Psoriasis is a very common skin disorder where skin cells multiply 10 times more rapidly than normal. Psoriasis is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease that causes raised, scaly patches on the skin. An autoimmune disorder is one in which the body’s immune system turns its defenses on itself, attacking cells and tissues it mistakenly thinks are harmful. With psoriasis, the epidermis, the top layer of skin, suffers the ramifications. Anyone can develop psoriasis. Genetics are thought to play a role in developing psoriasis as studies have shown that psoriasis runs in families and is associated with gene mutations. Around 10% of the population inherits one or more of the genes that are linked to psoriasis development, although just 2-3% acquire psoriasis.
Genetic changes make psoriasis more likely to occur, but environmental factors can contribute to changes in the immune system, effectively activating the disease and producing symptoms. The most common risk factors include family history, infections, medications, skin trauma, smoking and obesity. Stress, gluten intolerance and cold weather are other additional and surprising contributors to psoriasis. It is not uncommon for those with psoriasis to have more than one auto-immune disease with overlapping symptoms. Changing or eliminating some of the outside factors that contribute to psoriasis can alleviate symptoms.
While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are options to manage flare-ups and even possibly eradicate symptoms. Topical treatments for psoriasis include steroid creams, enzyme inhibitors, salicylic acid, calcipotriol (a strong form of synthetic vitamin D), Tapinarof, and Tazorac. Immunosuppressants, and prescription retinoids. Phototherapy, laser therapy and UVB therapy are also proven treatment options. Natural remedies include colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera, Epsom salts, apple cider vinegar and a healthy diet. For severe psoriasis, Methotrexate and Cyclosporine are top solutions offered by doctors, but they do come with risks that include lung and kidney problems as well as high blood pressure.
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of psoriasis, contact a dermatologist at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology to begin a treatment plan to improve skin and alleviate discomfort. To schedule an appointment call 602-867-7546 or visit us online at WEBSITE.