Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects more than eight million Americans. However, the symptoms of psoriasis can be similar to other types of skin issues, and it can be difficult to know what’s going on without a professional skin evaluation.
At Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics in Austin, Texas, we offer comprehensive skin assessments to accurately confirm psoriasis and rule out other skin conditions.
Board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, specializes in advanced treatments, including Narrow Band UVB (nbUVB) phototherapy to relieve itching and other psoriasis symptoms.
Dr. Bushore also provides high-quality skin care products to nourish and protect the long-term health of your skin.
The basics of psoriasis
Psoriasis is a skin disorder that’s triggered by an autoimmune disorder. The immune system dysfunction causes skin cells to develop rapidly. This leads to a buildup of cells on the surface of the skin, which results in noticeable and often uncomfortable side effects.
While the root cause of psoriasis and the immune dysfunction related to it isn’t well-understood, there are known triggers for the condition. You may experience flare-ups due to:
- Weather changes
- Skin infections and injuries
- Exposure to cigarette smoke
- Use of high blood pressure medications and other drugs
Psoriasis is a chronic disease without a cure. If left unmanaged, psoriasis can increase your risk of developing permanent skin damage. People with psoriasis are also more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, sufferers may be prone to mental or emotional health issues, such as depression, if they feel self-conscious about the appearance of their skin during a psoriasis flare-up.
5 warning signs of a psoriasis flare-up
There are different types of psoriasis that affect adults and kids, and each causes its own distinctive symptoms. However, many psoriasis conditions cause similar symptoms, which can also be confused with rashes and other skin conditions.
Here’s an overview of some common symptoms of a psoriasis flare-up:
1. Dry, thick skin patches
Dry patches of skin that become thick and sometimes appear raised from the skin are hallmarks of plaque psoriasis. These patches, known as plaques, may start small, but they can grow together and create a larger plaque.
Plaques can develop anywhere on the body, but they’re more common on the lower back, scalp, knees, and elbows.
2. Silvery, scaly skin
Plaques that appear silver in color or have a white coating are also hallmarks of plaque psoriasis. If you have very light skin, the scales may be pink or red in color. On very dark skin, plaques may be brown or purple with gray scales.
3. Persistent itching
Plaques are often itchy, which causes many people to scratch the areas. However, scratching could make the plaques grow thicker and cause skin damage.
Itchy skin is a common symptom of plaque psoriasis and erythrodermic psoriasis.
4. Red bumps
Guttate psoriasis is a lifelong condition that causes the sudden appearance of red bumps. Bumps usually form on the torso and limbs, but they may also affect the scalp, face, and ears. They can last for several weeks or months before clearing.
5. Pus-filled bumps
Pustular psoriasis is a rare condition that causes pus-filled bumps to develop on widespread areas of the skin. Often, the bumps break open and leak within 24 hours of forming. The skin then becomes very dry and begins to peel, revealing the smooth skin beneath. The cycle typically repeats within a few days or weeks.
If you have psoriasis, board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, can provide a personalized care plan to calm existing psoriasis flare-ups and prevent new ones from occurring. He can also provide resources to help you manage the condition and protect your skin’s health in the long term.
To learn more, call 512-459-4869 or book an appointment online with Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics today.