Changes in the skin, especially when it begins as something seemingly minor such as small red bumps, usually aren’t cause for concern. With changes in weather or product usage, it is not uncommon to develop minor irritations on the skin. The bad news is that many skin conditions look alike. Psoriasis presents similarly to eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. The good news is that dermatologists have a vast array of knowledge in all areas of the skin so an appointment at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology will provide you with the best answers to help create a treatment plan for whatever skin ailment you are experiencing.
Psoriasis is a type of auto-immune condition that causes inflammation in the body creating scaly plaques and rashes on the skin that tend to be extremely itchy and can sometimes even feel painful with burning or stinging sensations. Normal skin cells grow and subsequently shed within a month. In an overactive immune system, skin cells grow and shed in only 3 or 4 days. Psoriasis often develops between the ages of 15 and 25. It is most common on the knees, elbows, legs, lower back, hands, feet and scalp but can develop anywhere on the body. What does psoriasis look like when it starts? The early symptoms of psoriasis will depend upon the type of psoriasis you have. There are 7 main types of psoriasis, but 80-90% of patients are affected by plaque psoriasis which first appears as thick, raised patches of skin. These “plaques” can be red, purple or silver in color and vary in size. People with lighter skin types will see red or silver patches of skin whereas people with darker skin types will notice purple, grayish or dark brown patches of skin. Other psoriasis types include guttate (small red or purple spots on the skin), inverse (smooth red to purple rashes), pustular (painful, pus-filled bumps usually on the hands and feet), erythrodermic (rare and life-threatening that causes significant shedding of layers of skin in large pieces), nail psoriasis (usually develops as a secondary condition to another form of psoriasis), and psoriatic arthritis (affects the joints too).
Currently there is no cure for psoriasis but there are effective ways to treat and manage the symptoms. Some options include corticosteroids, retinoids, vitamin D analogues, salicylic acid, calcineurin inhibitors, immunosuppressants and light therapy. Because psoriasis is not the only skin condition that causes dry, flaking skin with itchy rashes, you may wish to consult a dermatologist to be sure if the symptoms you are experiencing are related to psoriasis or other conditions that look similar such as eczema, keratosis pilaris, hives, acne, rosacea, parapsoriasis, ringworm, lupus or skin cancer.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms common with psoriasis, find relief in the proper diagnosis and treatment solutions offered by THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology. Schedule your consultation conveniently online at WEBSITE or call with any questions you may have at 602-867-7546.