Around 2 percent of the population develops psoriasis at some point in their lives, making it a relatively common skin condition. While psoriasis is not curable, it is easily treatable with the help of your dermatologist. When diagnosed with a skin condition, it can be confusing and hard to find all of the right answers. Let this blog serve as a brief overview of the condition or a starting point for further conversations with your dermatologist.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a condition that causes a buildup of dead skin scales. This creates raised, silvery-red patches across the body, which can be itchy and painful. This form of the condition is called plaque psoriasis, and is also the most common type. However, you should be aware that psoriasis can appear in the form of these other types:
- Guttate: This is typified by small lesions dotting the skin. Usually, guttate psoriasis appears in childhood after cases of strep infection.
- Inverse: Inverse psoriasis shows up in the body’s folds. This includes areas of the body such as the armpit, behind the knee or the groin.
- Pustular: If you suffer from pustular psoriasis, you will see blisters filled with noninfectious puss surrounded by red skin covering areas of the body like the hands or feet.
- Erythrodermic: This is the most severe and rare type of psoriasis and causes skin to come off in sheets and clothes. Erythrodermic psoriasis is a more intense and painful type of plaque psoriasis.
When does Psoriasis Normally Develop?
More often than not, psoriasis develops around the ages of 15 to 35. There is no definite time that psoriasis appears; however, it can develop at all age. Around 10 percent of those with the condition will be diagnosed under the age of ten. For children with psoriasis, it is very common appears after the child has contracted strep throat. If you have young children, be sure to monitor their symptoms well after illnesses, like strep throat, bronchitis or an earache, to be sure they have not developed psoriasis.
Where on the Body is Psoriasis?
Unfortunately, psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body. Most commonly, it is found on the knees, elbows and scalp. Where you experience psoriasis may be linked to the type of psoriasis you have. For example, those with pustular psoriasis often have bad flare ups on the hands and feet, whereas those with inverse psoriasis normally only experience flare ups in the fold of their skin like the armpit or under the knee.
Why do I have Psoriasis?
There is no known cause for psoriasis; however, it is known that immune systems and genes have a hand in the development. Caucasians are more likely to develop psoriasis than other races, although it can develop no matter your race. Those who carry the psoriasis gene are more likely to develop the condition, so if both parents carry the gene, their child has a 50 percent chance of having psoriasis.
If you do suffer from psoriasis, different parts of your environment may trigger flare ups of the conditions. Triggers may include:
- Skin Lesions (cuts, burns, bruises)
- Weather (extreme heat or dryness)
How Can I Treat Psoriasis?
Again, psoriasis has no cure but is easily managed and treated. Treatments like phototherapy, steroid medications, topical ointments and regular dermatology visits are great ways to care for the condition. There are also small ways to improve your psoriasis by managing triggers. Administering self-care, getting plenty of rest and paying special attention to your environment are great ways to help account for your triggers.
If you struggle with psoriasis, don’t wait to seek treatment. There are many things to do to help manage your symptoms. The dermatologists at Knoxville Dermatology Group are experienced in hundreds of skin conditions and can get you back on the path towards comfort. To make an appointment visit use online or call (865) 690-9467.