Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes skin cells to grow too quickly. Normal skin production is about a four week process – skin cells grow gradually and flake off every four weeks. New skin layers are continuously replaced by new skin cells replacing the outer skin layers as they shed. With psoriasis, however, the skin production happens within a matter of days rather than weeks. This fast growth causes the skin cells to build up and form thick, red, itch patches on the skin. Patches of psoriasis can be large or small, and they most often appear on the knees, elbows, feet, hands, scalp, or lower back. Many people suffer from embarrassment in dealing with psoriasis and avoid situations where their patches may been seen.
Symptoms of psoriasis are different in their severity from people to people. While some people may have mild cases of psoriasis with small areas of rash, people with moderate to severe psoriasis have inflamed skin with raised red areas that are topped with scaly skin that is silver in color. Severe psoriasis can be extremely itchy and tender, and large areas can be very uncomfortable. Large areas can grow together and cover large areas of skin such as the entire back.
People who are diagnosed with psoriasis will be counseled in skin care. Keeping the skin clean, but moist with creams and lotions is very important to treating psoriasis outbreaks. There is often a complete line of hygiene care that will need to be implemented in order to treat and contain psoriasis; this may include specific shampoos, ultraviolet light, and medications (topical and oral). Your doctor will help you find the best route of treating outbreaks of psoriasis.
Posted on behalf of Medical Dermatology Specialists