With more than 3 million cases reported each year, psoriasis is a common skin condition that takes the appearance of a scaly rash. Caused by a disease of the immune system that results in skin cells being produced at a faster than normal rate, psoriasis causes a buildup of skin cells that are visible on the surface. These itchy, dry patches of skin can cause joint pain and may even trigger depression in sufferers.
Psoriasis is most commonly found in people age 15 to 35, although it can affect anyone at any age. At this time, there is no known cure for the treatment of psoriasis. This chronic condition can be managed with proper treatment methods. The professionals at Blue Ridge Dermatology are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis, as well as support for psoriasis sufferers.
Types of Psoriasis
There are 5 main types of psoriasis that take on different appearances and affect the body in different manners. Below, you will find a list of the main types as well as information on each type.
- Plaque Psoriasis: The most talked about type of psoriasis, it takes on the traditional appearance, such as red, itchy, raised patches on the skin.
- Guttate Psoriasis: Most common in children and young adults, this type of psoriasis causes lesions most commonly on the upper trunk or extremities.
- Inverse Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is most commonly found in folds of the body, such as behind the knees and in the crook of arms, and causes red lesions in these areas.
- Pustular Psoriasis: Distinguishable by its distinct appearance, this type of psoriasis causes white blisters and reddening of the skin.
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is very rare and can affect the entire body with pain, itching, and redness.
If you believe you are suffering from a type of psoriasis mentioned above, call Blue Ridge Dermatology today to be evaluated by a psoriasis expert.
Cause of Psoriasis
Although the cause of psoriasis is unknown, it is thought to be caused by a combination of an inherited gene and exposure to “triggers”. These triggers can negatively affect the immune system, causing psoriasis to flare up. Triggers can vary by person. A list of common triggers can be found below.
Common Psoriasis Triggers
- Diet, including consumption of alcohol
- Certain medications
- Cuts, bruises, or other trauma to the skin
- Weather, such as cold and dry conditions
As a way of treatment, the team of dermatologists at Blue Ridge Dermatology can work with you to determine your psoriasis triggers, aiding in the reduction of flare ups.
Common Psoriasis Treatments
Although there is no cure for psoriasis, treatments are available to manage symptoms and control flare ups. Below are common treatment methods.
- Oral Treatments: New forms of oral treatments called “small-molecule” treatments target the molecules that are thought to cause the inflammation.
- Systemics: This form of prescription drugs are taken orally and work throughout the body to treat psoriasis.
- Topical Creams: Applied directly to the skin to slow cell reproduction and inflammation, topical treatment is usually the first course of action in the management of psoriasis.
- Biologic Drugs: Administered via intravenous infusion (IV) or injection, Biologics are a protein based drug that target specific parts of the immune system which are thought to cause psoriasis.
- Phototherapy: Also known as light therapy, phototherapy exposes the skin to ultraviolet light to control psoriasis.
- Alternative Methods: Changing diet and exercise habits, using herbal remedies, and stress reduction therapy are alternative methods that psoriasis sufferers are attempting.
For more information on psoriasis, or if you suspect you are suffering from a skin condition, it is recommended to seek advice from a skin specialist at Blue Ridge Dermatology. Our skilled Dermatologists will evaluate your condition and work with you to reduce triggers and manage your symptoms.