What You Need to Know About Psoriasis

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Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects thousands of people each year. The disease is caused when the immune system works too hard and begins to reproduce skin cells too rapidly on the skin. The cells turn red, patchy, and scaly-looking and group together to form bigger patches on the surface of the skin. Psoriasis can attack any part of the body. This condition cannot be cured, but there are some treatments to help take care of the symptoms associated with psoriasis.

Types of Psoriasis

There are different types of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type, as it affects about 80 percent of those diagnosed with psoriasis. In this condition, the patches of skin are raised and have some white scales in them, which can cause intense burning and itching. Plaque psoriasis commonly appears on the scalp, lower back, knees, and elbows.

Inverse psoriasis doesn’t have scales, but appears rather shiny. This type of psoriasis normally attacks less exposed areas, such as the armpits, under the breasts, near the groin, or in other skin folds.

Guttate psoriasis comes in smaller and lighter patches. They are usually less thick and severe and are more likely to go away on their own. Guttate psoriasis usually starts in children.

In pustular psoriasis, the patches turn to bumps filled with pus and can attack the hands, feet, or other exposed parts of the body. This type of psoriasis can cause complicated, such as fever, nausea, and chills. Certain risk factors increase the chances of getting this condition, such as exposure to UV rays, infection, pregnancy, stress, or allergic reactions to certain chemicals.

These risk factors also contribute to erythrodermic psoriasis, which is the least common kind. A majority of the body is affected by this kind of psoriasis and it can spread quickly. It is distinguished by red skin that looks burned, accompanied with severe itching and burning, and sometimes even peeling of the skin. If not properly taken care of, several complications including a high heart rate and a weakened immune system are possible.

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms associated with psoriasis are red, scaly patches of skin, burning and itching of the skin, dry skin, and thickened nails. Joint pain can also be a sign of psoriasis. If you see red patches that look like they can be psoriasis, it’s important to contact your doctor.

Treatment

Topical ointments, such as cortisone cream or a Vitamin D solution, can help ease the symptoms and prevent infection. Several different types of creams, shampoos, prescription medicines, and baths can help ease the symptoms associated with psoriasis. The disease may be triggered by too much or not enough sunlight, and sometimes sunlight can ease the symptoms.

If you suspect you may be going through a psoriasis outbreak, contact your doctor or dermatologist today.

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