Understanding What Psoriasis is Crucial for Proper Diagnosis and Treatment Here at Brashear Family Medical
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that causes scaling and inflammation. It may develop as a result of an abnormality in the body’s immune system. The immune system typically fights infection and allergic reactions. Specific medications may trigger psoriasis, while other medications seem to make psoriasis worse in individuals who have the disease.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Symptoms of psoriasis are different for everyone. Common symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
- Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning or soreness
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
Patches of psoriasis can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. The majority of psoriasis types go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time or even going to complete remission.
Common Types of Psoriasis
Plaque Psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis. It causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques might be itchy or painful and there may be few or many. These can occur anywhere on your body.
Psoriasis can also affect fingernails and toenails. This type of psoriasis causes pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration. Nails affected by psoriasis might loosen and separate from the nail bed (onychloysis). Severe cases may cause the nail to crumble.
Guttate psoriasis primarily affects young adults and children who have recently had strep throat or a viral upper respiratory infection. This type of psoriasis is marked by many small, red, scaly patches that develop suddenly and simultaneously.
Inverse psoriasis usually affects the skin in the armpits, in the groin, under the breasts and around the genitals. This causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin that worsen with friction and sweating. This type of psoriasis may be triggered by fungal infections.
In addition to inflamed, scaly skin, psoriatic arthritis can cause swollen, painful joints that are typical of arthritis. Sometimes the joint symptoms are the first or only manifestation of psoriasis or at times only nail changes are seen. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis range from mild to severe, and it can affect any joint. While the disease typically isn’t as crippling as other forms of arthritis, it can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage that in the most serious cases may lead to permanent deformity.
Brashear Family Medical Offers Treatment Options for Psoriasis
There are a number of treatment methods for psoriasis. Since this chronic skin disorder can appear on many different ares of the body, all of which have different types of skin, the treatment can vary greatly. Our doctors here at Brashear Family Medical use light therapy or phototherapy has a common treatment. This involves both natural and artificial sunlight. Topical creams and ointment are another common treatment we recommend. In more severe cases, oral or injected medications cal also be used. The goal of our treatment methods is to find the most effective way to slow the over-production of skin cells with the least amount of side effects possible. If you believe you’re in need of treatment, don’t hesitate to contact Brashear Family Medical to find the best option for you.