What You Need to Know About Psoriasis

Over seven million American adults currently live with psoriasis. While there is no cure, understanding what psoriasis is and what causes it can help you live with the skin condition more comfortably.

We’ll examine what you need to know about psoriasis and how you can treat psoriasis professionally and at home.

What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic, non-contagious condition that can cause patches of itchy, reddened, inflamed skin. Psoriasis occurs when your skin cells generate and rise to the surface too quickly, which causes them to overcrowd with the existing cells and create scaling on the skin’s surface.

Psoriasis commonly appears as red patches on the elbows, knees, and scalp but often forms on hands, feet, and even nails. Psoriasis typically itches at the site of the condition, but it can also cause your skin to crack and eventually bleed in severe cases.

Common Psoriasis Causes

Roughly 3% of American adults have psoriasis. Despite the high prevalence of the condition, researchers still don’t know exactly what causes psoriasis. However, we know now that psoriasis development often has something to do with either genetics or a malfunctioning immune system.

Psoriasis & Your Genetics

Modern research shows that people with close relatives with psoriasis are far likelier to develop the condition than those who don’t. Researchers believe that since psoriasis isn’t contagious, the link is due to genetic inheritance.

Psoriasis & Your Immune System

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, meaning it results from your body attacking itself. In the case of psoriasis, white blood cells known as T cells mistakenly attack your skin cells, and the body generates too many skin cells too quickly to try and counter the attack. 

Psoriasis can flare up during high-stress periods or if you injure your skin.

Common Psoriasis Symptoms

Itchy, red, or purple splotches on your skin, excessively dry skin, and cracked or bleeding skin are common psoriasis symptoms. However, there are several severe conditions associated with psoriasis development that many people are unaware of, including:

  • Joint pain: Psoriasis on the skin near your joints can cause severe pain on top of the existing irritation and itchiness.
  • Conjunctivitis: Psoriasis can cause eye inflammation that results in severe bouts of conjunctivitis, which leads to swelling and irritation around the eyes.
  • Diabetes: Studies show that people with psoriasis are 10% likelier to develop type 2 diabetes. This is primarily because excessive inflammation increases your body’s IGF (a hormone that resists insulin) levels.

How to Treat Psoriasis at Home

While psoriasis has no cure, treatments are available to help manage the condition. Several topical creams exist to help you minimize the effects of mild psoriasis. Oral medication or even light therapy can help in more severe cases. While these treatments won’t remove the skin condition entirely, they can temporarily limit the swelling and irritation. Additionally, there are many newer biologic injectable medications that have been proven very effective at treating and even preventing psoriasis breakouts. 

Call Refine Dermatology Today for Professional Psoriasis Treatment

Refine Dermatology will help you tend to your psoriasis with the best treatments available. Our team takes the time to hear your needs and employs personalized care plans so you can minimize your symptoms.

Contact our team online or call today at (865) 545-0900 to learn more about what you need to know about psoriasis and how to treat it.