psoriasis, especially in children and young adults.
  2. Skin Injuries: Cuts, scrapes, sunburn, or other skin trauma can lead to the development of psoriatic lesions, a phenomenon known as the Koebner response.
  3. Stress: Psychological stress is a known trigger that can initiate or worsen psoriasis flares.
  4. Medications: Certain drugs, such as lithium, beta-blockers, and antimalarials, can induce or aggravate psoriasis.
  5. Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity are associated with increased severity and frequency of psoriasis outbreaks.

Understanding the pathophysiology of psoriasis is essential for developing targeted therapies and managing the condition effectively. The interaction between the immune system, genetics, and environmental triggers highlights the need for a multifaceted approach to treatment and care.

Effects of Psoriasis on the Skin

Psoriasis manifests in various forms, each affecting the skin differently. Common symptoms include red, inflamed patches covered with silvery-white scales, dryness, itching, and pain. The severity and extent of psoriasis can range from mild to severe and may be localized or widespread.

Types of Psoriasis
  1. Plaque Psoriasis
    • The most common form, characterized by raised, red patches covered with a silvery-white buildup of dead skin cells (plaques).
    • Typically appears on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.
  2. Guttate Psoriasis
    • Appears as small, dot-like lesions.
    • Often triggered by streptococcal throat infections.
    • Commonly affects children and young adults.
  3. Inverse Psoriasis
    • Presents as bright red, smooth patches.
    • Occurs in skin folds, such as under the breasts, in the groin, and around the genitals and buttocks.
  4. Pustular Psoriasis
    • Characterized by white pustules (blisters of non-infectious pus) surrounded by red skin.
    • Can be localized to certain areas, such as the hands and feet, or widespread.
  5. Erythrodermic Psoriasis
    • A severe and rare form that leads to widespread redness and scaling, covering large areas of the body.
    • Can cause intense itching and pain and may require hospitalization.
Common Symptoms
  1. Red, Inflamed Patches
    • Result from increased blood flow to areas of rapid skin cell growth.
    • Can be itchy and painful.
  2. Silver-White Scales
    • Dead skin cells accumulate on the surface, forming thick, silvery-white scales.
    • Often shed, causing a flaky appearance.
  3. Dry, Cracked Skin
    • Affected areas can become very dry and may crack and bleed, leading to further discomfort and risk of infection.
  4. Itching and Burning Sensations
    • Inflammatory processes can cause intense itching and a burning sensation.
    • Scratching can worsen the condition and lead to skin infections.
  5. Thickened or Ridged Nails
    • Psoriasis can affect the nails, causing them to thicken, develop ridges, or become pitted.
    • Nails may detach from the nail bed (onycholysis).
Severity and Extent
  1. Mild to Severe Cases
    • Mild cases may involve small, localized patches of skin.
    • Severe cases can cover large areas, significantly impacting daily life and overall well-being.
  2. Localized vs. Widespread
    • Localized psoriasis affects specific areas, like the scalp or elbows.
    • Widespread psoriasis can cover extensive portions of the body, leading to systemic symptoms and requiring more intensive treatment.

Understanding the diverse manifestations and symptoms of psoriasis is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective management. Recognizing the different types and their specific characteristics helps in tailoring treatment plans to individual needs, aiming to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.

Physical Impact on Individuals

Psoriasis significantly affects the physical well-being of individuals, causing discomfort, pain, and an increased risk of various health complications. Beyond the visible skin symptoms, psoriasis can lead to several comorbid conditions that further impact a person’s health and quality of life.

Discomfort and Pain

Psoriatic lesions often cause significant discomfort and pain. The red, inflamed patches can be tender to the touch, and the accompanying itchiness can be severe, leading to scratching that exacerbates the condition and causes further irritation and damage.

Skin Sensitivity

The affected skin areas become highly sensitive, making them prone to injury from even minor trauma. This increased sensitivity can limit daily activities and affect a person’s ability to perform tasks that involve physical contact or friction.

Increased Risk of Infections

Cracked and bleeding skin from psoriasis creates an entry point for infections. Bacterial infections, in particular, are a common concern for individuals with psoriasis, as the compromised skin barrier makes it easier for pathogens to invade.

Comorbid Conditions

Psoriasis is associated with several comorbid conditions that can complicate its management and impact overall health.

