National Psoriasis Awareness Month
As many as 7.5 million Americans suffer from Psoriasis currently, and during August we’d like to help raise awareness of this chronic and disabling condition and the treatments available.
There are different presentations of this common disease, affecting areas from the elbows, legs, to the whole body. Anyone can have psoriasis, but it is most commonly found in adults. Psoriasis is believed to be caused by an over-reaction of the immune system, and can be exacerbated by infections, stress, and certain medication. This over-reaction causes the skin to increase its turnover, causing thick scaly plaques on the skin.
The most common form of Psoriasis is Plaque Psoriasis. “Plaque Psoriasis is known to cause red and raised patches on the skin, covered by thick white scale,” says Dr. Mamelak. It is found on various portions of the body including scalp, lower back, knees, and elbows. “It is very important when treating Psoriasis to be aware of the potential reactions to medications,” Dr. Mamelak mentions. The doctor will carefully review your allergies, and will make a well informed decision on what form of treatment will work best for you.
“This form of psoriasis is most commonly found in children and young adults,” explain Dr. Mamelak. The Guttate form of psoriasis appears as many separate red dots across the skin including the head and face. The cause for this may be linked with problems including stress, injury, tonsillitis, strep and upper respiratory infections. Various forms of topical and light therapy can be used for treatment of this form of Psoriasis.
“Inverse Psoriasis effects the folds of the body of larger patients,” Dr. Mamelak states. This can include the armpits, groin, and other large skin folds. It is most common in these areas due to the moist nature of the areas, as well as the rubbing that can happen when moving. Topical creams are the main form of treatment for this form of Psoriasis.
This may be considered the most drastic form of Psoriasis, as it is denoted by extremely red coloring, peeling of the skin, burning, itching, and change in body temperature. “Erythrodermic Psoriasis is a serious concerns,” notes Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board certified Dermatologist in Austin, Texas. “If you believe you are experiencing this, it is best to immediately see a doctor.” Treatment ranges from topicals, to systemic medicine, and light therapies.
Similar to Guttate Psoriasis, Pustular Psoriasis is known for its ability take over large portions of the body with separate spots. “The thing that differentiates this form of Psoriasis from the others is its ability to causes pustules, or pimple like lesions, on the skin,” says Dr. Mamelak. A variety of influences can cause these pustules to form like pregnancy, reactions to medications, infections, and emotional stress. This form can also be treated with various forms of topical and light based treatments.
Each person will require a unique treatment for their form of Psoriasis. If you are concerned about redness or patchiness of the skin contact us today to set up your appointment.