Causes of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a common skin problem that causes your skin cells to multiply too quickly and causing painful, itchy patches of skin. People who suffer from psoriasis may notice what looks like scales along the top layer of their skin, which seem to appear out of nowhere. Because psoriasis is a chronic skin condition, it can come and go sporadically over the course of a person’s life, causing discomfort, pain, confusion, and even embarrassment by the way their skin appears.
So, why do some people have psoriasis and others don’t, and how is psoriasis cured–or at least managed?
Doctors and researchers have been asking this question for quite some time, but are still left with many questions about psoriasis. What we do understand is that psoriasis seems to be related to an immune system problem with what are known as T cells and white blood cells throughout a person’s body. For a normal, healthy person, your T cells respond to a skin infection or wound by attacking those cells. However, for those with psoriasis, these T cells attack normal, healthy skin tissues by accident.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis may result in one or more of the following symptoms:
- Small, scaly patches of skin
- Cracking, overly-dry skin
- Bleeding skin
- Burning skin
- Sore skin
- Itching skin
- Swollen joints
- Stiff joints
Speak with one of our skilled dermatologists at our Miami practice if you notice any of the above symptoms of psoriasis. After a careful review of your symptoms and concerns, we can make an accurate diagnosis and offer you the treatment you need to take control of your psoriasis.
What are the first signs of psoriasis?
Depending on which type of psoriasis you are experiencing, you may notice different signs early on. Here’s what you can expect from the different kinds of psoriasis skin conditions:
- Dry, red, raised skin patches
- Silver-colored scales on patches
- Itching or pain in the affected psoriasis areas
- Patches that can appear anywhere on your body, including inside the mouth and around the genitals
- Small, droplet-shaped lesions
- Appears on the arms, legs, and forehead/scalp
- Usually appears during childhood or young adulthood
- May onset following a bacterial infection (e.g., strep throat)
- Discolored nails
- Loosening of nails
- Abnormal nail growth
- Pitting in nails
- Appears on the fingernails or toenails and not other areas of the body
- Crumbling nails (in severe cases)
- Red blisters
- Tenderness in patchy areas
- Comes and goes often
- Develops on small areas of fingertips, hands, and feet
- Onsets quickly
- Can cause fever, diarrhea, severe itchiness, and chills (in severe cases)
- Red, peeling rash
- May cover much or all of your body
- Itchiness and burning
- Smooth patches of reddened skin
- Skin inflammation
- Worsens with sweating or rubbing
- Triggered by fungal infections
- Affects armpits, below the breasts, groin, and genitals
The Potential Causes of Psoriasis Flare Ups
There are several known things that could trigger psoriasis, so if you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, it’s important to know how your lifestyle can affect your skin’s health and appearance. Speak with one of our friendly dermatologists in Miami, Florida for a full list of possible irritants for psoriasis. Here’s a list believed to cause psoriasis flare ups to get you started:
- Rubbing, friction, and irritation to the skin
Can psoriasis go away on its own?
While psoriasis currently has no cure and will not go away on its own, it can go into remission–which means all of the bothersome symptoms go away. The things you do every day, from what you eat to what you wear, could cause another flare up–even if you think your psoriasis is in remission. So, it’s important to know what you can do to help keep your psoriasis in remission and under control. Depending on the severity of your psoriasis and the particular type of psoriasis you are suffering from, the exact treatment and lifestyle changes you’ll need to utilize will vary.
Tips for Keeping Your Psoriasis in Remission:
- Visit a dermatologist regularly
- Be sure to take any medications or apply creams that are prescribed/recommended by your dermatologist
- Stick to a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods
- Keep an eye out for symptoms and visit your dermatologist for treatment as soon as they reappear
- Keep track of your personal triggers for flare ups so you can adjust your diet or lifestyle accordingly
- Avoid stress
- Avoid extremely humid or extremely dry conditions when possible
- Avoid excessive sun exposure
- Avoid scrubbing your body with rough textures
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
- Try to avoid illnesses and infections
What happens if psoriasis is left untreated?
Aside from causing you long-term pain, scarring, and unhealthy skin–untreated psoriasis could also lead to more serious health complications in some cases. One kind of psoriasis in particular, called psoriatic arthritis, tends to lead to more severe issues when left untreated. This kind of arthritis causes joint problems in addition to skin issues, and when left untreated, could cause permanent joint damage. People who have this kind of psoriasis could be at risk for long-term, debilitating joint pain.
Can psoriasis be cured permanently?
Psoriasis is a chronic condition that does not go away on its own without treatment. Some people with psoriasis are able to manage their symptoms and sometimes go years without a flare up. However, most people will need long-term skincare under the supervision of a trusted dermatologist.
“Professionalism and care demonstrated by all members of the staff and Doctor Dorizas! COVID 19 protocol in place. In a few words, excellent overall dermatology practice! Thanks!”
– Deborah H.
Psoriasis Treatment Options
The most frequently prescribed or recommended treatment options for psoriasis may include:
- Topical Treatments for Psoriasis
- Vitamin D analogues
- Topical corticosteroids
- Topical retinoids
- Salicylic acid
- Calcineurin inhibitors
- Coal tar
- Phototherapies for Psoriasis
- UVB phototherapy
- Goeckerman therapy
- Excimer laser therapy
- Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) therapy
- Injected or Oral Therapies for Psoriasis
- Biologics (immune system altering drugs)
- Thioguanine medication
- Hydroxyurea medication
Schedule a Consultation
If you are experiencing symptoms of psoriasis, visit Kendall Dermatology at our Kendall, Florida dermatology office. We offer a comprehensive range of skincare treatments, including the latest clinical and cosmetic dermatology procedures. Our office is home to skilled dermatologists and licensed estheticians. Contact our office by calling 305.595.0393 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment anytime.