Psoriasis is a chronic condition that usually causes patches of red, scaly skin to develop in various locations on your body. Although these patches can occur anywhere, they’re most common on your trunk, knees, and elbows.
Other symptoms of psoriasis may include:
In most cases, the symptoms of psoriasis appear for the first time between the ages of 15-35, but it’s possible for children under 10 to develop this condition as well.
The medical community believes psoriasis to be an autoimmune disease. It develops when your immune system sends out incorrect signals that lead to an overgrowth of skin cells. Your body can’t slough off the dead skin fast enough to keep up with this overgrowth, causing these cells build up on the outer layer of your skin.
Psoriasis may be hereditary, but not everyone with the psoriasis gene develops the condition.
Most people with psoriasis experience flare-ups throughout their life, but the right treatments can keep symptoms under control. Some of the treatments that may help with psoriasis include:
Certain topical treatments, such as retinoids and corticosteroids, may improve the symptoms of psoriasis by reducing inflammation and preventing the growth of scales.
Light therapy slows the rate of skin turnover, reduces inflammation, and prevents the formation of scales. Be aware, though, that some types of light therapy may also increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
If your psoriasis is severe, you may need oral or injectable medications to deal with your symptoms.
Dr. Piantanida explains all of the treatment options available before prescribing anything. She also makes recommendations based on the specifics of your condition.
You may be able to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis by avoiding triggers. Some of the most common psoriasis triggers include weather changes, stress, smoking, excessive alcohol use, damage to the skin, and certain medications. Some patients find that eating certain foods makes the symptoms of psoriasis worse.
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