Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can cause unsightly and sometimes inflamed plaques, or patches of thick, discolored skin. It is common in adults, but can also affect children and adolescents. Consult your dermatologist and continue reading to find out more about this condition.
Psoriasis causes skin cells to grow too quickly, which results in thick patches that may appear red, white, or silver. The condition can be as mild as a small rash, or as severe as plaques covering large areas of the body. Patches are most often found on the hands, feet, knees, elbows, back, and scalp. They may be itchy and inflamed in severe cases. Some people suffer from joint pain, known as psoriatic arthritis. A dermatologist can usually diagnose psoriasis on appearance alone.
Psoriasis is not contagious—instead, it appears to be a genetic condition. Experts believe it is caused by an overreaction of the immune system which leads to the inflammation. Certain triggers, including stress, alcohol and tobacco use, cold and dry climates, skin injury, and certain medications, can cause flare-ups.
While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are many treatment options. In addition to avoiding the triggers listed above, there are simple steps you can take to minimize your symptoms. Maintaining a healthy weight and good mental health will keep flare-ups minimal, and a moisturizing home skincare routine can keep the skin feeling comfortable. A dermatologist can suggest appropriate treatment options such as prescription topical treatments, phototherapy, and systemic agents.
If you think you might be suffering from psoriasis or have other concerns about the health of your skin, hair, or nails, the dermatologists at Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology in Salt Lake City can help. We offer a number of treatment solutions, so call us at 801-266-8841 to schedule an appointment.