More than 7 million people in the US alone suffer from a condition called psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect both adults and children. It is a chronic skin disorder caused by a rapid buildup of skin cells and resulting in red, cracked, and raised scaly patches all over the body.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an immune system disorder that can be triggered by genetic or environmental factors. Psoriasis affects the T lymphocyte white blood cells commonly called the T cells that are responsible for protecting the body from any foreign particles like viruses. Once a person gets psoriasis, the T cells in their body start attacking their healthy skin cells resulting in excessive production of new cells. A buildup of these extra cells on the skin results in patch formation or scaling.
Psoriasis can be observed on the scalp, knees, feet, elbows, hands, and around the genitals and belly button. The symptoms for psoriasis vary from person to person, but usually include:
– Thickened nails
– Cracked skin
– Burning or itching skin
– Pain or soreness
At first, psoriasis was considered to be a cosmetic condition. But research on psoriasis indicates that it is more than just a skin disorder. It can also result in a systemic inflammatory condition affecting the cardiovascular system, other organs and joints.
Types of Psoriasis
Based on the symptom, there are seven types of psoriasis:
Plaque Psoriasis: It is most commonly observed in patients and leads to silvery white scales on red lesions.
Guttate Psoriasis: It is typically found in young adults or children and distinguished by small red spots.
Pustular Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is triggered by pregnancy, UV light, or medication and results in red skin areas covered with pus-filled blisters.
Inverse Psoriasis: It includes bright red lesions.
Nail Psoriasis: This causes the nails to become thick and yellow.
Erythrodermic Psoriasis: It is a rare type of psoriasis leading to scaling and redness in large areas of the body.
Psoriatic Arthritis: One of the main symptoms of this type includes pain and stiffness of the joints.
How Can You Treat Psoriasis?
The chronic disease of psoriasis can be treated by consulting a dermatologist who will review your case and suggest an appropriate medical treatment. The main aim of this treatment is to clear the symptoms of psoriasis and break the cycle of abnormal skin cell production.
Topical Treatment: This treatment involves using ointments like topical retinoids, or corticosteroid to target the skin cell growth and inflammation.
Light Therapy: This involves slowing down skin cell production by exposing the patient to natural sunlight.
Oral Medication: In severe cases of psoriasis, the dermatologist may prescribe medications such as retinoids, cyclosporine, or methotrexate.
Biological Injections: This involves targeting psoriasis causing T cells by administering an injection.
Contacting a Psoriasis Dermatologist
It can be a stressful experience if you are suffering from psoriasis. A psoriasis dermatologist, like the ones at Dallas Dermatology Partners, can help you handle your condition by providing you everything needed to tackle psoriasis head-on. Patients suffering from this condition should contact a dermatologist immediately to get their psoriasis reviewed and get a personalized treatment plan depending on their condition.