Human skin has been designed to constantly regenerate itself. When this regeneration takes place in a normal way, it causes a person to have pliable, flexible, healthy looking skin. However, when an individual is dealing with psoriasis, the normal life cycle of their skin is interrupted. Skin cells begin to grow at an accelerated rate and accumulate on the surface of the skin. This leads to the appearance of silvery scales on the affected area. Red patches develop that are itchy, and at times painful.
If you suspect that you or someone in your family has psoriasis, contact Arthritis & Osteoporosis Clinic of Brazos Valley today.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Doctors do not thoroughly understand what causes psoriasis, but they do know that there is a link between this condition and the immune system. Researchers have found that T cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake. This, in turn, begins a chain reaction of immune responses, including the dilation of blood vessels and an increase in white blood cells.
This condition has been linked to obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, and other autoimmune disorders. For this reason, if a person begins developing symptoms of this disorder, they should contact their medical professional for help immediately.
The symptoms of this disorder change from person to person. Most will include the following
- Joints that are stiff and swollen
- Scaling spots
- Dry skin that becomes cracked and eventually bleeds
- A thickening of the nails, or nails that are pitted or full of ridges
- Itchy, burning, or sore skin
Patches of psoriasis can range from large patches that cover significant portions of the body to a few minor spots that only affect a few areas of the body. This disorder comes and goes in cycles. It can flare for a few weeks and then go into complete remission for weeks or months.
Different Types of Psoriasis
The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. It is characterized by raised red skin lesions called plaques. These plaques are covered with silvery scales of skin. This form of this disorder can affect any part of the body, including the inside of the mouth, the genitals, and the palms of the hands. The itching that this form of the disease produces can be quite severe.
Nail psoriasis affects the fingernails and toenails. It leads to abnormal nail growth, nail pitting, and discoloration. In extreme cases, the nail may separate from the nail bed or crumble altogether.
Scalp psoriasis displays many of the same symptoms as plaque psoriasis. It affects the area beyond the hairline. A person with scalp psoriasis may see flakes of dead skin on their shoulders, especially after they scratch their scalp.
Inverse psoriasis attacks the armpits, the groin, and the area under the breast. A characteristic of inverse psoriasis is smooth patches of red, inflamed skin that get worse when a person sweats.
While anyone can develop this condition, there are a number of factors that can predict a greater risk of developing it. These include
- A family history of psoriasis
- Previous viral or bacterial infection.
- High levels of stress
While there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are a number of successful treatment methods available to control symptoms. The doctors at Arthritis & Osteoporosis Clinic of Brazos Valley are well-equipped in treating severe cases of psoriasis. In these instances, we use a combination of systemic treatments and biologics.