If you experience psoriasis, you are not alone. In fact, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, over 8 million Americans are currently living with psoriasis. This autoimmune skin disease causes the growth cycle of skin cells to speed up, leading to patches of thick, red, scaly skin. In honor of Psoriasis Awareness Month this August, our healthcare providers wanted to share some helpful information on psoriasis and how it can be treated.
The most common type of psoriasis is known as plaque psoriasis. Although it can appear anywhere, plaques most commonly occur on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of feet. It is common for people with psoriasis to experience other related health concerns including diabetes, heart disease, and depression. For many people, the emotional and psychological toll of psoriasis can be even more harmful than the physical effects.
Additionally, some people with psoriasis may also experience psoriatic arthritis. It is estimated that psoriatic arthritis occurs in 10% to 20% of people with psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis creates inflammation in the joints, but unlike other types of arthritis like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis is thought to be caused by the underlying effects of psoriasis. Some medical professionals use the term psoriatic disease to describe a patient who experiences both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis at the same time.
Thankfully, psoriasis can be treated. How psoriasis is treated depends on a number of factors for each patient including how much of the skin is affected, if the psoriasis is causing pain or physical discomfort, the location of the patches, and more. Depending on what we feel is best, we may recommend topical creams and ointments, prescription medications, or other potential treatment methods for psoriasis patients.
If you experience psoriasis, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Our skilled, experienced dermatological healthcare providers work with our patients to find the best possible treatment plans for psoriasis and other common skin conditions. For more information or to schedule an appointment today, please contact Family Practice Center. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, practice updates, and more.