Psoriasis occurs when your immune system malfunctions. Your body creates extra skin cells, which don’t shed quickly and end up accumulating on the surface of your skin. You develop scaly patches as a result.
Psoriasis may be associated with conditions like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis is not contagious.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
Most people suffer from a type of psoriasis known as plaque psoriasis. Symptoms appear as:
Patches of red skin covered with loose, silvery scales
Merged sections of plaques that cover large areas of your back or face
Itchy, painful lesions that sometimes crack and bleed
Psoriasis can also cause skin discoloration, crumbling of your toenails and fingernails, and scaly patches on your scalp.
What are the types of psoriasis?
Psoriasis has several subtypes, and you can suffer from more than one type at a time. The team at Associated Dermatologists may diagnose you with:
Plaque psoriasis, characterized by raised, reddish patches
Guttate psoriasis, presenting with red spots that show up all over the skin
Pustular psoriasis, featuring swollen skin dotted with pus-filled bumps
Inverse psoriasis, showing up as raw, red patches of skin
A serious form of psoriasis known as erythrodermic psoriasis can occur in people who have unstable plaque psoriasis. With this type, your skin looks bright red and appears burned. Erythrodermic psoriasis also causes severe itching and pain.
Up to 40% of psoriasis sufferers also experience joint inflammation, a condition known as psoriatic arthritis.
How is psoriasis treated?
Treating psoriasis often entails treating the underlying cause, which can lead to an overall improvement in your well-being. The condition does not have a cure, but symptoms can be managed effectively with over-the-counter and prescription topical treatments.
Severe psoriasis may respond to certain light and laser treatments, prescription oral medications, and immune-modulating "biologic" medications. These interventions slow down your skin’s production of skin cells, limiting the formation of plaques. As a result, symptoms are reduced to improve your comfort and quality of life.
To explore the possible underlying factors that contribute to your psoriasis and receive expert treatment, call Associated Dermatologists or schedule an appointment online today.