Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune inflammatory skin condition affecting more than 7.5 million Americans. Characterized by thickened, red plaques showing a silvery scale, psoriasis lesions are most often found on elbows, knees, abdomen, lower back, legs and places of injury.
Want to help your friends or family learn more about psoriasis? Forward this blog post for a quick overview!
What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis occurs when skin cells multiply at a rapid rate. The typical life of a skin cell – the amount of time it takes for a cell to develop, make its way to the surface of the skin and be exfoliated off by normal activities – is about one month. In patients with psoriasis, this process occurs in as little as a week’s time causing the cells to accumulate, producing the silvery scale appearance. How these cells are triggered to react so rapidly is attributed to the immune system and over-reactive T cells.
Do I have severe psoriasis?
The most common and simplest way to gauge the severity of psoriasis is by how much of the body and what areas are affected by psoriasis. (For measurement purposes, 1% is equivalent to the surface area of the palm of the hand.) Common guidelines state:
- Mild psoriasis affects less than 3% of the body. This is equivalent to small patches on the knees or elbows.
- Moderate psoriasis is diagnosed when psoriasis covers 3% – 10% of the body. This can equal larger portions on both knees and additional psoriasis patches elsewhere on the body such as abdomen.
- Severe psoriasis occurs when over 10% of the body is affected by psoriasis. At this stage, biologics are often recommended for treatment if oral and topical medications are not effective in managing the condition.
What treatment options are available for psoriasis?
Psoriasis can be managed by a variety of treatment options including topical or oral medications, biologics (injections), light therapy and basic skin care products. Which products work best to manage your psoriasis often depends on the location and severity of your symptoms. Some patients with mild psoriasis have found topical medications and products to be effective while severe psoriasis patients often turn to proven biologics for relief of symptoms.
Do I qualify for a psoriasis study or trial?
Our Clinical Research Department is continuously looking for candidates who are eligible for both current and possible future study and trial opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about current openings, please submit an inquiry through our Study Contact Form and if eligible, our Clinical Research Coordinator will be in contact with you.
How can a dermatologist help me with my psoriasis?
Psoriasis can be a very trying and frustrating skin condition to get under control on your own. With the help of a board certified dermatologist or certified dermatology physician assistant, you will be better equipped to identify possible triggers as well as manage the severity of your psoriasis flare ups with proper medication.
If you are ready to get your psoriasis under control, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Psoriasis shouldn’t stop you from living the life you want and there’s no case too mild or severe our team of providers won’t work to treat. You deserve happy, healthy skin and it is our goal at Dermatology and Laser Center of Charleston to make that happen.