What is Psoriasis?

\"shutterstock_116393458\"Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease, the most common form of which causes raised patches of scaly, reddish skin. The condition can be painful, and it is often associated with other health conditions.

If you have symptoms of psoriasis, you should talk to your primary care doctor. If you were previously diagnosed with psoriasis, you should see your physician if the condition causes increasing discomfort, makes it difficult to function normally, or is accompanied by joint pain or swelling.

Plaque psoriasis is the most widespread form, though it may be accompanied by other types of psoriasis. Indicators of plaque psoriasis include:

  • Red skin patches that are covered with silver scales
  • Dry skin that may crack and bleed
  • Sensation of burning or itching around the irritated site
  • Stiff or swollen joints

Psoriasis is usually cyclical, and may flare up for weeks at a time, then disappear. Its resulting skin patches also vary; the patches of dead skin cells may be tiny and spotty or cover large areas of the body.

Psoriasis Treatment

The causes of psoriasis are not fully understood, but it is known that the disease alters the life cycle of skin cells.

There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are a number of treatment options available. Psoriasis management focuses on reducing the severity of outbreaks and limiting their uncomfortable side-effects. Most people who suffer from psoriasis respond well to topical medications.

Psoriasis Complications

Psoriasis is not contagious. Although the misconception is that it often leaves psoriasis sufferers depressed or socially isolated. If you’ve been diagnosed with psoriasis and feel depressed or experience suicidal thoughts, it’s important to talk with your doctor, a loved one or a counselor.

Psoriasis has also been linked with a number of other medical problems, particularly among older adults. Those with psoriasis may face a heightened risk of:

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Conjunctivitis or other vision disorders
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease

Anyone can develop psoriasis regardless of age, gender or race, but a family history of psoriasis or the presence of certain viral and bacterial infections can increase your risk for developing psoriasis.

If you’re seeking a knowledgeable, board-certified internal medicine specialist in the Littleton, Colorado, area, please contact Dr. Andy Fine online or call 303-703-8583 to schedule your appointment.

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