Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that is believed to be an autoimmune disorder with a genetic component. While it can affect anyone of any age, it is most common in people who are between 15 and 35 years old. It affects men and women equally.
Psoriasis can range in severity from mild to severe depending on the percentage of skin affected. For example, a mild case affects less than three percent of the patient’s skin. Moderate cases cover between three and ten percent of the skin, while severe cases cover over ten percent of the skin.
What are the Symptoms?
The most common symptoms of psoriasis are the following:
• Patches of reddened skin with silvery and thick scales
• Cracked and dry skin that sometimes bleeds
• Soreness and/or itching or burning sensations
• Small, scaly spots – a symptom most commonly seen in children
• Stiff and swollen joints
• Ridged, pitted and/or abnormally thick nails
There are actually five types of psoriasis, so the symptoms vary depending on the type the patient has and where it is located. Plaque is the most common type, and it affects at least 80 percent of patients. It takes the form of red patches of skin covered with silvery scales that are actually dead skin cells. While the patches or plaques can appear anywhere, they are most likely to develop on the scalp, lower back, elbows or knees. The plaques can crack and bleed, and they are often painful and itchy.
What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
As the name suggests, psoriatic arthritis is arthritis linked to psoriasis, and it occurs in roughly 1/3 of psoriasis patients. It usually develops in patients who are between 30 and 50 years old. Psoriatic arthritis is considered mild if it affects fewer than four joints, and it is considered severe if it affects four or more joints.
Treating Your Psoriasis
The team at Dr. Yeoman’s Dermatology Office is at the ready to help you deal with your psoriasis. When you visit our office in Paragould or Poplar Bluff, we may come up with a customized treatment regimen for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about your treatment options!