Who Can Develop Psoriasis?
Psoriasis affects both men and women of all ages. However, this disease most commonly first appears between the ages of 15 and 35.
In the past, people thought that psoriasis only affected people with fair skin. This is not the case, though the majority of people diagnosed with psoriasis do have fair skin. People of color, including Hispanic individuals and Native Americans, can also develop psoriasis.
Types of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a complex skin condition and there are several different types of psoriasis. Each variant of psoriasis may have different symptoms and, consequently, different treatment options. Coming to the right diagnosis and creating an optimal treatment plan can only be accomplished by a board-certified dermatologist.
There are several variants of psoriasis, including the following:
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis. This causes areas of rough, itchy, red, and scaly patches of skin across the body.
Guttate psoriasis is a variety of psoriasis where a patient experiences small “drops” of psoriasis across larger areas of their body.
Inverse psoriasis refers to a type of psoriasis where flareups develop within the folds of the body. This includes areas around the ears, genitals, buttocks, lips, fingers, abdomen, and breasts.
Pustular psoriasis is a rarer form of psoriasis where a patient experiences psoriasis across their body that includes pustules, also known as areas of pus-filled bumps.
Erythrodermic psoriasis refers to the most extreme form of psoriasis, which covers the entire body. It can cause peeling, inflammation, and swelling across the entire body and should be treated as a medical emergency that requires professional attention.
What Causes Psoriasis?
The exact cause of psoriasis is not known, but it is understood to be caused by your immune system affecting the way your skin grows. It can also be an inherited disease since people who have family histories of psoriasis are at an increased risk of developing it.
Our current understanding of psoriasis is that it develops when the immune system mistakenly identifies a normal skin cell as a foreign invader, which causes the immune system to overproduce new skin cells in that area. This is what causes the patches of scaly, thick skin to develop.
When someone has psoriasis, anything from stress, cold weather, certain medications, and infections can potentially cause their psoriasis to flare up even if it was previously well controlled.
Treatment Options for Psoriasis
For most, the first line of treatment for psoriasis includes topical steroids. During your examination, Dr. Ip will discuss your symptoms and history with you, as well as the details of your individual case and how severe your psoriasis is.
At times, psoriasis can be so severe that systemic medications are necessary. If this is the case, Dr. Ip will take the time to talk to you about what this means and what you can expect from your treatment.
Vibrant Dermatology is one of the only dermatology practices in Massachusetts offering Aerolase laser treatment for psoriasis. The laser works by closing down the blood vessels that feed psoriasis plaques and by preventing the skin from growing too quickly. The treatment takes minutes and has no downtime.
Leave your skincare to the experts. Psoriasis is a frustrating skin condition that is a cosmetic concern for many men and women, but it may also cause discomfort that can be helped with professional care. If you would like to experience premier dermatological care to achieve beautiful and healthy skin, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Ip today.