Topical & Systemic
can Releave Flare-Ups in About
85% to 90% of Cases
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic disease that develops when a person’s immune system tells his or her skin cells to reproduce too quickly. These cells accumulate on the surface of the skin, leading to patches of psoriasis. Psoriasis is not contagious, but it is genetic.
Types Of Psoriasis
There are 5 different types of psoriasis:
Signs & Symptoms
There are many signs and symptoms of psoriasis, depending on the type of psoriasis you have.
- Raised, red patches on the skin called plaques
- Patches with a silvery-white coating or scale
- Patches that can appear anywhere on the skin, especially on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back
- Itchy and thick patches
- Pitting and crumbling of nail plates
- Small, red spots
- Spots that show up all over the skin
- Spots that appear after an illness, particularly following strep throat
- Red and swollen skin
- Bumps filled with pus
- Bumps on the palm of the hand or sole
- Severe chills or fever accompanying the bumps
- Smooth, red patches of raw skin
- Patches where skin rubs against skin, such as the groin or armpit area
- Soreness near the patches
- Skin looks burnt
- Most of the body is bright red
- Body has issues maintaining normal temperature
- Heart rate is faster than normal
- Extreme pain and itching
Anyone who shows signs of erythodermic psoriasis should seek treatment immediately, as it can be life threatening.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is fairly common. There are approximately 7.5 million people in the United States who have this skin condition. Scientists are still learning about what happens inside the body to cause psoriasis. A person’s immune system and their genes play a significant role, but not everyone who has a family member with psoriasis will inherit the disease. Those with the psoriasis “genes” must be exposed to a trigger to show the symptoms. Many people report that they began seeing psoriasis on their body after experiencing a stressful event or illness, such as strep throat or a severe sunburn.
Treatment For Psoriasis
How does a dermatologist diagnose psoriasis?
A dermatologist will diagnose psoriasis once they exam a patient’s skin, nails and scalp. They will also need to look into the possible triggers that cause symptoms, such as stress or a recent illness. Learning more about the patient’s life and family history will also help to guide the dermatologist in diagnosing the condition. A sample of skin may be taken as a biopsy and examined under the microscope to confirm the diagnosis.
How do dermatologists treat psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic and long-lasting disease for which there is no cure. This skin condition is genetic and is not preventable but for those that have it, there is a great deal that can be done to reduce symptoms. It is very important for patients with psoriasis to seek treatment with a dermatologist, especially those that are in pain and have extensive disease. Psoriasis may also be an indicator of cardiovascular disease. Maintaining good health and following up with a primary care physician is essential for all patients with the disease.
Once psoriasis is properly diagnosed, treatment can vary from applying topical medications to injecting biologic agents into the skin. These biologic drugs work with the immune system to improve the disease. They reduce the signs and symptoms of psoriasis, and some people may even see their skin clear completely. Please note that every treatment has possible side effects. Taking an active role in managing psoriasis and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can increase the patient’s quality of life.
Are You Concerned About Psoriasis?
Book an appointment today for information on which psoriasis treatment is right for you.