Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.
Dr. Aaron Wiegmann
Dr. Wiegmann earned his medical degree (M.D.) from Rush Medical College and completed his General Surgery residency at Rush University Medical Center and Cook County Hospital. He has a Master's Degree (M.S.) in clinical research and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles.
April 15, 2021
The CDC defines psoriasis as “A chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells.” The affected area is usually itchy and can be reddish, burning, or tender.
The skin may also crack to the extent of bleeding. Psoriasis can affect different parts of the skin, but it is more common in the face, elbows, knees, scalp, back, palm, and feet. It can also affect the nails both at the fingers and at the toes.
EverydayDr is partnered with PlushCare, a telehealth company that connects patients with exceptional online doctors. PlushCare was just named one of the top startups of 2021 by Forbes, and their doctors can expertly diagnose, create treatment plans, and even prescribe medication for psoriasis, all virtually. You can book a same-day appointment with PlushCare here.
As reported by the American Academy of Dermatology, over 7 million Americans are suffering from psoriasis.
This skin disease is common among adults but can affect any group of people. Though it is not life-threatening, it could become severe enough to warrant a visit to the doctor. But what exactly is psoriasis, what are the causes, and how can you treat it?
There are different types of psoriasis, and the symptoms depend on the kind of psoriasis that is affecting a given patient. Most of the symptoms appear on the skin or the nails. The following are among the most common symptoms of the disease:
Complications arising from psoriasis may include one or more of the following:
Although the root cause of psoriasis is not fully known, it is believed to be due to a malfunction of the body’s immune system. Human skins can regenerate as a layer gets old and dies, but when the immune system malfunctions, the skin cells regenerate rapidly, causing a build-up of cells that forms scales and patches.
The problem with the immune system may be hereditary, but experts believe certain environmental factors also factor in triggering the skin condition. That means people are born with a tendency to develop psoriasis but may not develop it until certain conditions trigger it. The following are among the factors that can trigger psoriasis:
Psoriasis is also more prevalent in certain age groups. “Psoriasis can appear”, explains the National Psoriasis Foundation, “at any age, but often has two peaks of onset. The first between 20 to 30 years of age and the second between 50 to 60 years of age.”
Although there is no permanent cure for psoriasis, the symptoms can be treated, and the rate of formation of scales can be slowed down. Treating the disease can involve a combination of different treatment options or focus on a single option that is producing the desired effect.
One of the major treatments for psoriasis is the use of creams and ointments. There are creams that are formulated to treat the scales formed by psoriasis, make the skin smoother, relieve pains, and reduce cell build-up. Creams and ointments can only be used to treat mild to moderate conditions. A more severe case of psoriasis may require medication or light therapy.
Medications for treating psoriasis include prescription drugs and injections. These treatments are prescribed for mild to severe cases. There are four major categories of drugs that are commonly used to treat psoriasis, including:
There are four categories of drugs commonly used in the treatment of psoriasis. They are:
Speak to a doctor from our partner, PlushCare, about getting prescription medication for psoriasis.
Extensive use of these drugs may have dangerous side effects. They are only options if creams and ointments failed and if your doctor believes that they are necessary.
Another option for removing scales, patches, and cell build-up is by light therapy. This process involves treating the skin with natural sunlight or ultraviolet rays. The rays can relieve psoriasis symptoms and kill the blood cells that malfunction and cause the disease in the first place. This therapy may need to be repeated consistently.
You can make an appointment online with our partner, PlushCare, and talk about multiple different treatments for psoriasis.
Click here to book an online appointment with a PlushCare doctor.
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