Did you know that psoriasis is a condition that affects more than three percent of the adult population of the United States? Interestingly, though it impacts the lives of more than 7.5 million people in the U.S., psoriasis is still largely misunderstood. Let’s look at what psoriasis is- and isn’t.
First, we’ll tackle some myths about psoriasis. Psoriasis isn’t just a bad case of dry skin, it’s a disease. However, even though it’s a disease, it’s not contagious. Psoriasis is not something that just goes away, although it can go into remission. It’s not something with a cure, but the symptoms can be treated. What is psoriasis?
- Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition. As the result of an overactive immune system, psoriasis causes inflammation in the body. Symptoms can start at any age but typically happen between 5 and 25. Men, women, or children can get psoriasis.
- People with psoriasis overproduce skin cells. These build up too rapidly to fall off, resulting in scales on the skin’s surface that are typically whitish-silver, developing in thick red patches that sometimes crack and bleed.
- Psoriasis can have an impact on the rest of the body. The inflammation psoriasis causes can affect other tissues and organs, so people with psoriasis may have other health issues as well. Conditions linked to psoriasis include psoriatic arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, anxiety, and depression.
- Psoriasis can be anywhere on the body. Plaques can be found on the eyelids, ears, lips, skin folds, hands, feet, and nails, and can be very small or quite large.
- There are five types of psoriasis.
- Plaque psoriasis: The most common type of psoriasis, it affects about 80 percent of people with psoriasis.
- Guttate psoriasis: Common in childhood, it causes small, pink spots that are rarely thick or raised.
- Pustular psoriasis: This type causes white, pus-filled blisters and large areas of red, inflamed skin.
- Inverse psoriasis: This causes areas of bright, red, shiny skin under the breasts or armpits or in the groin.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: Very rare and sometimes life-threatening, this type covers large sections of the body and looks almost like a sunburn. People with erythrodermic psoriasis often run a fever and become very ill.
Today, there are more treatments for psoriasis than ever before. Your dermatologist can create a plan for you based on the type, location, and severity of your psoriasis, as well as other medical conditions you may have. This plan may involve topical, injectable, or internal medications, light therapy, and tips to help prevent flare-ups.
For those seeking psoriasis treatment, Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology offers compassionate, effective care. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and licensed cosmetic service providers have over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City. We provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer, and we offer specialized psoriasis treatments to relieve symptoms and help patients manage this disease. Call (801) 682-4715 or contact us through our website.