Psoriasis is a chronic auto-immune disease that causes a dry, reddish and scaly rash. Originating from the Greek word psora, meaning being itchy, psoriasis is a common skin condition that affects millions of people in the United States. Normally, skin cells reproduce every 21-28 days. With psoriasis, skin cells reproduce at a much faster rate of 2 to 6 days. The accelerated cell production causes constant shedding of the skin as the older skin cells are replaced with new skin cells. There are various types of psoriasis that can develop from various triggering agents in all parts of the body and require specific treatment based on the severity of the psoriasis.
Plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris) is the most common form of psoriasis, affecting 80-90% of patients who develop the condition. Characterized by dry, itchy, raised and inflamed red lesions covered in silvery white scales, plaque psoriasis appears on the surface of the skin most commonly on the knees, lower back, scalp, nails and elbows, but can appear anywhere on the body. The flaky white skin cells build up on the inflamed area and over time are dislodged and shed.
Inverse psoriasis is found in skin fold areas that are subject to irritation due to sweating and rubbing of the skin such as the armpits, groin, under the breasts or other folds around the genital and buttock area. Bright red lesions, without the white flaky scales, that may appear shiny and smooth in texture are generally the first symptoms of inverse psoriasis.
Guttate psoriasis first appears in childhood/young adulthood and forms many small red spots on the skin, generally on limbs and the scalp.
Pustular psoriasis is a less common form of psoriasis characterized by white blisters of non-infectious pus that surround patches of red skin.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is the rarest form of psoriasis. Common among individuals who have unstable cases of plaque psoriasis and undefined lesions, erythrodermic psoriasis is an inflammatory form of psoriasis that develops on most of the body’s surface and causes extensive skin shedding, severe itching and pain.
While there is currently no cure for psoriasis, proper treatment is dependent on the severity, type and location on the skin affected by the psoriasis. Topical treatments, phototherapy and/or systemic medications are common treatments recommended for psoriasis patients. To learn more about psoriasis or to find out how Dr. Holy can help you, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website.