What Are Signs of Psoriasis?

psoriasis hand

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes your skin cells to build up too quickly.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

The symptoms of psoriasis can come and go and may include the following:

  • Red, raised and inflamed patches on your skin
  • Thick, whitish-silver scales on the red patches
  • Itching and burning
  • Pain around the patches
  • Painful, swollen joints
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Thickened, pitted, or ridged nails

Can psoriasis make you more likely to develop other medical conditions?

Psoriasis can make you more likely to develop the following:

  • Eye problems – including eyelids that stick together or are itchy or sore, blurry vision, seeing dark spots, and redness, tearing, or a discharge coming from your eyes
  • Mood changes – such as feeling anxious or sad
  • Liver disease – characterized by fatigue, weight loss, and pain in the upper right abdomen
  • Crohn’s disease – characterized by pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, and fever
  • Kidney disease – urinating less, feeling fatigued, or swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

Your doctor can usually diagnose psoriasis by examining your skin and taking your medical history. In some cases, he or she may need to take a biopsy, removing a small sample of skin for closer examination.

How can psoriasis be treated?

There’s currently no cure for psoriasis, but its symptoms can be managed and treated in one or a combination of the following ways:

  • Lifestyle changes – such as taking daily lukewarm baths with colloidal oatmeal or Epsom salts, using a heavy moisturizer after bathing, exposing your skin to small amounts of sunlight, managing stress, and avoiding alcohol and other triggers such as smoking.
  • Topical medication – such as corticosteroids, synthetic vitamin D, retinoids, anthralin, or salicylic acid
  • Oral or injected medication – usually used only for short periods of time when other treatment methods aren’t effective and can include methotrexate or cyclosporine
  • Light therapy – both UVA and UVB or natural light

How can you best cope with psychological effects caused by psoriasis?

Depending on how severe your psoriasis is, you may feel self-conscious when you’re experiencing a flare up. The following are some ways to help minimize its effect:

  • Follow a treatment plan – Get treatment and follow your doctor’s recommendations.
  • Learn more about your disease – Learn about psoriasis, your treatment options, and how you may be able to minimize your flare ups.
  • Get support – Seek out support with an in-person or online group of people who also have psoriasis.
  • Cover problem spots during flare ups – Cover up by using clothing or makeup, but make sure any cosmetics you use don’t irritate your skin.

If you have symptoms of psoriasis, contact the Florida Academic Dermatology Center in Coral Gables today. Our unique practice offers medical care for skin conditions such as psoriasis as well as skin care procedures and clinical trials.

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