  1. Psoriatic Arthritis
    • A type of inflammatory arthritis that affects up to 30% of people with psoriasis.
    • Causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, leading to decreased mobility and function.
  2. Cardiovascular Diseases
    • Psoriasis is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.
    • Chronic inflammation associated with psoriasis contributes to the development of atherosclerosis.
  3. Diabetes
    • The systemic inflammation seen in psoriasis patients is also linked to insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  4. Mental Health Issues
    • The chronic nature of psoriasis and its visible symptoms can lead to significant psychological distress.
    • Common mental health issues include anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, often stemming from the social stigma and impact on appearance.

Understanding the physical impact of psoriasis is crucial for comprehensive care. Effective management should not only focus on alleviating skin symptoms but also address the associated comorbid conditions and overall physical health to improve the quality of life for those affected.

Psychological and Social Effects

Psoriasis extends beyond physical symptoms, profoundly affecting individuals’ psychological and social well-being. The visible nature of the disease can lead to emotional distress, social stigma, and challenges in daily life, impacting mental health and quality of life.

Emotional Distress
  1. Anxiety
    • Psoriasis can cause significant anxiety due to concerns about appearance and the unpredictability of flare-ups.
    • The fear of social rejection or judgment can heighten anxiety levels, leading to avoidance of social situations.
  2. Depression
    • The chronic and often severe nature of psoriasis can contribute to depression.
    • Feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and sadness are common, particularly during severe outbreaks or when treatment is ineffective.
  3. Low Self-Esteem
    • Visible lesions and scales can negatively affect self-image and self-confidence.
    • Individuals may feel embarrassed or ashamed, leading to a diminished sense of self-worth.
Social Stigma and Isolation
  1. Visible Lesions and Social Interactions
    • Psoriasis is often misunderstood by the public, leading to misconceptions and fear of contagion.
    • This stigma can result in social exclusion, bullying, or discriminatory behavior, further isolating those with the condition.
  2. Impact on Personal Relationships
    • The emotional toll of psoriasis can strain personal relationships, including those with family, friends, and romantic partners.
    • Individuals may withdraw from social activities or intimate relationships due to embarrassment or fear of judgment.
Work and Daily Life Challenges
  1. Absenteeism and Productivity Issues
    • The physical discomfort and psychological stress of psoriasis can lead to increased absenteeism from work or school.
    • Concentration and productivity may be affected, impacting job performance and career advancement.
  2. Limitations in Physical Activities
    • Pain, discomfort, and skin sensitivity can restrict participation in physical activities, sports, or hobbies.
    • Individuals may avoid activities that could exacerbate symptoms or lead to injury.

The psychological and social effects of psoriasis highlight the need for a holistic approach to management. Addressing mental health through counseling, support groups, and therapy is essential in helping individuals cope with the emotional burden of the condition. Public awareness and education campaigns can also play a crucial role in reducing stigma and fostering a more supportive and understanding environment for those living with psoriasis.

Management and Treatment

Effective management of psoriasis involves a multifaceted approach tailored to the severity and type of the condition. Treatment aims to reduce symptoms, control flare-ups, and improve the overall quality of life. Options include topical treatments, systemic medications, phototherapy, and lifestyle modifications.

