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How Do You Know If You Have Psoriasis

Symptom: Red And White Patches

Ask Dr. Soria: How can you tell if you have psoriasis?

The most common form of the disease is plaque psoriasis. It looks like areas of thick, swollen, red patches with well-defined edges. On top of these areas are the silvery-white scales. Its easy to knock them off and cause bleeding, so be gentle with yourself when you comb your hair, shampoo, or put on and take off hats.

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Is It Psoriasis Or Eczema

Like psoriasis, eczema is a very itchy skin condition. In fact, eczema usually results in a more intense itch than psoriasis. Scratching causes inflammation of the skin, leading to a worsening of the eczema. Scratching can also cause a secondary bacterial infection.

Eczema is not a specific disease, but rather a term referring to a group of rash-like conditions. The most common type of eczema is caused by a reaction to irritants, like detergents, soaps, or household cleansers.

Eczema often shows up on the back of the knees or the inside of the elbows.

Eczema can affect anyone and affects children more than psoriasis does.

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Tattoos and Psoriasis

You may like the look of tattoos, but they may not be a good idea if you have psoriasis. Piercing the skin and injecting dye underneath the skin is associated with skin trauma that may trigger psoriasis. Some people who have psoriasis develop new psoriatic lesions 10 to 14 days after getting a tattoo. Tattooed skin may also become infected. Skin infections are also potential psoriasis triggers.

Skin Trauma and Psoriasis

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Treatment Alternatives Dandruff And Psoriasis

Psoriasis can be treated with topical lotions and medications, a lot of which are steroids, but those only serve to make the symptoms rather milder. Theres no remedy. Drugs called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are provided to individuals with moderate to severe psoriasis. Light therapy, which targets psoriasis problem spots with specially guided ultraviolet light, can likewise help treat the symptoms of psoriasis.

Dandruff, on the other hand, can normally be treated with medicated hair shampoo. Its likewise essential that you follow the instructions of any shampoo you use. Some can be used a few times weekly, and others need to only be used once weekly. You may have to switch hair shampoos, too, as one may end up being less effective gradually.

Is Psoriasis The Same As Eczema

How Do I Know If I Have Psoriasis Or Eczema

Psoriasis and eczema are two different skin conditions. They differ in where the disease appears on the body, how much it itches and how it looks. Eczema tends to appear more often behind the knees and inside the elbows. Eczema also causes more intense itching than psoriasis. Many people, especially children, can get both eczema and psoriasis.

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Be Mindful Of Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol and Psoriasis

Some studies show a link between heavy drinking and psoriasis flares. It seems that men who drink heavily are more likely to suffer from psoriasis than men who do not drink alcohol. Alcohol consumption negatively impacts treatment and reduces the likelihood of remission. Alcohol may interact with certain psoriasis medications. Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to consume alcohol if you have psoriasis.

Tips to Stop Drinking

If you’re trying to cut back or stop drinking all together, managing triggers can help you reach your goal. In general, avoid high-risk situations where you anticipate it will be difficult to avoid temptation. If you can’t avoid a situation where you are concerned you might be triggered, have some strategies in place to help you stay on track and cope.

  • Distract yourself by calling or texting a friend or watching a funny video online. Go for a walk or take a few minutes to practice deep breathing or meditation.
  • Review your reasons for not wanting to drink. Write the reasons on a card that you keep in your purse or wallet to revisit when you need to.
  • Talk to a trusted friend when you’re tempted to drink and discuss the reasons you’re trying to abstain.

Can Diet Affect My Psoriasis

A healthy diet is important for wellbeing and can reduce your risk of many long-term illnesses. However, there is no clear link between what you eat and the severity of psoriasis symptoms.

  • The British Nutrition Foundation suggests eating at least 300g of oily fish per week for general health .
  • Aim to eat more green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and wholegrain cereals, which also contain important essential fatty acids.
  • Cut back on saturated fats and vegetable oils and use more olive oil and rapeseed oil products.
  • Eat fresh, homemade foods rather than pre-packaged convenience food.
  • Excessive amounts of alcohol can make psoriasis worse and can also interfere with certain drug medications, for example methotrexate.

