Psoriasis is a skin condition that occurs when skin cells multiply rapidly — sometimes up to ten times more quickly than normal. As the new skin cells reach the surface, the older cells die. The huge number of new skin cells causes the area to swell, and the dead cells on the surface form a scaly, gray area. These patches commonly occur on the knees, elbows, and scalp, but can spread to other areas in severe cases.
The common symptoms of psoriasis are scaly, raised areas of skin. These affected areas are often itchy and painful. In some cases, the patches will crack and bleed. Psoriasis can also affect the fingernails, causing discoloration. Nails can become brittle and crumble or become detached from the nail bed.
Currently, there is no known cure for psoriasis. However, there are treatments that can help clear up the raised, scaly patches of skin and reduce the itching and irritation. You should talk to a dermatologist as soon as you notice symptoms of psoriasis.
What Causes Psoriasis?
While we aren’t 100% sure, most researchers believe that psoriasis is linked to genetics, but is triggered by an immune response. This occurs when T-cells are triggered mistakenly and activate other immune responses. The result is the overproduction of skin cells. There are a number of specific triggers for the flare-ups. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, common triggers are:
- Injury to the skin
- Certain medications
- Sudden changes in weather
What Treatments are Available for Psoriasis?
While there’s currently no cure, the symptoms of mild psoriasis can often be treated at home. Simple dietary supplements like vitamin D, fish oil, and aloe vera can reduce its symptoms. Dry skin also triggers psoriasis, so a humidifier is good to use. Other things that are good for you in general, such as reducing stress, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, and eating nutritious foods can also reduce the effects of psoriasis.
For more severe psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream or Calcipotriene, which slows the excessive production of skin cells. Retinoids can also be used to treat the symptoms, but don’t work as quickly as steroids. Finally, ultraviolet light can be used to treat psoriasis. It’s important not to allow the skin to sunburn, however.
Contact TrueSkin Dermatology in Sandy, Utah
For psoriasis treatment, contact the offices of TrueSkin Dermatology in Sandy to set an appointment today. If you live in Draper, Riverton, Bluffdale, South Jordan, or any of the other surrounds areas give us a call!