If you are struggling with psoriasis you may be comforted by the fact that you are not alone. Approximately 7.5 million Americans are living with psoriasis today. This condition is not contagious, but is actually a problem occurring within the immune system, known as an autoimmune disease. This chronic skin disorder occurs when you have skin cells that are multiplying up to ten times faster than what is considered the normal rate. As underlying skin cells reach the surface and die, it causes a raised amount of red plaques covered with white scales typically occurring on the knees, elbows, scalp and occasionally the torso, palms and soles of the feet.
Symptoms of this skin disorder are patches of red skin covered in loose scales that are typically itchy and can even be painful. These areas on the skin can become painful when they crack and bleed. In severe cases the areas of skin will grow and merge into one another causing it to cover large areas of the skin. The most common triggers for psoriasis symptoms to flare-up include:
- Upper respiratory infections
- Skin injuries
- Sweating in places that allows for a build up of yeast.
When you have psoriasis you also become at risk of having psoriatic arthritis, which leads to pain and swelling of the joints. These symptoms can occur anywhere on your body and can range from relatively mild to severe. The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that 10%-30% of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis. Arthritis involvement often is in individuals with less severe skin lesions.
As shown in the graph above, Psoriasis can occur at any age. The skin disorder often develops between ages 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age. You can see in the graph, created from a pilot study done by Anais Brasileiros de Dermotologia, a dermatologist in Rio de Janeiro, the most common age range for people who have psoriasis is 30-39 years old.
With several types of psoriasis that have a variety of symptoms, the best way to tame flare-ups is to see a doctor to diagnose the specific psoriasis you have and come up with a treatment plan together. To schedule a consultation please call us at 614.299. 9909 today!
Sources: WebMD, SciElo (photo)