What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes buildup of skin cells, which then causes scaling in the skin’s surface. We all have skin cells, but with this condition the cells rise up to the surface a lot quicker and the cells don’t have time to fall off like they should. This buildup of skin cells can happen anywhere on the body, like hands, feet, neck and face.
Psoriasis is different for everyone and the same goes with their symptoms. The most common symptoms for Psoriasis are inflamed patches of skin that can appear red or brown and purple, dry skin that may crack and bleed, soreness around patches, itchiness, burning, and painful joints. Not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, some may only get a few. Doctors still don’t know what exactly causes this condition. Luckily, this type of skin condition is not contagious, so you don’t have to worry about skin to skin contact.
There are 5 types of Psoriasis that you probably have already heard of from the medical commercials you see on tv. These include plaque, guttate, pustular, inverse, and psoriatic erythroderma.
This is the most common type of psoriasis. It can be very itchy and sometimes painful. Plaque Psoriasis involves patches of rough, dry, red skin. Scratching can lead to broken skin, bleeding and infection. Some can consider this embarrassing and they try to cover it up with a scarf or long sleeves.
This is more common in childhood and causes small pink spots on the skin. It is not contagious, so you don’t have to worry about skin to skin contact. Guttate is also cleared with minor treatment unlike Plaque Psoriasis.
This type of Psoriasis can happen in other types of Psoriasis like plaque. It is a white, noncontagious pus blister that can appear mostly on the hands and feet, luckily never on the face. Eventually, they will appear brown and flakey and peel off leaving a shiny layer of skin.
This can sometimes be called hidden Psoriasis because it can be under certain areas of the skin like inner thigh or groin. Those who have this type of Psoriasis unfortunately, also have another form of Psoriasis. There are many ways to treat this type of condition, talk with your dermatologist to determine which one is best for you.
Psoriatic Erythroderma Psoriasis
Last but not least, this type of Psoriasis is very rare. It can also be very serious, causing your skin to lose its control in rising body temperature and protecting against infections. This is only caused by those who don’t take care of their Psoriasis and they are then admitted to the hospital.
Determining Your Diagnosis
A simple physical exam will help your doctor determine if you do have Psoriasis. During your exam, be sure to determine all areas of your body that might be affected. Your doctor may want to confirm his diagnosis, so they may take a small sample of the infected skin and perform a biopsy. The biopsy will be done at the doctor’s office by small injection for numbing to make the removal less painful. Your doctor will then send the samples to a lab for testing. Your doctor will send you in for another appointment, when the results are in and discuss them with you. If you do happen to have a specific type of Psoriasis, your doctor will go over all treatment options to help clear the Psoriasis.
If you have any further questions or concerns on Psoriasis or any other skin conditions, you can always contact Intermountain Aesthetics to schedule an appointment.