Understanding and Combating Psoriasis

Conditions like psoriasis are more than skin deep. When you have psoriasis, your body’s skin cells experience a sped-up life cycle. Your body pushes cells to grow more quickly on the surface of the skin, which can result in itchy, painful patches. Psoriasis is a chronic condition that affects each person differently. Some people have mild or moderate psoriasis, whereas others will experience a much more severe version of the condition. No matter how severe the condition may be, psoriasis can cause many different problems. For this reason, early diagnosis and treatment are best if you think you have it.

What Causes Psoriasis?

Doctors and researchers are still looking for the answer as to what causes psoriasis. Right now, experts believe that it is a condition linked to the immune system and an overreaction of the body’s T-cells. These cells begin to attack healthy cells because they believe they are fighting off an infection or wound. Additionally, doctors believe that psoriasis may have a genetic component. Certain triggers are associated with outbreaks once somebody already has psoriasis. These triggers often include infections, injuries, smoking, drinking alcohol, and stress. People with Vitamin D deficiencies or who take certain medications may also be at higher risk for outbreaks. The risks of being diagnosed with psoriasis include having a family history of the condition or having a viral or bacterial infection. Feeling stressed out and being overweight are also risk factors. Men and women are diagnosed with psoriasis about equally, and the condition may develop at any age. Certain foods are also common triggers. These foods include red meat, refined sugar, dairy products, and processed foods.

What Are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?

Psoriasis symptoms differ from person to person. In general, people with this skin condition will experience red patches of skin and scales on various parts of the body. Adults and children both experience symptoms like soreness, itching, and even thicker nails. Some people struggle to perform daily tasks or to walk smoothly. Symptoms that cover less than 3 percent of the body are considered mild psoriasis. Moderate psoriasis means that the condition affects between 3 and 10 percent of the body. Any more than this is considered severe psoriasis.

What Are the Different Types of Psoriasis?

Several types of psoriasis exist. The most common type is plaque psoriasis. This condition results in dry, raised lesions that look scaly. They may be itchy or painful and present anywhere on the body. Psoriasis of the nail can cause discoloration and abnormal growth of the fingernails and toenails. It can lead to disintegrating nails and even nails separating from the beds. Guttate psoriasis is most common in children and young adults, and it tends to cause outbreaks over the entire body, including the scalp, trunk, legs, and arms. Guttate psoriasis may culminate in only a single outbreak. Some forms of psoriasis are not as common and may be linked to sweating or friction. Others, like psoriatic arthritis, also cause swollen and painful joints.

What Treatments Exist for Psoriasis?

While there is no cure for psoriasis, doctors can show patients how to manage the symptoms most effectively. For mild and moderate conditions, topical treatments may be enough. In more severe cases, you might need to consider light therapy. Medications may ease the symptoms, but trying to find the perfect medication for a condition is also difficult. In some cases, doctors advise losing weight and sticking to a healthy diet void of trigger foods. Do you think that you might have psoriasis? Have you been previously diagnosed? Help may be available. Make an appointment at the Asheboro Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center to learn more about your options.

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