What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common, chronic, and often frustrating skin condition that causes skin scaling, inflammation, redness, and irritation. The exact cause is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by an overactive immune system, which causes the skin to form inflamed scaly lesions. These patches of thick, red skin may be itchy and painful. They often found on the elbows and knees, but can also form on the scalp, lower back, face, and nails.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Symptoms are different for every person and can vary in intensity over time. Some people may even go months or years without symptoms before flare-ups return. Symptoms of psoriasis can manifest in many ways, including:
- Rough, scaly skin
- Cracks on fingertips
- Simple tasks are painful, such as tying your shoe
- Brown, uneven nails
- Flaky skin
- Joint pain or aching
- Severe itching
The onset of psoriasis can occur at any age, although it most often occurs in adults. The disease is non-contagious and is thought to be genetic. Because psoriasis is a persistent, systemic autoimmune disease, people with this will have it for a lifetime. Most people who suffer from it can still lead healthy, active lives with proper management and care.
Coping with Psoriasis: Your Dermatologist can Help
Currently, there is no cure, but with the help of your dermatologist, you can learn how to cope with the condition, reduce symptoms, and keep outbreaks under control for an improved quality of life. Treatment depends on how serious it is, the type of psoriasis, and how the patient responds to certain treatments.