Psoriasis is a chronic, auto-immune medical condition that causes red, crusty, flaky patches to develop on the skin – these patches of skin can often be covered in what looks like silvery scales and can spread over time. Due to the nature of the condition affecting the skin, it can be a very uncomfortable medical condition to live with as it often causes painful physical effects; these painful effects are often experienced alongside considerable damage to a patient’s self-esteem.
Psoriasis doesn’t discriminate based on gender, and both men and women are equally likely to develop the skin condition. The condition is incurable (although can be treated naturally or with psoriasis creams), and tends to initially present itself in adults under the age of 35 years old, however it can present itself later on in an adult’s life. Unfortunately, Psoriasis affects roughly 2-3% of the United States’ population making it quite a common affliction.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Although you might have a general idea of what your skin problem is, it can be incredibly difficult to work out whether or not your sore skin is Psoriasis, Eczema or just contact dermatitis. Hopefully this explanation of Psoriasis’ symptoms will help you to identify whether or not you have the condition:
- The bodies of People who suffer from Psoriasis have a rapidly increased production of their skin cells. In healthy people, skin cells are produced and replaced by the body every 3-4 weeks. However, in people suffering from psoriasis this process takes roughly 3-7 days. This leads to the formation of the plaques/patches of skin associated with Psoriasis.
- These patches of skin can be a deep red, they can be crusty, they can also be flaky but more often than not they are usually accompanied by silvery scaly looking skin.
- Typically speaking, these patches of skin tend to develop on the patient’s joints, usually their elbows and knees – however the condition can just as easily affect every part of the body including: hands, feet, scalp, genitals, neck and face.
- These patches of skin can be quite sore; however, this isn’t always the case. Some people have the condition but report no pain from the affected skin. The patches can also become itchy and even burn from time to time, this once again isn’t always the case – but definitely something to be aware of.
- An important factor for many people is that the condition often tends to be somewhat cyclical. Patients whose psoriasis is cyclical may go through periods of intense symptoms, followed by periods of remission where symptoms are barely noticeable. People who find their Psoriasis to be cyclical, may find that they have certain triggers that can invoke a Psoriasis flare-up.
- Another common symptom of psoriasis is swelling and joint paint. Psoriasis is a poorly understood medical condition, but it is understood that there appears to be significant links with the immune system and how the body regulates inflammation – this is why people suffering from psoriasis can often find they have joint problems.
- Having thick nails which are pitted, or dimpled, can also be another sign of the condition. Again, this is a poorly understood connection, but over 50% of those found to suffer from Psoriasis have also been found to have thick pitted nails.
As you have probably worked out for yourself after reading the symptoms above, it can be rather difficult to diagnose Psoriasis over the internet because of its seemingly fluid nature – it can apparently be one thing for one person and a million other things for someone else.
However, the sore patches of skin the condition causes are quite unique to Psoriasis, and accordingly many doctors can take one look at the tell-tale sore patches of skin and diagnose it accurately. With that being said, although many doctors will be able to diagnose the condition from a physical examination, some other doctors may choose to take a biopsy to confirm their suspicions.