Psoriasis

By: Tori Kellett

What is Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition in which skin cells build up and form scales and itchy, dry patches.

Who Does it Affect?

Psoriasis can begin at any age. Most people get psoriasis between 15 and 30 years of age. By age 40, most people who will get psoriasis, about 75%, have psoriasis. Another common time for psoriasis to begin is between 50 and 60 years of age. In the United States, about 7.5 million people have psoriasis. Most people, about 80%, have plaque psoriasis.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms?

Causes

Infections, such as strep throat or skin infections, injury to the skin, such as a cut or scrape, bug bite, or a severe sunburn, stress, cold weather, smoking, and heavy alcohol consumption


Symptoms of psoriasis appear in different ways. Psoriasis can be mild, with small areas of rash. When psoriasis is moderate or severe, the skin gets inflamed with raised red areas topped with loose, silvery, scaling skin. If psoriasis is severe, the skin becomes itchy and tender. And sometimes large patches form and may be uncomfortable. The patches can join together and cover large areas of skin, such as the entire back.

Psoriasis can also affect the fingernails and toenails, causing the nails to pit, change color, and separate from the nail bed.

In some people, psoriasis causes joints to become swollen, tender, and painful. This is called psoriatic arthritis.

Who Treats It?

A dermatologist or your local primary care physician can help you diagnose and treat psoriasis.

What is the Treatment?

Sadly psoriasis cant be cured, but treatment may help.

Treatment aims to remove scales and stop skin cells from growing so quickly. Topical ointments, light therapy, and medications can offer relief.