Topical Treatments
  1. Corticosteroids
    • Anti-inflammatory agents that reduce redness, swelling, and itching.
    • Commonly used for mild to moderate psoriasis; available in various strengths and formulations.
  2. Vitamin D Analogues
    • Regulate skin cell production and reduce scaling.
    • Often used in combination with corticosteroids for enhanced effectiveness.
  3. Topical Retinoids
    • Derived from vitamin A; help normalize skin cell growth.
    • Effective in treating plaque psoriasis but can cause skin irritation.
  4. Calcineurin Inhibitors
    • Reduce inflammation and plaque formation.
    • Suitable for sensitive areas like the face and skin folds.
Systemic Treatments
  1. Methotrexate
    • An oral medication that suppresses the immune system to reduce skin cell turnover.
    • Used for moderate to severe psoriasis; requires monitoring for potential side effects.
  2. Biologics
    • Target specific components of the immune system to inhibit inflammation.
    • Administered via injection or infusion; effective for moderate to severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
  3. Cyclosporine
    • An immunosuppressant that reduces immune system activity.
    • Used for severe cases; effective but with potential for serious side effects.
  4. Oral Retinoids
    • Normalize skin cell growth and reduce scaling.
    • Used for severe psoriasis; often combined with other treatments.
Phototherapy
  1. Ultraviolet B (UVB) Therapy
    • Exposure to UVB light slows down skin cell growth.
    • Effective for widespread or resistant psoriasis; can be administered in a clinical setting or at home.
  2. Psoralen and Ultraviolet A (PUVA) Therapy
    • Combines a light-sensitizing medication (psoralen) with UVA light.
    • Used for severe or unresponsive psoriasis; requires careful monitoring.
Lifestyle Modifications
  1. Stress Management
    • Techniques such as meditation, yoga, and therapy can help manage stress, a known trigger for psoriasis flare-ups.
  2. Dietary Changes
    • A balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce symptoms.
    • Avoiding triggers such as alcohol, smoking, and certain foods may benefit some individuals.
  3. Skincare Routines
    • Regular moisturizing to prevent dryness and cracking.
    • Gentle skincare products to avoid irritation.
  4. Weight Management
    • Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the severity of psoriasis and improve treatment outcomes.
  5. Exercise
    • Regular physical activity can help reduce stress, improve overall health, and decrease the risk of comorbid conditions.
Integrative and Complementary Therapies
  1. Acupuncture
    • May help reduce pain and inflammation associated with psoriasis.
  2. Herbal Remedies
    • Some herbs and natural supplements can support skin health, but it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider before use.

Managing psoriasis requires a comprehensive and individualized approach. Combining medical treatments with lifestyle changes and supportive therapies can effectively control symptoms and enhance the quality of life for those living with psoriasis. Regular follow-up with healthcare providers is crucial to monitor progress and adjust treatment plans as needed.

Support and Resources

Effective management of psoriasis extends beyond medical treatments to include comprehensive support and access to resources. These can help individuals cope with the emotional and social challenges of the condition, providing education, community, and advocacy.

Patient Support Groups
  1. Benefits of Support Groups
    • Offer emotional support and understanding from others experiencing similar challenges.
    • Provide a safe space to share experiences, coping strategies, and encouragement.
  2. Types of Support Groups
    • In-person groups: Local meetings facilitated by organizations or healthcare providers.
    • Online communities: Forums, social media groups, and virtual meetings for broader access and convenience.
Counseling and Therapy
  1. Psychological Counseling
    • Professional support to address anxiety, depression, and emotional distress related to psoriasis.
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals develop coping mechanisms and improve mental health.
  2. Therapeutic Interventions
    • Stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation exercises.
    • Art therapy, music therapy, and other creative outlets to express emotions and reduce stress.
Educational Resources
  1. Information and Awareness
    • Educational materials about psoriasis, its triggers, and treatment options.
    • Access to reputable websites, brochures, and books to stay informed.
  2. Workshops and Seminars
    • Programs led by healthcare professionals to educate patients and caregivers about managing psoriasis.
    • Topics include skincare routines, lifestyle modifications, and new treatment developments.
Advocacy and Awareness Campaigns
  1. Raising Public Awareness
    • Campaigns to educate the public about psoriasis and dispel myths and misconceptions.
    • Efforts to reduce stigma and promote understanding and acceptance.
  2. Advocacy Organizations
    • Groups that advocate for patient rights, funding for research, and access to treatments.
    • Examples include the National Psoriasis Foundation, International Federation of Psoriasis Associations, and local advocacy groups.
  3. Events and Fundraisers
    • Walks, runs, and other events to raise funds for research and support services.
    • Community events to build solidarity and raise awareness about psoriasis.
Access to Healthcare
  1. Finding Specialists
    • Directories and referrals to dermatologists, rheumatologists, and other specialists experienced in treating psoriasis.
    • Guidance on selecting healthcare providers and accessing second opinions.
  2. Financial Assistance
    • Resources to financial assistance programs.
    • Support for managing the costs of treatments, medications, and therapies.

Support and resources play a crucial role in the holistic management of psoriasis. By providing emotional support, educational tools, and advocacy, these resources help individuals navigate the complexities of living with psoriasis, improve their quality of life, and foster a sense of community and empowerment.

You deserve beautiful skin,
Oval Medical Laser Aesthetics

1855 Kirschner Rd #300
Kelowna, BC V1Y 4N7
(250) 317-3666

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