Do you have itchy, scaly patches of skin on your body? It could be psoriasis, which affects 125 million people worldwide.
At Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics, board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, provides comprehensive skin evaluations to his patients in Austin, Texas. He can evaluate your condition and design a plan to treat your skin issues and keep you healthy in the long term.
In this blog, Dr. Bushore explains what causes psoriasis, what its symptoms are, and how it can be treated.
Is it a rash or psoriasis?
A rash describes inflammation, irritation, and swelling in your skin. You might also develop bumps or blisters because of a rash.
Common causes of acute rashes include:
- Insect bites
- Chemical irritants
- Poison oak, poison ivy, or poison sumac
You can also develop a skin rash because of an underlying health condition, such as chickenpox.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes your body to produce an increased amount of skin cells. Accumulated skin cells develop into itchy, scaly patches of skin known as plaques. Plaques can develop on any part of your body, especially your scalp, elbows, knees, back, and feet.
While psoriasis isn’t contagious, the scaly skin patches can grow larger and become difficult to manage on your own.
5 indications you have psoriasis
Because there are many types of rashes, and because symptoms of psoriasis can be similar to other skin conditions, the only way to confirm what you have is through a comprehensive skin evaluation.
However, it helps if you can recognize signs of psoriasis early on, so you can get the treatment you need from board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD. Early treatment for psoriasis can help reduce your risk for discomfort, pain, and noticeable scarring.
Here’s what to look for:
1. Red patches of skin
Psoriasis is a chronic condition, and you might frequently develop red patches of skin that don’t go away. Red skin patches can develop in small patches or in large areas that cover your:
You can also develop red patches on your face and scalp.
2. Scaly skin
Red patches of skin are typically covered in thick, silver-colored scales. You might also notice your skin is extra dry and may crack or bleed. Along with bleeding, your skin may burn or itch around the scales.
If you have psoriasis scales on your scalp, the skin may flake off and look like dandruff.
3. Cycle of symptoms
Psoriasis symptoms often flare-up for weeks or months at a time before going away. In some cases, your symptoms may go into remission for long periods of time before coming back.
4. Changes in your nails
Psoriasis can also affect your fingernails and toenails. During a psoriasis flare-up, your nails might become discolored or pitted.
Affected nails can also separate from the nail bed and begin to crumble.
5. Symptoms of other health issues
A malfunctioning immune system is what causes psoriasis. Unfortunately, a malfunctioning immune system can also cause other problems, such as Crohn’s disease. You might also be prone to developing eye infections.
Furthermore, because of the appearance of your skin, you might also experience depression and low self-esteem.
Exploring your psoriasis treatment options
You can manage psoriasis flare-ups with topical medications and a good moisturizing routine. As a board-certified dermatologist, David A. Bushore, MD, can also provide you with prescription-strength topical, injectable, or oral medications to calm your symptoms.
Because psoriasis is a chronic disease, Dr. Bushore also focuses on protecting the long-term health of your skin. He can customize a care plan to keep your symptoms under control and reduce your risk for future flare-ups and permanent skin damage.
If you have psoriasis and need treatment, or if you need an evaluation to see if you have psoriasis, book an appointment online or over the phone with Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics today.