Psoriasis Specialist Columbia MD
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a disorder that causes skin cells to turn over at faster than normal rates. In normal skin, cells mature and shed in 28 to 30 days. On the other hand, affected skin cells mature in 3 or 4 days and pile up, forming thick, scaly plaques on the hands, elbows, feet, knees and torso. The areas can range from a few small spots, to major eruptions spanning large areas. You can have several forms of psoriasis at once or they may switch from one type to another. Although there is no cure, there are many new and effective treatments.
Types of Psoriasis
-This most common form presents with dry, raised, red skin patches covered with silvery scales that may be itchy.
– Affects the scalp, forehead, ears, and/or neck. It can be difficult to diagnose, and is often mistaken for dandruff.
-Causes pits and discoloration of the nails. They may loosen and separate from the nail bed. In severe cases, the nail may crumble. It may also cause dark areas under the nail or yellow-pink spots called “salmon patches” or “oil spots.”
-Appears as small, teardrop-shaped or circular scaly patches on the torso, arms or legs. May sometimes be seen in people with strep throat infection.
-Is uncommon and often affects people who are overweight. The folds of skin in the armpits, under the breasts, between the buttocks or in the creases of the groin develop smooth moist patches of red skin that worsen with friction and sweating.
-Presents as pus-filled bumps on the body, palms or soles.
– This rare and severe form of psoriasis covers the entire body with a red, peeling rash. It may itch or burn, and can lead to dehydration or infection.
-Causes swollen, painful joints—sometimes mild, sometimes severe. It can cause stiffness, that over time, may lead to permanent joint damage.
First of all, psoriasis is not contagious. Many individuals notice that specific situations bring on symptoms or make them worse. By understanding and avoiding these triggers, you can reduce flare-ups. The triggers are particular to each person. What affects one may not affect another.
There is definitely a genetic aspect. It may be seen in multiple member of your immediate or distant family.
Infections caused by bacteria or a virus are common causes of flare-ups. Bacterial infections include strep throat and tonsillitis. Viral causes include colds, influenza, mumps and chickenpox.
Cold, dry weather that dries out the skin is a trigger. Warm, sunny weather helps to control the symptoms. A humid climate is better for psoriasis patients than a dry one. However, sweating can trigger an episode. While sunny weather improves the rash for many, getting sunburnt can also trigger a flare.
Injuries include a cut, scrape, bruise, bug bite, poison ivy, and even tattoos or piercings.
This becomes a vicious cycle. Stress causes psoriasis; psoriasis causes stress. As a result, the first symptoms often occur during extreme stress.
The list of meds that may trigger flares is long. Check with your dermatologist if you suspect that your rash is from a medication you are taking, e.g. meds for pain, high blood pressure, heart disease, bipolar disorder, and some antibiotics.
Flare-ups tend to occur in women when the levels of certain hormones are low, e.g. during puberty, menopause and after giving birth. Furthermore, symptoms may improve during pregnancy when some hormone levels are higher.
Our lead physician, Dr. Ife J. Rodney MD, FAAD is a psoriasis specialist and trusted board-certified dermatologist. Eternal Dermatology is located in Fulton, MD in Howard county MD. We provide customized treatment plans to patients in Clarksville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Laurel, Olney, Silver Spring, Bowie and nearby areas. Call us or book online now.