Facial Psoriasis Treatment: How to Soothe Symptomatic Skin

Facing the world with facial psoriasis can be a challenging journey, often marked by anxiety and discomfort. The daunting mix of scaling, inflammation, and red patches can make the simplest social situations intimidating. But today, we’re here to remind you that there is hope. This blog untangles the medical jargon and delves deep into reliable treatment methods to soothe symptomatic skin. Say goodbye to the difficult days; your clear face awaits ahead!

Facial psoriasis is a chronic condition characterized by thick, discolored, and scaly skin patches on the face. While there is no cure, treatment options aim to manage symptoms. These may include topical creams or ointments, phototherapy, or systemic medications prescribed by a healthcare professional. However, consulting with a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs is crucial.

Facial Psoriasis: Identifying Symptoms

Facial psoriasis can affect various parts of the face, such as the forehead, hairline, eyes, cheeks, chin, mouth, eyebrows, and nose. It can be differentiated from other skin conditions by its specific symptoms. These symptoms range from mild to severe, including dryness, scaliness or flakiness, discoloration (pink to red or brown to silver), and skin thickness.

Symptoms of facial psoriasis on dark skin tones may appear as raised scaly patches of dark brown or red to purple with gray to silver scales. Also, discoloration may persist even after the plaques have resolved. These additional symptoms on darker skin can make it more challenging to diagnose facial psoriasis accurately.

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Understanding Psoriasis Severity

Psoriasis severity varies from person to person and ranges from mild to moderate and severe. Mild cases feature smaller patchy skin areas, while moderate-to-severe cases can cover large body parts.

The National Psoriasis Foundation uses two tools to gauge the severity of psoriasis: 

  • The Body Surface Area (BSA) method
  • The Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI). 

The BSA method measures how much surface area is affected by psoriasis. For example, if a person’s hand accounts for 1% of their body’s total surface area and has psoriasis covering around half the palm’s surface, then that person’s BSA score for that part would be 0.5%.

On the other hand, the PASI tool combines measurements of both severity (thickness and redness) and coverage area (like BSA). A dermatologist typically uses this tool to measure a patient’s overall condition.

Types of Facial Psoriasis

Facial psoriasis is a form of autoimmune disease that targets the skin on the face, causing patches that appear silvery-white or red. There are different types of facial psoriasis, each with its symptoms.

  • Plaque psoriasis is the most common type and often manifests in round and raised patches. In contrast, guttate psoriasis commonly occurs after bacterial or viral infections and leaves numerous small teardrop-shaped spots on the face.
  • Pustular and erythrodermic psoriasis are less common but can be severe and cause painful pus-filled blisters and red rashes, respectively. In all cases, seeking medical advice from dermatologists is crucial to confirming the diagnosis and determining treatment options for each type.

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Exploring Facial Psoriasis Treatment Options

Treating facial psoriasis requires a specialized approach considering the severity of symptoms, lifestyle habits, and preferences. Medical professionals often recommend this combination of medication and topical treatments to soothe symptomatic skin.

MedicationTopical Treatment
RetinoidsMoisturizers
ImmunomodulatorsSteroid Creams
MethotrexateCoal Tar
CyclosporineSalicylic Acid
  • Topical Treatments for Soothing Skin There are different ways to supplement medications with topical preparations for comprehensive skin management. 
  • Moisturizing regularly can help reduce dryness, itching, and cracking, which can spur the appearance of new patches.
  • Steroid creams formulated at low strengths are an excellent way to relieve inflammation caused by severe symptoms without posing additional health risks. Coal tar slows down cell turnover responsible for flare-up formation while reducing itchiness.
  • Salicylic acid exfoliates dead skin cells while softening existing patches for easier removal. While these topical treatment options work, it is essential to collaborate with a dermatologist and carefully monitor how your skin reacts.

When managing facial psoriasis symptoms, it is essential to consider understanding individual triggers, self-care practices, and treatment options that work best for each person’s unique needs. Promoting healthy eating habits, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and stress management can also help manage psoriasis. Seeking professional advice from medical professionals should always remain the top priority when looking for managing techniques.

