All About Psoriasis: Learn More About This Common Skin Problem

local dermatologist

Experiencing skin issues? You are not alone. Most people will experience a skin problem with at some point in their lives. For example, around 7.4 million people in the United States are affected by psoriasis. So how do you know if your rash is psoriasis or just normal dryness or redness or eczema? The first step is to contact a local dermatologist who can diagnose your skin issue properly and ensure you receive the best treatment available. Read below for information about psoriasis and how your local dermatologist can help.


What is Psoriasis?


What distinguishes psoriasis from your run-of-the-mill occasional redness and dryness?


Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition, meaning that it is treatable, but not curable. It presents as raised, red plaques of inflamed skin with silvery-white scale on top.  The plaques are usually well-demarcated, meaning that they have sharply defined borders, and can be quite thick.  If the scale is removed, pinpoint bleeding may be seen (Auspitz sign).  Outbreaks are often cyclic, so they may flare up for a period of time, and then subside for a while.


What Causes Psoriasis?


Psoriasis is commonly thought to be related to your immune system. Therefore, you will need to consult your local board-certified dermatologist to determine whether or not you have psoriasis. Other skin issues may cause similar types of irritation, however, a board-certified dermatologist will be able to diagnose psoriasis, usually without a biopsy.


Types of Psoriasis


It is important to consult with your local dermatologist regarding possible psoriasis, since there several types of psoriasis that may look a bit different than what you commonly associate with the condition. For example, plaque psoriasis is most common and will develop as red, scaly raised plaques as mentioned above. However, psoriasis may also affect your nails, causing pits, thickening, roughness, or separation from the nail bed.  Psoriasis may also form eroded bright red shiny patches of inflamed skin in the groin, buttocks, or below the breasts (inverse psoriasis). Guttate psoriasis presents as tiny scaly papules throughout the trunk and extremities, and may follow Streptococcus infection.  This is why it is so crucial to consult your local dermatologist who will be able to diagnose your psoriasis properly and provide proper treatment.


Potential Treatments


It’s not all bad news. Although psoriasis isn’t curable, it IS treatable. Your dermatologist will provide treatment to ease your discomfort or even lessen the appearance of your psoriasis. Possible treatments may include topical creams or ointments, solutions, foams, or lotions.  Other treatment options include ultraviolet light therapy, oral medications, and injections to help control the inflammation.  Consult with your board-certified dermatologist to learn more about how you can best treat your psoriasis.


Skin issues have the potential to make even the most confident individuals among us feel insecure or even embarrassed. This is why consulting with a well-trained dermatologist or their physician assistants is so important should these potential issues arise. If you are experiencing chronic skin irritation, contact your local dermatologist for a proper diagnosis of your skin problem. They should be able to explain the condition and treatment options with professionalism, expertise, and sensitivity.