As many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis, making it the most common autoimmune disease in the nation. Since it’s Psoriasis Awareness Month, what an ideal time to learn more information about this uniquely challenging skin condition.
An autoimmune disease is when the immune system attacks the body’s own cells, causing tissue destruction. Psoriasis is the visible result of the body over-producing skin cells. Normally, the human body has dead skin cells underneath the surface of the skin that rise to the surface and fall off about once a month. For those with psoriasis, though, these dead skin cells are overproduced, causing raised, red, scaly, and uncomfortable patches of skin. Psoriasis can be found in all areas of the body, such as the scalp, ears, mouth, hands, feet, fingernails, and toenails, and can affect anyone at any age.
A psoriasis attack can be triggered by bacterial or viral infections, dry air or dry skin, injury to the skin, certain types of medication, stress, excessive alcohol intake, and either too much or too little sunlight. The symptoms of psoriasis can include:
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning, or soreness
- Red patches of skin
- Swollen and stiff joints
Psoriasis is not contagious and can be more severe in those who have weakened immune systems. There are several different types of psoriasis and each type and area requires different treatment. The most common type of psoriasis, however, is plaque psoriasis, affecting 80 percent of people with the condition. People with psoriasis are at an increased risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and Crohn's disease, among other associated conditions.
If you are concerned that you may have psoriasis, please see your doctor. At the Bingham Dermatology Center, we have a healthcare team that can help. Dr. Adam Wray and Julia McGee, PA-C, have the knowledge and experience to help treat mild to severe psoriasis cases.
You can live in your own skin again without severe pain or discomfort. Call the Bingham Dermatology Center to schedule an appointment in Blackfoot (208) 782-2930 and in Pocatello (208) 233-4455.
“7.5 million Americans have psoriasis, making it the most common autoimmune disease in the nation.”
Source: National Psoriasis Foundation (psoriasis.org)