Topical Treatments for Soothing Skin

Topical treatments refer to creams or ointments directly applied to the affected area. For mild to moderate facial psoriasis, topical treatments are usually the first line of defense in soothing the skin. They prevent symptom flare-ups and reduce inflammation, itching, scaling, and redness.

  • Common over-the-counter options include salicylic acid and coal tar-based products. These treatments aim to slow down cell growth that causes plaque buildup on the skin. 
  • Prescription-strength topical medications such as corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, and vitamin D analogs may be recommended for more severe symptoms.

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Drug Treatments: Advancements and Efficacy

While topical treatments can relieve mild symptoms, people with moderate to severe facial psoriasis often require more intensive treatment options. In recent years, significant advancements in drug therapies have shown promising results in psoriasis management.

  • Biologics are a class of drugs that target specific cytokines involved in psoriasis’ inflammatory pathways. A newer biologic therapy called bimekizumab blocks both IL-17A and IL-17F cytokines and has been shown to achieve high levels of clearance or near-clearance of symptoms in clinical trials. Other biologics like secukinumab and ixekizumab target specific cytokines such as IL-23, IL-12/23, or TNF-alpha.
  • Another drug class used for psoriasis management is oral retinoids like acitretin. Retinoids slow down skin cell turnover rates and reduce inflammation based on their effect on T-cell proliferation **. However, these drugs have several side effects, such as dry lips and eyes, requiring strict monitoring while on treatment **.

Everyday Skincare: Managing Psoriasis

Facial psoriasis presents unique challenges due to skin sensitivity on the face. There is no definitive cure for psoriasis, so management focuses on symptom relief and controlling outbreaks. 

  • Moisturizing creams are crucial for daily skincare regimes, particularly unscented products with minimal ingredients to avoid irritating sensitive skin. 
  • Trimming instead of shaving facial hair may also benefit individuals experiencing flares around beard or mustache areas. 
  • It’s essential to avoid using aggressive soaps or hot water when cleaning the skin, as this can worsen both dryness and inflammation. 
  • Caution should be taken when choosing skincare products, especially when they include active ingredients like salicylic acid or hydrocortisone. These can irritate the skin and even worsen flare-ups.

Coping Strategies and Mental Health Support

Coping with facial psoriasis can be challenging, and it’s essential to have a plan of action that works for you. Psoriasis on the face can significantly impact an individual’s appearance, self-confidence, and mental health. It’s common for someone with facial psoriasis to feel anxious or embarrassed about their skin condition. Living with a chronic skin condition can take its toll. Still, there are numerous coping strategies that one can try to help one manage the emotional and psychological aspects of this disease.

  • Talking openly about your struggles with close friends and family can provide emotional support when times get tough. 
  • Seeking professional medical advice from a dermatologist and sticking to treatment plans are key to reducing symptoms. 
  • Mindfulness-based techniques, meditation, or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may also help manage stress levels and promote relaxation.
  • Additionally, some people may benefit from connecting with a patient support group to learn daily from others who live with the condition. Sharing personal experiences and coping mechanisms may assist individuals in feeling less isolated and better equipped to manage their facial psoriasis effectively. The National Psoriasis Foundation is an excellent resource for finding such groups.
  • Furthermore, lifestyle changes such as avoiding triggers such as stress, smoking, or excessive alcohol consumption could prevent or reduce flare-ups. 
  • Practicing self-care techniques such as taking warm baths, using gentle soaps, applying moisturizers daily, and avoiding scratching or rubbing the affected area may help alleviate discomforts such as itching and scaling.

Coping strategies are highly personalized, as what works for one person might not work for another. However, it’s important to remain positive throughout the journey while surrounding oneself with supportive individuals since proactively working on mental health could also positively impact physical health.

There are numerous ways to improve the quality of life for people experiencing facial psoriasis symptoms; however, combining these techniques with professional counseling and appropriate medication may be more effective in managing physical and emotional symptoms.