Psoriasis occurs when new skin cells are produced too quickly and build up into plaques. According to The National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis affects over 8 million people in the United States. Although there is no cure, there are proven ways to manage its symptoms. Wilson Dermatology offers expertise and treatment options for those affected by this immune-mediated disease.

What Does Psoriasis Look Like?

Psoriasis is a rash that can affect anyone at any age. Because this disorder creates excess skin cells that build up to form bumpy red patches on the skin’s surface, a medical diagnosis is recommended to rule out other common skin issues. Some signs and symptoms of psoriasis may include:

● Itchy, scaly red patches on the skin which can be covered by silvery-white scale
● Patches typically form on the scalp, trunk, elbows, and knees
● Patches may clear up and flare
● Dry, cracked skin with or without bleeding
● Sensation of burning or soreness at the site of skin irritation
● Finger and/or toenails that feature ridges or are thick
● Psoriasis can cause psoriatic arthritis – swollen, stiff, painful joints

It’s important to note that some skin conditions thought to be psoriasis are actually other types of rashes that can be treated and cured. If you suspect you or a loved one may have psoriasis, consult an experienced dermatologist.

What Causes Psoriasis?

An essential part of psoriasis treatment is the discovery of specific triggers. Common ones include:

● Stress
● Strep throat
● Severe sunburn
● Trauma to the skin
● Smoking
● Obesity
● Certain medications

Types of Psoriasis in Kids and Adults

While there exist multiple types of psoriasis, the most common is plaque psoriasis, characterized by thick patches of skin that have a silvery scale or coating. Other types of psoriasis include: 

● Guttate psoriasis. Typically appearing after an illness, this condition causes the body to form small pink bumps with a fine scale.
● Scalp psoriasis. Featuring thick, scaly spots on one or more areas of the scalp, this type of psoriasis can lead to hair loss if found in large patches.
● Pustular psoriasis. Appears all over the body or just on palms and soles of feet. White, pus-filled bumps surrounded by red skin.
● Inverse psoriasis. Develops in folds of skin like armpits and groin. Skin looks raw with red, smooth patches and minimal scale.
● Nail psoriasis. Affects fingers and toenails, resulting in tiny holes that may cause them to loosen, thicken, and crumble — often misdiagnosed as fungal nail infections.
● Erythrodermic psoriasis. Least common form. Severe redness and shedding of skin over much of the body. Varying degrees of scale.

Differential diagnosis, or the ruling out of other disorders that might have similar symptoms, is the fastest way to determine the best course of treatment.

Psoriasis Treatment Options

An experienced dermatologist is your best source of information about treatment options that will be effective for your specific type of psoriasis. Some common treatments that can help clear up symptoms include:

● Topical medicine that will decrease the rate at which skin cells grow
● Light therapy (also called psoralen plus ultraviolet A, or PUVA)
● Systemic medication
● Biologics are injections that target specific areas of the immune system

Uncover Clear Skin with Targeted Psoriasis Treatment at Wilson Dermatology

If you or someone close to you has psoriasis, you may know that coping with the symptoms can be challenging. Particularly for kids, psoriasis can lead to self-esteem issues and difficulty in social situations. However, rest assured that psoriasis can be treated successfully when working with an experienced dermatologist. We’re committed to learning about your concerns, medical history, and lifestyle to offer tailored treatment options to help you clear up as soon as possible! For further information about psoriasis or benign skin lesion treatment options, reach out to Wilson Dermatology today.