Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. These patches most often occur on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but can appear anywhere on the body. More than 6.7 million people are affected in the U.S. It is primarily seen in adults, and equally affects men and women. Most often there is a family history of psoriasis, or can be caused by an autoimmune response.
There are several types of psoriasis, with the most common type being plaque psoriasis. It is characterized by raised, inflamed, red lesions covered by silvery white scales. Severity can range from mild to severe, causing itching, soreness, and a burning sensation. Some known triggers for psoriasis flares include: stress, an injury to the skin, certain medications, and infection.
Psoriasis treatment generally includes the following categories:
- Topical treatments, such as ointments or creams
- Phototherapy, or light therapy
- Systemic therapy taken by mouth or injection, including biologic medications
Living with psoriasis can be difficult. Some of the following are ways that may help you live well with your symptoms and prevent as many flares:
- Exercise and maintain a healthy weight
- Find ways to avoid or decrease stress
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet
- You may consider avoiding foods that have been shown to increase inflammation (exp. red meat, dairy products, refined sugars, processed foods)
- Keep skin moisturized
- Taking a cold shower or using a cold pack may help with itching
This is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects both your skin and joints. Up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. Diagnosing PsA early is important. If left untreated, it can lead to severe joint damage. If you have joint aches and pains, tell your healthcare provider. Once diagnosed, treatment will depend on the severity of the disease, as determined by your physician.
Common symptoms include:
- Generalized fatigue
- Swollen fingers and toes
- Tender, painful, or swollen joints
- Morning stiffness
- Reduced range of motion
- Back or neck pain
HPC offers the following specialty therapies for the treatment of Psoriasis:
Visit the following sites for additional information on Psoriasis: