3 Things You Should Know About Psoriasis

Posted on: 11 September 2023


According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, eight million Americans and 125 million people around the globe suffer from psoriasis. If you believe you have this skin problem, the following three points should arm you with the information you need to understand it and pursue the proper treatment for it.

1. Psoriasis Stems from an Autoimmune Problem

If you have psoriasis, your immune system has mistaken healthy skin cells for potential threats such as bacteria or a virus. instead of attacking these germs, it attacks the skin, irritating it. This autoimmune malfunction also causes the skin cells to reproduce too quickly, creating thickened skin lesions called plaques.

Various triggers can cause your psoriasis to flare up. Examples include skin injuries or infections, dramatic weather changes that affect your body temperature, stress, and prescribed medications. Once you figure out your personal psoriasis triggers, you can avoid or minimize them to help control outbreaks.

2. Psoriasis Creates Distinctive Skin Symptoms

The raised plaques produced by psoriasis may appear brown or reddish in color. The skin in these plaques may also feel rough, dry, itchy, bumpy, scaly, or painful. Flakes of skin may fall away from the plaques from time to time. As a systemic condition, psoriasis can also cause joint pain and nail deterioration.

You might confuse psoriasis with another skin issue called eczema since both conditions can display similar symptoms. However, eczema tends to make its first appearance in childhood, while psoriasis strikes adults. Your dermatologist can confirm which problem you have during a diagnostic exam.

3. Psoriasis May Require Medical Treatment

You may have luck treating your psoriasis outbreaks with many non-prescription remedies such as moisturizers and pain relievers. However, a stubborn or severe case may call for medical treatment measures. For instance, your dermatologist may prescribe topical corticosteroids, salicylic acid, retinoids, or calcineurin inhibitors.

Light therapy can also prove useful as a psoriasis treatment. Your dermatologist may expose the affected skin to carefully regulated amounts of ultraviolet light. Coal tar creams or medications that boost your sensitivity to light can enhance the effects of light therapy.

Psoriasis can also respond to immunotherapy. In this kind of treatment, you take drugs that inhibit your immune system just enough to tame its hypersensitivity. This calming effect may then reduce bouts of psoriasis as the immune system halts its attacks on your skin cells.

As you can see, medical psoriasis skin treatment can often manage psoriasis when do-it-yourself methods can't get the job done. To learn more about psoriasis skin treatment, contact a provider near you.