Psoriasis is not contagious but is a lifelong condition that can significantly impact social and emotional aspects of your life.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a disorder that causes the body to make new skin cells too quickly. The most common type of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis. As the skin cells build up, they create scaly, raised, red patches of thick, dry skin called plaques that are covered with a silvery-white scale. Symptoms include stinging, burning pain and tight skin. The plaques are intensely itchy, and scratching can cause the plaques to thicken.
Plaque psoriasis can appear anywhere, but the vast majority of patients develop plaque psoriasis on their elbows, knees, lower back and scalp. Skin psoriasis can also affect the nails causing pitting, discoloration, rough nails, and a buildup of skin cells under the nails
Some forms of psoriasis affect places where skin touches skin as in the eyelids, armpits, genitals and buttocks crease. These patches are smooth, red, sore and painful. Psoriasis can also cause eye problems, redness, tearing and yellow discharge from the eyes, blurry vision and floaters. Another type tends to develop in children and young adults after a strep throat infection. Generally, this type resolves once the infection clears.
In addition, people with psoriasis have an increased the risk of Crohn’s disease, weight gain, high blood pressure, mood disorders, gum disease, fatigue, abdominal pain and kidney disease, and psoriatic arthritis.
What is psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriasis can begin on the skin and over years it can attack the joints causing psoriatic arthritis. However, some people get psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis at the same time. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include pain and swelling of the joints. Other symptoms are similar to arthritis including stiffness that improves with activity. It is also a lifelong condition treated like osteoarthritis.
What causes psoriasis?
The exact cause is unknown but is known to involve the immune system, your genes and a trigger that activates your genes to instigate the production of new skin cells at a rate much faster than normal. which results in a buildup of these cells causing the plaques.
Who gets psoriasis?
Both men and women of all racial groups suffer from psoriasis. It can develop at any age, but frequently develops between ages 15 and 35. However, about 10-15% of patients get psoriasis before age 10.
Dr. Kandula will ask about your medical and family history. She will examine your skin and ask about your symptoms, recent illnesses and stresses in your life. To confirm a diagnosis, she may take a thin slice of skin in the plaque and sent it to the lab for review. Then she will develop a treatment plan based on your specific needs.
Psoriasis can be mild, moderate or severe. Depending on the severity there are several treatment options including but not limited to topical medications, light therapy, oral medications, and injectable drugs.
Psoriasis cannot be cured, but you can live well with the condition. Contact Dr. Swetha Kandula in Parsippany, New Jersey to receive the correct diagnosis and compassionate treatment.