What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells in days rather than weeks and requires specific psoriasis medications to treat it. As these cells pile up on the surface of your skin, they cause raised, red or silvery, scaly patches to appear. Psoriasis is most prevalent on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, palms, and soles of feet. Psoriasis occurs mostly in adults but can develop at any age and most often between the ages of 15-35. Though rare, 10-15% of Psoriasis cases can also appear in children before the age of 10.

There are 5 different types of Psoriasis including, Guttate which appear as small dot-like lesions, Inverse Psoriasis, which appear mainly in folds of skin, Pustular Psoriasis which appear as blisters surrounded by red skin, Erythrodermic, a more severe Psoriasis usually prominent all over the body, and the most common Plaque Psoriasis, which affects between 80-90% of people living with Psoriasis.

Apotheco Psoriasis - Person showing hands with psoriasis

What are the symptoms of Psoriasis?

Psoriasis has a typical appearance that is easily diagnosed by a dermatologist. Psoriasis comes in many forms, but the most common Plaque Psoriasis will show as raised silvery or red patches that may be itchy and, in some cases, painful.

About 11% of those diagnosed with Psoriasis have also been diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis.

Studies also show that Psoriasis can potentially increase the risk of other medical conditions including eye problems, painful and stiff joints, weight gain, and more.

What triggers Psoriasis?

Certain triggers such as stress, cold and dry weather, tobacco, and heavy alcohol consumption can cause Psoriasis to appear.

How can it be treated?

Psoriasis is a lifelong disease with no current cure, however, there are many ways to treat a flare-up and prevent future breakouts with the right psoriasis treatment. These can include:

  • Topical steroids – These creams and gels can help reduce inflammation and relieve itching.
  • Vitamin D Analogs – This topical cream/gel can be rubbed onto the skin to help slow skin cell growth.
  • Topical Retinoids – Topical Retinoids can help inhibit cell growth and have anti-inflammatory properties to aid in the treatment of Psoriasis.
  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCI) – TCI’s typically act on the immune system to help reduce skin inflammation.
  • Moisturizers – Moisturizers are typically used to help reduce dryness of the skin.
  • Salicylic Acid – Salicylic Acid acts as an exfoliate and helps to unclog pores on the skin.

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