Psoriasis is different for everyone and can range from mild conditions to more life changing ones.
If you suspect you have or were recently was diagnosed with psoriasis, here are some questions to ask your doctor:
- What is psoriasis? A chronic disease of the immune system that effects everyone differently and can be treated in multiple ways.
- What are symptoms of psoriasis? Psoriasis is characterized by excessively dry skin that can appear red, and may have white or silver scaly patches (known as plaque psoriasis). Other symptoms include itch and pain at the site. Patches most often occur on the elbows, knees, and trunk of the body, but can appear anywhere (ex., scalp).
- What causes psoriasis? The exact cause is unknown, however, the immune system and genetics often play a large roll. Psoriasis is a condition in which the immune system has an inflammatory response to some form of stimulus.
- How is psoriasis diagnosed? A dermatologist often can look at the affected skin and determine if it is psoriasis. In some cases, diagnostic tools may be used. A blood or a skin biopsy also may be taken to rule out other conditions.
- How is psoriasis treated? There is no cure, however, many patients have experienced improved quality of life by changing their diets, using topical treatments and prescriptions.
- What is the long-term risk?
- Is all psoriasis the same? There are basically 5 types of psoriasis including:-
- Erythrodermic – covers a large area and has intense redness.
- Guttate – has small pink-red spots that appear on the skin.
- Inverse – occurs in the armpits, groin, and in between overlapping skin, and has redness and irritation.
- Plaque – most common form includes thick red patches covered with flaky, silver-white scales.
- Pustular – white blisters surrounded by red, irritated skin.
- Will I always have psoriasis? It is considered a chronic condition. You may experience periods when you seem completely non-symptomatic, however, your symptoms could return at any time. It is important to continue with your psoriasis wellness program you devise with your doctor.
- Are there alternative ways to treat psoriasis I could try? Some alternative therapies may help decrease itching and scaling, including aloe vera, capsaicin cream, and fish oil. Some patients also try supplements. Consult with your doctor before starting any alternative therapy.
- What should I do if my psoriasis seems to worsen, is painful or limits my activity? Call your doctor and seek additional treatment, particularly if you experience joint pain or fever with attacks.
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Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.