Psoriasis: What is it?

In the United States, about 3 percent of people suffer from a condition called psoriasis, which manifests as red, scaly, itchy patches on the skin. Patients who suffer from this disease can feel embarrassed about it and sometimes even suffer from depression - but the good news is, doctors have come a long way in their understanding of this disease (and how to treat it).

Why do people get psoriasis?

The skin cells normally grow in deeper layers and slowly surface over the course of a month. Normally, the process of healing psoriasis takes several days. Red, flaky rashes occur when the old and new skin cells pile up together.

A rash usually appears on the scalp, knees, or outside of the elbow, but it can appear anywhere. Occasionally, psoriasis can cause itching, burning, and stinging.

Psoriasis is unknown to scientists, but MedlinePlus suggests both genetics and immune system responses are involved. However, the disease is not contagious.

In what ways can psoriasis cause complications?

A recent study by the National Psoriasis Foundation estimated that about 30 percent of individuals with psoriasis will also develop psoriatic arthritis. In addition to causing swelling of the joints, this condition also causes pain and stiffness.

Other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression may also be associated with psoriasis. Keeping an eye on your doctor's treatment plan (and their advice on healthy living) can help mitigate those risks.

What is the treatment for psoriasis?

In the beginning, your doctor may want to confirm that the condition is psoriasis, especially since the disease can look like other skin conditions like eczema. Most likely, your physician will conduct a physical exam and ask if you have any family members with psoriasis. Dermatologists may examine a sample of the affected skin under a microscope in order to diagnose the condition.

Treatment varies based on the severity of your illness, which is determined by the extent of skin damage and the location of the rashes. Creams and lotions can help calm psoriasis skin. Another method of healing the skin is phototherapy, which uses UV light to reduce inflammation.

In cases where psoriasis is widespread, prescription-strength creams and medications may be needed. In recent years, new medications have been developed that target the immune system cells in an attempt to correct the rash-causing overreaction.

There is usually a recurrence of symptoms and dry skin stress or illness can trigger them. A dermatologist may be able to give you an evaluation if you notice flaky painful rashes on your skin that are slow to heal. You will work with your dermatologist to reduce the appearance of irritated skin and manage outbreaks. Now you won't have to wonder what psoriasis is.

Are you ready to schedule an appointment? All-in-One Foot Care Center is here to help! You can contact our office at 949-588-8833, or visit our website at Our offices are located in Laguna Hills, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Foothill Ranch, and Costa Mesa.

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Friday, June 17, 2022