Psoriasis is a very common skin condition. There are several different types of this condition, with plaque psoriasis being the most common. In almost all cases, this condition is life-long. The only exception is when children have guttate psoriasis, which sometimes clears up when they reach adulthood.
When a person has this condition, their body creates skin cells faster than normal. It takes them only days, rather than weeks. Although the causes for this condition are not fully understood, current theories revolve around an issue with the immune system. If your T-cells are overactive, they attack healthy skin cells. This triggers the production of new skin cells, which begins a cycle that leads to scaly patches on your skin. Why this happens remains unclear, but it seems that both environmental and genetic factors play a role.
Potential triggers for psoriasis outbreaks include:
- Excessive drinking
- Injuries to the skin
- Skin infections
- Strep throat
- Excessive stress
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Certain medications
Although the signs and symptoms of this condition can vary from person to person, there are some very common ones. You may have this condition if you have:
- Red patches of skin that are covered in scales
- Skin so dry and cracked that it bleeds
- Small scaling spots
- Burning, soreness, or itching of a patch of skin
- Stiff and/or swollen joints
Types of Psoriasis
There are many different variations of this disease. The most common ones include:
- Plaque: This version involves red skin lesions, often covered with silvery scales, and can appear almost anywhere on the body.
- Guttate: Most common in young people, this type of the disease is often triggered by a bacterial infection. The scales are usually smaller and water-drop-shaped.
- Nail: When the condition affects the nails, it can cause them to separate from the nail bed. It can affect both fingernails and toenails.
- Inverse: Patches of red skin typically show up in the armpits, groin, around the genitals, and underneath the breast with this form of psoriasis. It is believed to be triggered by fungal infections.
- Psoriatic arthritis: On top of red and scaly skin, this form of the disease causes symptoms similar to arthritis.
Learn more about psoriasis and what can be done to treat it by getting in touch with the team at Pinnacle Dermatology in Birmingham. We are always happy to answer questions and discuss your treatment options with you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!