Psoriasis Dermatologist in Lithia, FL
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic disease of the immune system where the body produces skin cells too rapidly. These extra skin cells become patches and some patients have experienced itching, burning, or stinging in the patch areas.
Symptoms may vary based upon the type of Psoriasis; however, common signs include red patches, scaly spots, cracked skin, itching, burning, or soreness.
Types of Psoriasis:
Plaque: Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the condition and present as raised, red patches. These patches can appear anywhere on the body but most commonly show up on the scalp, knees, elbows, and low back. The patches may hurt or itch, however, scratching them can cause the patches to thicken.
Guttate: These small, red spots are another form of psoriasis, the second most common type. This kind is typically triggered by an illness such as strep throat and may start at childhood.
Inverse: A form of Psoriasis that involves shiny and smooth red patches. They generally show up around the armpits, knees, groin, genitals, and breasts- anywhere that skin could touch other skin.
Pustular: This is an uncommon form of psoriasis that can occur in widespread or condensed patches. Pus-filled bumps cover the hands and feet. This condition is not an infection, nor is it contagious. Patients may experience soreness in the areas where the bumps appear.
Erythrodermic: A rare and dangerous form of psoriasis where the entire body is covered with a red, itchy or burning rash. The skin may peel off in sheets. All of the skin turns a bright red, appearing to be burnt, and the person will have difficulty maintaining a normal body temperature. If this type of psoriasis occurs, the individual should be rushed to the hospital.
While the cause of psoriasis is a mystery, it has been linked to genetics and the immune system. In the case of the latter, there are generally triggers that cause the condition to flare up such as stress, smoking, strep throat, sunburn, certain medications, and cold, dry weather. Psoriasis is not contagious. Although studies have indicated that genetics can play a part, not all members of a family end up with the condition. Most people with psoriasis first show symptoms between the ages of 15 and 30, however, 50-60 is also a common time to present with the condition. Caucasians are the most common race to get psoriasis.
Psoriasis Treatment in Lithia, FL and Valrico, FL
Your dermatologist may diagnose psoriasis through examination or by taking a biopsy (removing a small sample of skin). With treatment, patients can experience an increased quality of life and some have even seen their skin clear completely. However, psoriasis is a disease of the immune system, which cannot be cured. Your dermatologist can work with you to determine the right treatment options. These options may include:
- Topical treatments such as topical corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, topical retinoids, calcineurin inhibitors, salicylic acid, coal tar, or moisturizers. These can treat mild to moderate cases of psoriasis.
- Light therapy or phototherapy, which exposes your skin to controlled, natural sunlight.
- Oral or injected medication, which may be necessary in severe cases of psoriasis.
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