Signs of Psoriasis: What It Is and How to Treat It

Did you know that we lose up to 40,000 dead skin cells per minute? It’s true—it happens because our skin is constantly replacing itself.

This is more important than you think—after all, the skin is the body’s largest organ! Not only does it protect us from the outside world, but it also plays a role in regulating temperature.

As it is, however, the skin can be afflicted by various conditions. Take psoriasis, for instance—it affects over 125 million people worldwide!

Want to learn more about the skin disease? Perhaps you’d like to familiarize yourself with the signs of psoriasis?

If so, you’re on the right page! We’ll be going over all that you need to know about below. Keep reading to learn more! 

What is Psoriasis? 

Psoriasis is a common skin disease in which skin cells build up too fast. As a result, there will be red, scaly patches on the skin.

In healthy individuals, skin cells grow and rise to the surface over the period of a month. In those with psoriasis, however, this process happens within a few days. Ultimately, it’s this overproduction of skin cells that leads to symptoms. 

As it is, symptoms can develop anywhere on the body. With that said, it is most commonly seen on the joints such as the knees and elbows.

Signs of Psoriasis

Signs and symptoms vary from person to person. Typically, however, there will be red patches on the skin—ones with silvery scales. Individuals may also experience itching, burning, dry skin, and stiff joints.

More often than not, these symptoms will appear in “cycles”—that is, they’ll appear for several weeks, before clearing up. From there, the condition might flare up again. Sometimes, however, the symptoms can disappear completely.

If that happens, you’re considered to be in remission. That doesn’t mean that it won’t return, though—it just means that you’re symptom-free.

Types of Psoriasis 

There are several types of psoriasis, each of which has its own set of symptoms. Let’s look at some of them below.

Plaque Psoriasis 

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis. In the United States, 80 percent of those with the condition have it.

Symptoms include red, inflamed lesions that cover the skin. More often than not, they will be painful and itchy. Location-wise, they can develop anywhere on the body including the inside of your mouth!

Guttate Psoriasis 

Guttate psoriasis is often seen in children and young adults. Unlike the other types, it is typically triggered by a bacterial infection. Symptoms include small, scaly lesions on the arms, legs, scalp, and torso.

Unlike those seen in plaque psoriasis, the patches are rarely thick. Instead, they are covered with thin scales. 

Inverse psoriasis typically affects the breast, groin, armpits, and the skin folds around the genitals. It causes red, smooth patches to appear, which may worsen due to sweat.

Inverse Psoriasis 

Because of their location, these lesions can be more difficult to treat. Sometimes, they can also lead to bacterial, fungal, or yeast infections.

Pustular Psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis is typically seen in adults. Relatively uncommon, it causes pus-filled blisters to appear on the skin. Depending on the severity, it can also lead to fever, chills, and diarrhea.

What sets it apart from the other forms is that it develops rapidly. To give you a better idea, symptoms can develop within just hours.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis 

Erythrodermic psoriasis is the most severe type of psoriasis. Generally, the rash will cover the entire body. Not only will it be itchy, but the skin will burn intensely. Fever is also common.

Left untreated, it can be life-threatening. Those with symptoms should see their doctor immediately.

Causes of Psoriasis 

The exact cause of psoriasis is unclear. However, the immune system plays a large role. Ultimately, the body’s white blood cells mistakenly attack the skin cells. As a result, their production goes into overdrive.

Research has shown that genetics has something to do with it. To give you a better idea, around one-third of cases run in families. 

Alcohol consumption and smoking can also increase your risk of psoriasis. In fact, the latter may play a role in the development of the disease.

Psoriasis Triggers 

Certain triggers can cause an individual’s psoriasis to start or worsen. For instance, they might get a flareup due to infections, stress, or injury to the skin. 

In addition to that, certain medications such as those used for bipolar disorder can also contribute to the condition.

Treating Psoriasis

Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis. With that said, it is possible to manage symptoms with proper treatments.

For instance, there are various creams and ointments that you can use to treat the lesions. They are effective for mild-to-moderate psoriasis.

In contrast, moderate-to-severe psoriasis is typically treated with oral medications (often in combination with creams). Because of severe side effects, however, they are only used for brief periods of time.

Light therapy can help. Also known as phototherapy, it involves using UV light to kill the overactive white blood cells. More often than not, it is used in combination with other treatments.

Living With Psoriasis 

As you can see, the signs of psoriasis differ from person to person. It depends on the type. With that said, they have one thing in common—that is, there will be some lesion on the skin. 

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