Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes excess skin cells to build up on the body and lead to the development of skin patches. It is caused by the body’s own immune system telling it to grow new skin cells more quickly than normal. Psoriasis is not contagious, and it affects nearly 8 million Americans. There is a genetic component to the disease – a person is more likely to get psoriasis if a relative has it.
Types of Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type. It causes raised, reddish and itchy patches that can appear almost anywhere on the skin. Another type is known as guttate psoriasis. This typically causes red spots that cover an entire area. The legs, arms and torso are the most common areas, but it can also affect the head. Pustular psoriasis produces pus-filled bumps, usually on the hands and feet. Inverse psoriasis is known for its red patches that look like raw skin, usually where skin touches skin, like in the armpits. Finally, there is erythrodermic psoriasis. This form is rare but dangerous. It causes most of the body’s skin to appear bright red, and it also affects body temperature and heart rate.
Treatment of Psoriasis
There are a number of different treatments that can reduce the symptoms of psoriasis and improve quality of life for those with the disease. For mild to moderate psoriasis, the first options that are often tried are topical treatments that can be prescribed or purchased over the counter. Another treatment is phototherapy, which involves exposing the body to ultraviolet light to reduce symptoms. This can be done in a doctor’s office or at home with a phototherapy unit. For moderate to severe psoriasis, there are medications that can help combat psoriasis by working on the body’s immune response. These drugs are known as biologics and systemics.
SOURCES: American Academy of Dermatology; National Psoriasis Foundation
Patients diagnosed with psoriasis are at increased risk of mental health disorders.
Pop icon struggled for years with debilitating condition, but finally has it under control
'Fragrance-free' and 'hypoallergenic' labeling is often misleading, study finds
But experts say there may be ways to reduce those odds
Psoriatic arthritis causes painful joint swelling, but new medication Taltz might help
Suggestions from the experts
Researchers say this may explain why more males seek treatment for the skin disease
Mood disorder may increase inflammation throughout the body, researcher says
Injected drug is for use by patients who've failed other treatments
But Siliq poses increased risk of suicidal behavior, agency warns
Quality-of-life boost seen in obese patients who lost significant amounts
Find out how dropping some pounds may significantly improve psoriasis symptoms.
Suggestions to soothe it
Avoid products that could irritate skin
RoxP may fight cell damage that could lead to skin cancer, psoriasis and other skin disorders, researcher says
Eat well, and exercise regularly
Experts suggest how
Ichthyosis is a genetic condition that leaves people with red, scaly skin
This chronic skin disease can affect overall health, dermatologist says
Try not to irritate your scalp
Moderate-to-severe skin disease improved with Taltz over 60 weeks, study finds
Chronic skin condition may be associated with increased risk of diabetes and obesity, study finds.
A genetic link is one theory for the possible association, researchers say
But overall chances of experiencing often fatal ruptures remain small, doctors say
But dermatologist recommends using only the mildest effective ones
But experts say much more work lies ahead before people might benefit
Study reveals quintupling of prices over six years
Results show how misunderstood the conditions are, researchers say
Chronic skin disorder linked to increase risk for heart attack and stroke
But research doesn't prove one causes the other
Targeted therapies produce significant results, researchers say
Embarrassment, discomfort and concerns about drug side effects may play a role, experts say
Guselkumab appears more effective than standard treatment, researchers report
Ixekizumab appeared to outperform standard medication in a late-stage clinical trial
Researchers said effect was even stronger if bones or joints were involved
But experts say complication is rare, and no reason to stop medication
Prolonged exposure linked to rheumatoid arthritis, lupus
They differ from ordinary dandruff
Cosentyx blocks protein involved in inflammatory response of disease
Cosentyx hinders protein that spurs skin inflammation
Much of the expense is for indirect effects, such as time lost from work, experts say
Researchers suspect inflammation is the common denominator