Psoriasis is most commonly characterized by red or silvery scaly patches on the skin. It is caused when the immune system mistakenly identifies skin cells as being foreign objects. In order to defend itself from the presumed attack, the body begins to rapidly replicate skin cells, as much as 10 times faster than normal. The excess cells build up on the skin, creating the scaly, itches patches identifiable as plaque psoriasis, the most common form of psoriasis skin.
More than three quarters of all psoriasis patients suffer from plaque psoriasis, but there are other less common forms that are just as serious. Very similar to plaque psoriasis is psoriasis scalp, when the scaly patches and rash appear only on the scalp. If you have been treating dandruff with no success, there is a chance you are suffering from psoriasis scalp, and you should seek medical treatment. Other forms of psoriasis include pustular psoriasis, characterized by brown pustules on the side of the heel or base of the thum and inverse psoriasis, which appears in the folds of the skin rather than on or near joints. Gutturate psoriasis looks similar to plaque psoriasis but comes and goes rapidly. It can mutate into plaque psoriasis without warning.
Identifying psoriasis is the first step toward finding an effective psoriasis treatment. We provide a wide sample of psoriasis pictures, as well as complete descriptions of psoriasis symptoms to help you better understand the disease. Using psoriasis pictures can also help you describe your psoriasis symptoms to your doctor. Seeking medical treatment is essential. Left untreated, psoriasis can lead to a number of other health complications.
Many people who suffer from psoriasis report feeling embarrassed about their psoriasis skin, leading to depression and withdrawal. There are a number of effective psoriasis treatments that can control the symptoms and even significantly clear patients’ skin. For those with mild psoriasis, meaning less than three percent of skin surface is affected, topical treatments are usually best. Medicated creams and ointments help break down the excess skin cells while at the same time controlling the itching and pain associated with psoriasis skin. Phototherapy treatments are also effective but should only be used on occasion, as prolonged use increases a patient’s risk of developing skin cancers.
Systemic treatments are generally recommended for patients who suffer from moderate to severe psoriasis. These treatments come in either pill form or injection and work to suppress the immune system, disrupting the rapid cell replication. You should discuss the potential side effects of these treatments with your doctor and be sure you understand the signs of an adverse reaction. Potentially life-threatening conditions can develop rapidly if side effects are not addressed quickly.
Psoriasis arthritis is a common development that stems from psoriasis. It is caused by the same immune system response, leading to swollen, painful joints. It is often mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis, and while the two diseases are similar, there are notable differences. Both diseases cause joint tissue damage and create difficulty in conducting every day tasks. One key difference is that with rheumatoid arthritis, nodules develop on or near the affected joints, while scaly patches and rashes in the same area are hallmarks of psoriasis arthritis. Also, the joints immediately around fingernails and toenails are rarely affected with rheumatoid arthritis.
Although the skin leasions associated with psoriasis can be painful and embarrassing, there are effective treatments available. There are also lifestyle changes you can make to help you learn to live with psoriasis. We provide tips and advice for dealing with the disease, giving you hope of living a normal life and enjoying your favorite activities.