What is Psoriasis?
Causes of Psoriasis
While the cause of Psoriasis remains unclear, there’s a link between this condition and the immune system. Researchers have found that T cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake. As a result, this begins a chain reaction of immune responses. This includes the dilation of blood vessels and an increase in white blood cells.
Psoriasis is linked to the folllowing:
- type II diabetes
- cardiovascular disease
- high blood pressure
- Parkinson’s disease
- kidney disease
- other autoimmune disorders
Therefore, if someone begins developing symptoms of this disorder, it’s necessary to contact a medical professional immediately.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
The symptoms of Psoriasis can change from person to person. Most will include the following:
- Stiff or swollen joints
- Scaling spots
- Dry skin that becomes cracked and eventually bleeds
- A thickening of the nails, or nails that are pittting or full of ridges
- Itchy, burning, or sore skin
Also, patches of Psoriasis can range from large patches that cover significant portions of the body to a few minor spots that only affect a few areas of the body. This disorder comes and goes in cycles. It can flare for a few weeks and then go into complete remission for weeks or months.
Types of Psoriasis
The most common type of Psoriasis is Plaque Psoriasis. It appears as raised red skin lesions, or plaques. These plaques are covered with silvery scales of skin. In addition, this form of Psoriasis can affect any part of the body, including the inside of the mouth, the genitals, and the palms of the hands. The itching that this form of the disease produces can be quite severe.
Nail Psoriasis affects the fingernails and toenails. It leads to abnormal nail growth, nail pitting and discoloration. In extreme cases, the nail may separate from the nail bed or crumble altogether.
Scalp Psoriasis displays many of the same symptoms as Plaque Psoriasis. It affects the area beyond the hairline. A person with Scalp Psoriasis may see flakes of dead skin on their shoulder, especially after they scratch their scalp.
Inverse Psoriasis attacks the armpits, the groin and the area under the breast. A characteristic of Inverse Psoriasis is smooth patches of red, inflamed skin that get worse when a person sweats.
Risk Factors for Psoriasis
While anyone can develop Psoriasis, there are a number of factors that can predict a greater risk of developing it. These include the following:
- A family history of Psoriasis
- Previous viral or bacterial infection
- High levels of stress
There is currently no cure for Psoriasis, but there are a number of successful treatment methods available to control symptoms. Our doctors at Arthritis & Osteoporosis Clinic of Brazos Valley are well-equipped in treating severe cases of Psoriasis. In these instances, we use a combination of systemic treatments and biologics. Contact us with the link below for more information!