Have you heard of psoriasis? If you suffer from psoriasis, you’re not alone, as an estimated 7.5 million people in the US are afflicted with this skin condition as well. In recent years, awareness regarding this autoimmune disease has risen as Kim Kardashian and model Cara Delevingne have publicly discussed their struggles with psoriasis. Today, our Boulder dermatology clinic would like to provide you with some useful information about psoriasis.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that shows up as dry, red, crusty patches of skin. More than just a skin condition, the body is unable to distinguish the difference between healthy cells and foreign bodies, so it attacks its own organs and cells. During such attacks, your body can produce new skin cells, which causes formations of dry, crusty patches of skin.
Psoriasis Is Not Contagious
This autoimmune disease cannot be spread from person to person and is not contagious. There’s no need to avoid shaking hands with or touching someone with psoriasis.
There are several different types of psoriasis:
Plaque psoriasis consists of rounded patches of red skin usually covered with a thick silver-colored scales. Generally, this type of psoriasis occurs on the scalp, buttocks, elbows, knees, torso, arms, and legs.
This type of psoriasis is characterized by skin patches with pustules or pimples.
If you have this type of psoriasis, you could develop many small red patches quite suddenly. Children who recently had strep throat or a viral upper respiratory infection can be affected with this type of psoriasis.
Inverse psoriasis refers to moist red patches that form in the creases of the body, including the armpits, genital areas, buttocks, and groin.
Like any autoimmune disease, there’s no known cure for psoriasis, but it can be managed to reduce the amount of flare ups. In fact, psoriasis can go into remission for weeks or even years at a time. Psoriasis treatments are determined by the type of psoriasis, the severity of the disease, and the amount and location of affected skin.
Topical treatments are applied directly to the skin to provide relief and to help slow the production of skin scales.
Exposure to UV rays combined with oral medication could help control inflammation associated with this skin condition.
Vitamin A derivatives are very powerful treatments for moderate to severe cases of the disease.
By suppressing the immune system, these drugs can help treat moderate to severe cases of psoriasis affecting large portions of the skin.
When psoriasis hasn’t responded to other treatments, biologic therapies injected in the body. However, this treatment can be rather pricey, which is why it’s not used as often as others.
If you are suffering from psoriasis, our Boulder dermatologists can help. We customize each treatment plan to fit the unique needs of our patients as no two cases are alike. You can live a full, healthy life with this condition, so make an appointment at Kallgren Dermatology today.