Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes thick patches to form in various locations on the skin. These patches, also called “scales,” are usually red, dry, and itchy.
The most common symptom of psoriasis is the appearance of red patches of skin with silver scales. Patients also experience dryness, cracked skin, bleeding, burning, itching, and soreness. In addition, some patients with psoriasis develop swollen joints and thick, pitted nails.
Medical experts don’t know the exact cause of psoriasis. However, it may be related to a problem with the immune system. Researchers theorize that the immune system’s T cells attack healthy skin cells, causing them to build up rapidly on the skin.
The purpose of psoriasis treatments is to slow the growth of skin cells and reduce the formation of plaques. Treatments also work to remove existing scales and make the skin smoother. Some of the treatments Dr. Bruell recommends to psoriasis patients include:
In many cases, Dr. Bruell prescribes more than 1 type of treatment to patients with psoriasis.
Different types of treatment cause different side effects. Topical treatments don’t cause many harmful effects. However, oral and injectable medications used for psoriasis may cause serious side effects, including hair loss, inflammation, nausea, and the possibility of birth defects. Light therapy may lead to the development of wrinkles and freckles, as well as an increased risk of skin cancer.
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