Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form silvery scales and dry, itchy, red plaques most often on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back that are itchy and sometimes painful.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease that often comes and goes. The main goal of treatment is to reduce the inflammation stop the skin cells from growing so quickly.
There is no cure for psoriasis, but you can manage symptoms. Lifestyle measures, such as moisturizing, weight reduction, quitting smoking and managing stress, may help.
Psoriasis comes in many forms. Each differs in severity, duration, location, shape, and pattern of the scales. The most common form of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis and it begins with little red bumps. Gradually, these bumps become larger, and scales form. While the top scales flake off easily and often, scales below the surface stick together. These small red areas can enlarge.
• Scalp, elbows, knees, legs, arms, genitals, nails, palms, and soles are the areas most commonly affected by psoriasis. It will often appear in the same place on both sides of the body.
• Scalp psoriasis may be mistaken for dandruff, or both can sometime co-exist.
• Nails with psoriasis frequently have tiny pits and often lift (onycholysis). Nails may thicken or crumble and are difficult to treat. Fungal infections are more common in patients with nail psoriasis.
• Inverse psoriasis occurs in the armpits, under the breasts, and in skin folds around the groin, buttocks, and genitals. This form of psoriasis responds very well to specific treatments which are specific to these sensitive areas.
• Guttate (“drop like”) psoriasis usually affects children and young adults. Typically, it begins after a sore throat (e.g. Strep throat) with many small, red, scaly spots appearing on the skin. Guttate psoriasis frequently clears up by itself in a few months.
• 20-30% of people with psoriasis may have symptoms of arthritis (“psoriatic arthritis”) and should consider seeing a rheumatologist.
If you are seeking treatment for your psoriasis and want to book an appointment with our dermatologist, Dr. Paul Kuzel, please visit your family doctor and request a Rapid Access referral to Rejuvenation Laser Dermatology.
- Prescription Ointment or Medication
- UV Light Booth Therapy