Psoriasis Specialist

Verum Cutis Dermatology

Megan Brelsford, DO

Dermatologist located in Ashburn, VA

If you’re one of 2.6% of Americans who suffer from the itchy plaques of psoriasis, you know that it’s more than a skin problem. Dr. Megan Brelsford, a compassionate board-certified dermatologist, understands that psoriasis may make you feel self-conscious and cramp your style. At Verum Cutis Dermatology in Ashburn, Virginia, she offers effective oral and topical psoriasis remedies that clear your skin so you can return to your daily activities. Women, men, and children in the Loudon County and Fairfax County areas can get psoriasis relief by contacting Verum Cutis Dermatology by phone or through the online form.

Psoriasis Q & A

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a noncontagious, chronic skin disease that occurs when the keratinocytes (skin cells) on the outer layer of your skin don’t shed as new cells arise. The result is a buildup of old, dry, dead skin cells that are unsightly and uncomfortable.

How can I tell if I have psoriasis?

Psoriasis can look like anything a scaly rash to large, inflamed, itchy patches of silvery looking skin known as plaques. Psoriasis has a number of variants that may include pustules, red spots, and scaling sheets of skin. Psoriasis can affect any area of your body but most often appears on your:

  • Scalp
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Torso

About 15% of men, women, and children with psoriasis have a variant called psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint inflammation. Psoriatic arthritis can be debilitating and may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. If you have psoriasis, Dr. Brelsford will be able to tell you which type you have and recommend the most effective treatments.

How did I get psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a disorder of the autoimmune system that may be exacerbated by emotional stress or trauma. In some cases, a streptococcal infection may have triggered your psoriasis. Genetics are often involved, too, though psoriasis tends to skip a generation, so you may get it if your grandmother had it but not if your mother did.

How can I treat psoriasis?

If you have a mild case of psoriasis, lifestyle modifications may be enough to control your condition. Dr. Brelsford recommends avoiding medications that can aggravate psoriasis, such as beta blockers and ibuprofen.

An anti-inflammatory diet that emphasizes whole foods, including plenty of fresh vegetables, can strengthen your immune system to control flares. Exercise alleviates the depression and anxiety that often accompanies a psoriasis outbreak. You can learn coping strategies, including meditation and mindfulness, to help manage stress and deal with outbreaks, too.

How does a dermatologist treat psoriasis?

When your case is severe or doesn’t respond to lifestyle adjustments, Dr. Brelsford chooses from a number of options. Topical and oral therapies can help slow down skin-cell formation, control symptoms such as itching, and boost your immune system. Some choices include:  

  • Retinoids
  • Tar treatments
  • Vitamin-D analogues  
  • Corticosteroids  
  • Salicylic acid
  • Anthralin
  • Methotrexate
  • Light therapy

Psoriasis can be managed but can’t yet be cured. By working with Dr. Brelsford, you can control your flares and get the support you need to feel better in your own skin. Contact the friendly team at Verum Cutis Dermatology by phone or online form for psoriasis relief today.