The most common skin condition referred to Dermatologists worldwide is Psoriasis, affecting the lives of around two per cent of the population in the USA alone. The condition has a strong genetic link, but the appearance and severity can also be tied to environmental factors such as infection or trauma. Stress will not directly cause your psoriasis, but it can make it worse.
Appearing as red, raised, scaly skin patches on men and women of all ages, psoriasis can be both itchy and painful. It isn’t contagious, but for many people it can be embarrassing and severely damage confidence in social situations.
Outbreaks of psoriasis typically appear in a symmetrical pattern on the scalp and lower back, and also on the elbows and knees, but can readily appear on other areas of skin too. Sometimes it will focus on your nails, behind your ears, or around the hair-line.
Psoriasis occurs because areas of your skin are producing new cells at a faster rate than normal. This is what causes these areas to have a dry and scaly appearance. There is also an increase in the amount of blood reaching the affected area, which is why your skin can look red and inflamed. A similar process can occur in the joints and cause pain, swelling and stiffness. This is known as psoriatic arthritis.
The most common form that we see in adults is plaque psoriasis. You may hear dermatologists refer to it by its Latin name of psoriasis vulgaris. This might sound sinister or even a little rude, but it isn’t – vulgaris simply means “common”!
Children can also be affected by psoriasis. One of the most common types is called psoriasis guttate. It can appear quite suddenly and be a worry for both the child and their parents. The condition can be treated and does not necessarily mean that your child will have long-term bouts of psoriasis in later life.
There are several other types of psoriasis and they respond in different ways to various programs of treatment. Here at Trillium Creek Dermatology & Surgery Center we will be able to determine what type of psoriasis you have and optimize your treatment to ensure the best results.
Without a professional consultation it is often difficult to differentiate between psoriasis and eczema (or atopic dermatitis). If your red, itchy rash does not show the classic sign of dead skin cells that make the skin look scaly, then it is most probably eczema. You can read more about it here.
Psoriasis in babies does occasionally occur, however, eczema is the more common condition in infants.
A wide array of psoriasis treatment options are available that can usually reduce and alleviate the symptoms of pain, itching, redness and flakiness of your skin.
Treatment plans will vary from patient to patient. Your Trillium Creek Dermatology & Surgery Center skin experts will formulate a multi-faceted treatment plan specifically for you depending on the type, severity and symptoms underlying your condition.
Treatment options include:
– topical lotions and medicated ointments which can be applied directly to the affected area
– medicated shampoo which can be beneficial for psoriasis of the scalp and around the hairline
– carefully-controlled exposure to ultraviolet light at levels tailored to your condition
– Aerolase light therapy, where a focused laser light gently targets specific skin structures without damaging the surrounding skin
– medications, including specialized drugs that help to control the causes of your increased skin cell production.
Our experts will also look at the causes of your psoriasis and investigate possible triggers that aggravate your condition, including lifestyle, diet and medical history. By doing this, they will be able to help plan the ongoing management of your condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Psoriasis Be Fatal?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes thick, raised patches on the skin. This condition can dramatically affect a person’s life, but it is rarely life-threatening. However, it can potentially compromise the body’s ability to ward off infections.
Is Psoriasis An Autoimmune Disease?
Psoriasis is classified as an autoimmune disease. This means that the symptoms are caused by an overactive immune system and the immune system fights the body’s tissues like they were a foreign substance.
What Happens If You Don’t Treat Psoriasis?
If you do not treat psoriasis, then uncontrolled plaques can become infected and lead to scarring. If you have scalp psoriasis, then it can lead to hair loss that could be permanent. You could even develop changes in the nails that lead to loss of the nails.
A medically trained skin expert can help you better manage your skin condition and avoid complications. If you are troubled by psoriasis, call at 330.725.0569 and set up an appointment with a Trillium Creek provider today.
Click to read more about Psoriasis from our team of Skin Care Experts.
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