Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition whose cause is not exactly known. It involves genetic factors and can be triggered by medications, stress, and some infections. This causes immune instability in which the superficial layers of the skin regenerate rapidly and accumulate in the form of flakes.
There are several types of psoriasis. The most common is plaque psoriasis, which appears as red patches on the skin with thick, silvery-white flakes on the surface. It can affect any part of the body, but mainly the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. It may also be accompanied by nail changes and arthritis.
The clinical manifestations described above are usually sufficient to make the diagnosis, but sometimes a skin biopsy may be required to corroborate it. It is also important to request blood tests, as it may be accompanied by metabolic alterations.
Similar to the treatment for vitiligo, there are several therapeutic options to treat psoriasis depending on its type and extent. From the simplest to the most complex are topical corticosteroids, vitamin D derivatives, phototherapy, and immunosuppressants such as methotrexate or biologicals.
Learn about specialized treatments for psoriasis
Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes loss of pigment in the form of white patches. This occurs because cells of the immune system attack the pigment-producing cells of the skin called melanocytes, resulting in their destruction and thus the loss of pigment. Vitiligo can be related to other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease.
White patches that can affect any part of the body, but mostly on the face, neck, back of hands, elbows, and knees are observed. It is usually symmetrical and can be localized or affect large areas of the body.
Before any treatment for vitiligo can be performed, a correct diagnosis must be done. A special lamp called Wood’s light can be used to help highlight the white patches if they are not very obvious to the naked eye. In case of doubt, a skin biopsy can be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for vitiligo can be complicated, especially when it affects large areas. Fortunately, we have options available to treat it, THESE are topical corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors to reduce inflammation, phototherapy, excimer laser, or skin grafts to help re-pigment.