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Are you ready to alleviate the red, inflamed skin and irritated, scaly patches that are common symptoms of psoriasis? Over 8 million people in the United States have psoriasis, and it can affect people of all ages, though it often develops in teenagers and young adults.
With so many people suffering from psoriasis, our board-certified dermatologists understand what it takes to help our patients find relief. Learn more about psoriasis, what causes it, and how we treat psoriasis at Cumberland Skin in Hermitage, Tennessee.
What is Psoriasis?
Though psoriasis is often thought to be a chronic skin condition, it is actually an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin.
When a person’s overactive immune system begins speeding up cell growth, this causes raised patches of red, scaly skin to appear on the body, otherwise known as a psoriasis flare-up.
While these flare-ups can appear anywhere on the body, the most common places people experience psoriasis flare-ups include:
- Palms of the hands
Additionally, it’s important to note that the National Psoriasis Foundation also states on its website that those with psoriasis are also at risk for other systemic disease processes, including increased risk of psoriatic arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
As mentioned above, psoriasis is believed to be an autoimmune disease. Researchers are still unclear as to what exactly causes psoriasis but strongly believe it’s due to a dysfunction of the immune system, which causes inflammation of the skin and accelerated cell growth.
Genetics plays a key role in the development of psoriasis, and you’re more likely to get this common skin condition if you have a family history of psoriasis.
However, while genetics often increase the chances of developing psoriasis, it is possible to get it even if you have no family history of the disease.
The most common symptoms of psoriasis include raised patches of skin that tend to be scaly, red, irritated, inflamed, and often flakey. Psoriasis patches can also be painful and itchy.
Some additional signs and symptoms of psoriasis may include one or more of the following:
- Red patches of skin covered with 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
It’s important to note that psoriasis symptoms can vary from person to person. If you’re suffering from any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, visit an experienced dermatologist for a professional diagnosis.
Yes, there are 5 different types of psoriasis. The most common type is plaque psoriasis, which affects around 80% of those with psoriasis. Lesser common types of psoriasis include guttate psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and erythrodermic psoriasis.
Psoriasis is not contagious, and you cannot get it from another person who has it.
This is a common question our dermatologists get at Cumberland Skin. While psoriasis and eczema are somewhat similar in that they both can cause patches of raised, red, itchy skin, they are fundamentally different in what causes them.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease caused by an overactive immune system, which causes the skin cells to grow too fast. On the other hand, the cause of eczema is more complicated but is thought to be a combination of genetics and environmental factors.
Additionally, the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema can be a little different. The itchiness associated with psoriasis flare-ups tends to be more mild and tolerable, whereas eczema patches can be almost unbearable and often interferes with daily activities.
If you’re having trouble determining whether the red, irritated patches of skin on your body are psoriasis or eczema, visit a board-certified dermatologist for a professional evaluation. Most dermatologists are trained to spot the differences between these two skin conditions and will help you find relief!
At Cumberland Skin, our board-certified dermatologists create a personalized psoriasis treatment plan to help manage and alleviate your psoriasis symptoms and reduce the chances of a future psoriasis flare-up.
We use a combination of lifestyle recommendations and medication, such as topicals, creams, and oral prescriptions, to help you find relief from psoriasis.