Psoriasis is a chronic
that causes the rapid buildup of skin cells. This buildup of cells causes scaling on the skin's surface.
Psoriasis is the result of a sped-up skin production process. Typically, skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface. Eventually, they fall off. The typical life cycle of a skin cell is one month.
In people with psoriasis, this production process may occur in just a few days. Because of this, skin cells don't have time to fall off. This rapid overproduction leads to the buildup of skin cells.
Scales typically develop on joints, such elbows and knees. They may develop anywhere on the body, including the:
Types of psoriasis:
Psoriasis symptoms differ from person to person and depend on the type of psoriasis. Areas of psoriasis can be as small as a few flakes on the scalp or elbow, or cover the majority of the body.
The most common symptoms of plaque psoriasis include:
- red, raised, inflamed patches of skin
- whitish-silver scales or plaques on the red patches
- dry skin that may crack and bleed
- soreness around patches
- itching and burning sensations around patches
- thick, pitted nails
- painful, swollen joints
What's The Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis?
Location: Eczema occurs in folds of the skin. Think about the skin surfaces that are folded together - that's where you'll see eczema. So, if a red, scaly rash pops up behind your knees, elbows, or another creased area, it's probably eczema.
Look: These patches have exaggerated skin lines. The scales are thin and may have blisters. There's also more cracking and weeping of the skin on these areas.
Location: Psoriasis tends to come up on the other side of those creases. Often, you'll see it on the outside of your knees and elbows. You also may notice it in the scalp or on your lower back.
Look: Psoriasis patches have well-defined plaques. The scales are thicker, are stacked on top of each other, and turn extremely red. Occasionally, they'll crack and bleed.
Psoriasis cannot be cured but it can be treated successfully, sometimes for months or years and occasionally even permanently. Treatment depends on the type, severity and location of psoriasis; the patient's age, medical history and lifestyle; and the effect the disease has on the patient's general mental health. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy, and oral or injectable medication (for severe symptoms).
If you suffer from psoriasis, schedule an appointment and your provider can get started on a treatment plan that's right for you.