Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes skin cells to multiply much faster than normal, resulting in scaly, red patches most often appearing on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. The lesions can become very inflamed and itchy. People with psoriasis may also get a type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that between 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have psoriasis?

Psoriasis often appears as plaques of red skin, often covered with silver-colored scales. These plaques may be itchy and painful, and they sometimes crack and bleed. In severe cases, the plaques will grow and merge, covering large areas. It can also appear as case discoloration and pitting of the nails and plaques of scales or crust on the scalp.

What causes psoriasis?

Psoriasis often runs in families although many people have no known relatives with the disease. Onset often starts in the 50s, but younger or older people also get the disease. Cuts, scrapes, or surgery, emotional stress, strep infections, medications, including blood pressure medications (like beta-blockers), hydroxychloroquine, antimalarial medications can cause onset of symptoms.

What are my treatment options?

Treatments options include topical creams, oral medications, and injections that can decrease the effects of this disease. Your dermatologist will work with you to determine the optional treatment. Treatment plans must be closely followed to achieve optimum results.

You can learn more about psoriasis from the National Psoriasis Foundation.

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