Psoriasis is a common but annoying problem. Though no one knows the exact cause, some doctors believe it is a type of autoimmune disease where the body comes under attack by its own immune system. In the case of psoriasis, the body disrupts the normal cycle of how the skin grows.
Normally, it takes about a month for a skin cell to work its way up from the basal layer of the dermis to the top of the skin. In those with this condition, this process takes only three or four days. Because of this, the skin cells don’t flake off the way they usually do but cling to the upper layer of the skin in patches of silvery scales.
Signs and Symptoms
In plaque psoriasis, the most common form of the disorder, the skin has plaques that are a bit raised, have red borders and are covered with the scales. Sometimes they crack and hurt, and they may itch or burn. Some people have pains in their joints from a complication called psoriatic arthritis. The disorder can go into remission, but remissions are often followed by flare-ups whose cause is unknown. People can have flare-ups due to stress, infection, drugs, cold weather, hormones or an injury to their skin.
Plaque psoriasis most often appears on a person’s elbows, lower back, scalp and knees. The plaques are small but can join together and cover a significant area of the skin.
The signs and symptoms of guttate psoriasis are red spots over the patient’s skin. Usually, the spots are found on the torso, but they can also be found on the arms, legs, scalp and face.
The inverse type is found in the folds of the skin, such as the area under the breasts. The lesions are shiny, smooth and red, and because they’re kept moist, they don’t shed skin cells the way other types of plaques do.
There are three types of pustular psoriasis, and the common signs are patches of red skin that surround many pustules. It can cover much of the patient’s body or only be found on their hands and feet.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is a rare type that looks like the person is suffering from burns. It is considered a medical emergency. It can be triggered when the condition is not well-controlled, from alcoholism, infection, severe stress and the patient abruptly stopping their medicine.
Call Us for More Information
If you want information about psoriasis or think you have it, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with our experienced staff at Atomic Dermatology in Pasco, WA. Contact our office today to book an appointment and learn more.