Psoriasis is a common, yet troublesome skin infection that affects millions of people each year. While many cases go into remission or go away entirely on their own, others demand that sufferers seek medical help. Find out how to protect yourself from this illness by learning what psoriasis is and what factors put you and your loved ones at risk of developing it.
What are the Symptoms?
Psoriasis presents itself through a series of inconvenient and painful symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms that sufferers may experience include:
• Red patches of skin covered with silver scales
• Small, scaling spots of skin
• Dry, cracked skin that bleeds
• Thick, pitted, and ridged nails
• Itching, burning, and soreness
• Swollen and stiff joints
Further, there are numerous types of psoriasis, all of which may include the same range of symptoms. The most common types are:
• Plaque, which is the most common and can be found anywhere on the body or in the mouth
• Nail, which as its name implies, impacts the fingernails and toenails
• Guttate, which affects children and young adults and can be caused by infections like strep
• Inverse, which can be found in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and around the genitals
• Pustular, which affects the hands, feet, and fingertips
Scientists and doctors have yet to discover exactly what causes the condition and how it can best be prevented.
Causes of Psoriasis
The medical and scientific communities do believe that psoriasis is a type of autoimmune disease that is caused by the abnormal function of T cells and white blood cells. Instead of attacking illnesses and infections, these cells attack the body’s own tissues, causing the onset of the condition.
However, scientists and doctors also believe that this illness can be caused by infections like strep disease, injuries to the skin, stress, smoking, and drinking. They also suggest that it can be caused by a severe Vitamin D deficiency and by medications like lithium.
Certain factors can also put you at risk of developing psoriasis. These risk factors include:
• Genetics or family history
• Viral or bacterial infections
• Heavy drinking
Aside from family history and genetics, other factors for this illness can be prevented or reduced. You may be able to eliminate or ease your own psoriasis flare-ups by avoiding stress, losing weight, and cutting back on drinking and smoking. With that being said, the best way to address the condition is to seek professional psoriasis treatment.
During a consultation at Metro Dermatology, you can learn about your treatment options. We have offices located in Elmhurst, Flushing, Englewood and the Bronx. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!