What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common and chronic skin condition that causes skin cells to develop and grow rapidly. The result of this rapid skin cell growth is patches of thick scale-like skin, which can be red with white scales, and flaky. Guttate Psoriasis is one type of the condition that results in visible small pink dots. These little lesions resemble droplets on the surface of the skin.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
The symptoms of psoriasis vary, but there are some common signs of the condition. Symptoms include red, flaky patches of skin that are covered with scales of thicker whitish skin, itching or burning sensations on the affected area, and skin that appears dry and cracked to the point of bleeding. These patches of skin are called plaques, and they may appear on the knees, elbows, hands, and many other areas of the body.
Aching muscles, sore joints, and pain throughout the body are also symptoms of psoriasis. This is known as psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis on the scalp can result in small patches of dandruff, to more severe patches of red, flaky skin that is covered in white or silvery scales. These patches may be concentrated in one area, or they can be found on the entire scalp, and even extend down to the forehead. It can cause itching, soreness, and even hair loss, due to scratching and picking at the scalp.
Psoriasis can also affect the fingernails, resulting in discoloration. Nails may have small pits, little lines running across the nail, loose fingernails, and discoloration on the nail plate. Many times, nail psoriasis will be present with flaky plaques on another area of the body.
It is not yet known what exactly causes psoriasis. Science suggests that the condition may be hereditary. One possibility that doctors believe may be a cause of psoriasis is an overactive immune system. This could lead to the inflammation of the skin, resulting in flaking.
Unfortunately, there is no psoriasis cure that is known at this time. There are, however, different treatment options available that may prove effective for an individual suffering from this skin condition. Mild cases of psoriasis can typically be treated with topical remedies.
Psoriasis treatment for mild cases includes topical creams, lotions, or other ointments that will moisturize and soothe the skin in the affected area. Exposure to sunlight can also prove helpful, although it is important to avoid sunburn, in any case.
Psoriasis on the scalp can be treated with shampoos or sprays. There are also oils that may be soothing and helpful in managing and treating the scalp.
It is important to note that psoriasis can return, even after a treatment has been working well for an individual.
Doctors will recommend the treatment course that they feel best suits the patient, based on the type of psoriasis that they have, as well as the severity of the condition. They may prescribe pills or recommend the use of specific skin care products. Shots to help boost an individual’s immune system may also be administered.
See also: What is acne?
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