Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the United States, affecting approximately 7.5 million Americans, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Psoriasis is not contagious, nor is it life threatening, but it can have an impact on the quality of a person’s life.

What causes psoriasis?

While there is no known cause for psoriasis. It is thought to be a hereditary disease that can remain dormant in an individual until a life event triggers it to become active, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Life events that are thought to be triggers include the following:

  • Stress
  • Strep throat
  • Certain medications that may be taken to prevent Malaria or contain Lithium
  • Cold or dry weather
  • Sunburn
  • Trauma to the skin- vaccinations, scratches, cuts, scrapes
  • Allergies
  • Diet

There are five known types of psoriasis. However, 80 percent of those who get psoriasis are diagnosed with plaque psoriasis or psoriasis vulgaris. It appears in red patches that are covered in buildup of dead skin cells or scale.

Symptoms of Psoriasis

Symptoms of psoriasis include the following:

  • Red inflamed lesions that may be raised
  • Plaques that are scaly and silver in color
  • Small, red individual spots
  • Soreness of the skin
  • Itching and burning
  • Separation of the nail from the nail bed

Treatment for Psoriasis

There are ways to improve the quality of life of those with psoriasis.

  • Medications such as Enbrel, Humira, Remicade and Stelara can be taken to relieve the itching of these red patches.
  • Reducing stress levels may decrease flair ups and inflammation.
  • Speaking openly about the condition can help build support systems.
  • Seeking medical treatment to help control psoriasis outbreaks can do a great deal to help reduce symptoms and help patients feel in greater control of the condition. New and effective treatments are available.

Contact the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale today for help with diagnosis and/or treatment of psoriasis. Contact us at (480) 596-1110.