Psoriasis is a common chronic autoimmune inflammatory skin disease that occurs in genetically susceptible individuals, and presents with inflammatory plaques on the skin: thick, red, scaly patches that sometimes itch and bleed. About 7 million Americans have psoriasis. In patients with a genetic predisposition, exposure to environmental triggers (stress, medications, skin trauma, infections) cause an autoimmune inflammatory response.
Psoriasis is characterized by well-demarcated, red plaques with silver scales. The disease can be associated with a variety of co-morbid conditions, including:
High blood pressure
There are several forms of psoriasis, and your provider can identify which one applies to you:
Chronic plaque psoriasis
What Causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune response. When the immune system functions properly, it protects the body against “invaders” that can make you sick. Inflammation is one of the weapons used by the immune system to fight an invader. For example, when you have an infection, immune cells spring into action and begin an inflammatory attack against the invader. In psoriasis, this inflammation happens in the skin, causing the overproduction of skin cells, leading to the hallmark psoriasis skin plaques.
Normally, it takes about a month for skin cells to develop and rise to the surface of the skin. With psoriasis, it takes only 3 or 4 days. Your body can’t shed these skin cells quickly enough, so they build up on the surface of your skin. Psoriasis plaques are actually a buildup of excess skin cells.
There is no cure for psoriasis, but treatment can provide significant improvement. At BV Derm, our tool kit includes:
Topical medications for mild-to-moderate psoriasis, such as
Vitamin D analogs
Systemic treatments for moderate-to-severe psoriasis, including:
Biologic immune modifying agents:
Your psoriasis can be managed effectively with smart treatment. To get started, call us at (303) 604-1444 or request an appointment online.
When To Call Us
Psoriasis can have profound impacts on a person’s life. Our board-certified physicians are highly experienced in treating and managing psoriasis. If you suspect that you may have psoriasis, call us for an examination. Additionally, it’s important to be seen for psoriasis when:
– You psoriasis flares up.
– Treatment is not working to improve and relieve symptoms.
– You are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. We can help create a treatment plan that is safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
– You are experiencing joint pain, stiffness, swelling or fever. These could be symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, which affects between 10 to 30 percent of people who have psoriasis.
– Call 911 or go to the emergency room if you have a severe outbreak of psoriasis that covers all or most of your body.
We are here to assist you with medical advice if your signs and symptoms worsen or don’t improve with treatment. You may need a different medication or a combination of treatments to manage psoriasis.