You may have heard of psoriasis before, but unless you have been diagnosed with it, you may not know exactly what the condition looks like, what causes it or what you can do to treat it. Because psoriasis symptoms often vary from person to person, you may even be suffering from it and not even know. In fact, mild psoriasis may even appear to be only extremely dry skin.
Regardless of its severity, psoriasis can be embarrassing, and at times even painful. Keep reading to learn about the symptoms of psoriasis and what you can do to reduce them.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis usually affects adults, but children and teens can also suffer from the condition. Any area of the body can be affected by psoriasis, but the areas most commonly affected are the elbows, knees and scalp, as well as areas where some sort of trauma or abrasion has been inflicted. The condition typically appears as pink or red skin that is thick or raised. Sometimes psoriasis can even give skin a scaly look.
Unfortunately, no one knows exactly what causes psoriasis. However it has been found that the immune system and genetics do play a role in its development. While symptoms can be treated, there is currently no cure for psoriasis. And over, this condition may either improve or even worsen sporadically over time. In fact, the condition may not be a problem for years and will seemingly flare up out of nowhere.
Types Of Psoriasis And Their Symptoms
One reason why psoriasis may go undiagnosed is because it comes in many different forms:
- Plaque Psoriasis – This is the most common kind of psoriasis. It is characterized by inflamed, red skin the appears scaly. Affected skin may itch and burn. It can appear anywhere on the body but is most commonly found on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back.
- Guttate Psoriasis – This type of psoriasis is rare. It most commonly affects children or young adults. Symptoms include small, pink-red spots on the midsection, upper arms, thighs and scalp. This type of psoriasis often develops after some type of trigger, such as upper respiratory diseases, stress or an injury to the skin.
- Inverse Psoriasis – Like plaque psoriasis, this type causes skin to redden; however with inverse psoriasis skin will remain smooth, shiny and scaleless. This type often occurs in the armpits, groin and other more intimate areas. Sweating and chafing may worsen inverse psoriasis.
- Pustular Psoriasis – While very uncommon, this type of psoriasis can be very serious. It causes pus-filled bumps to appear on the skin. It can occur on any part of the body and can cause serious symptoms like fever, chills, nausea and muscle weakness.
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis – This is the least common type of psoriasis, but it can also be very serious. It typically affects the whole body and causes skin to appear burned. Other symptoms include severe itching, peeling skin, a faster heart rate and changes in body temperature.
- Nail Psoriasis – Many people that experience psoriasis also experience symptoms on their finger and toenails. Nails may become painful, change color or separate from the nail bed. This type of psoriasis also makes you more susceptible to a fungal infection of the nails.
Each of these types of psoriasis can have negative effects on an individual’s confidence and quality of life. Unfortunately, while it’s rare to experience two types of psoriasis at the same time, it is possible to have one type flare up after another.
While psoriasis does not have a cure, there are many ways it can be treated. The effectiveness of treatment depends on the type of psoriasis, the severity and the person who has it. For mild cases, topical lotions and creams may be very effective. Doctors may also recommend a local injection of steroids to help control and limit affected skin areas.
On the other hand, moderate to severe cases of psoriasis may respond better to laser skin treatment. This safe, non-invasive procedure directly targets affected areas of the skin. Some patients may even begin to feel and see results after only one laser treatment.
At Aerolase Medical Centers, we use 650-microsecond technology to create a uniquely pain-free experience when it comes to treating psoriasis. If you or someone from your family suffers from psoriasis, contact your doctor or dermatologist to see if laser treatments are right for you.