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How Can Parents Help

For some children, psoriasis is just a minor inconvenience. For others, it is a difficult medical condition.

To manage symptoms and make outbreaks less likely, your child should:

Kids and teens with psoriasis may feel uncomfortable with the way their skin looks. Help your child understand that psoriasis is common and treatments can help.

Whether your childâs psoriasis is mild or severe, learn about the condition together. Offer to help find a therapist or join a support group if that might help. Talk to your doctor or check websites like:

How Do I Know It Is Scalp Fungus

  • The symptoms of scalp infections normally look like severe dandruff and may be mistaken for psoriasis. Make sure to get a diagnosis from a doctor before taking any medicine to treat a fungal infection the scalp.
  • Scalp fungus causes hair loss in patches because it affects the hair fibers. Fungus can cause those hairs to break and fall out more easily than normal, leaving a bald patch of skin. It also contributes to hair loss by causing itchiness, which makes us scratch the scalp and worsen hair loss.
  • Sometimes small blisters can develop on the skin.
  • In serious cases, scalp fungus can cause big bumps or swellings in certain areas of the scalp. These can hurt and, if not treated, can cause permanent hair loss and scars.
  • In case of a very severe infection, a fever and swollen glands may also develop
  • Still in doubt? Search online for some scalp fungus pictures to get an idea of what scalp infections look like. Compare your scalp to the scalp fungus pictures to see if it looks similar. Again, itâs important to get a firm diagnosis from a doctor before beginning a scalp fungus treatment regimen that involves medicine.

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How To Know If You Have Dandruff

Dandruff is a condition marked by flakes of dry skin on the scalp. The flakes can frequently fall from your hair and arrive at your shoulders. Dandruff normally results from a dry scalp. If this is the cause, the flakes are typically small and you might have dry skin on other parts of your body.

Washing your hair with a harsh hair shampoo or using a great deal of chemicals on your hair can often irritate your scalp and result in flakes.

A relatively common condition called seborrheic dermatitis is the cause of lots of dandruff cases. Its defined by spots of red and oily skin that leave yellow-colored flakes on the scalp. These flakes are typically bigger than dandruff flakes that take place from dry skin. Seborrheic dermatitis can also cause flaky, irritated spots somewhere else on your body, which may lead you to believe you have psoriasis.

How To Tell If Your Rash Is Psoriasis

The most common type of psoriasisplaque psoriasisusually appears as red, raised patches of skin covered in white, flaking scales that crop up on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet, or lower back.

Those with psoriasis may also experience itching, nail disfigurement , and dry or cracked skin that can bleed.

In guttate psoriasis, the second most common form of the disease, the patches are small and shaped like drops of water.

Painful swelling of the joints is a common symptom of psoriatic arthritis, which can develop before or after someone is diagnosed with psoriasis. Up to 30% of people with psoriasis will also have psoriatic arthritis.

Because skin conditions often resemble one another, it is best to see your primary care provider for a diagnosis. Your psoriasis may flare without warning or be triggered by stress, medications, a skin injury, dry skin, or other stimuli. It can remit as quickly as it came, but it usually requires treatment to keep the condition from worsening.

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Shingles: A Rash And Severe Pain That Lingers

Shingles is another viral infection that shares some symptoms with psoriasis. Like psoriasis, shingles can make your skin burn and itch and produces a red, blistered skin rash. Shingles is caused by the same virus that first brings on chickenpox. The virus stays in your body and can come back years later to cause shingles, especially during times of stress or infection. The skin rash of shingles follows the course of a single nerve, usually on the trunk. In some cases, severe pain lasts long after the burning, itchy rash disappears. Shingles is more common in people over age 50.

Seeking Medical Help For Psoriasis

How to Tell If You Have Eczema or Psoriasis (and how to ...

You should see a doctor if you think you may have psoriasis or if you have already been diagnosed and your psoriasis worsens and causes pain, discomfort, or emotional stress interferes with your normal activities or does not respond to a treatment you have been prescribed. It often takes trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you.

Doctors usually gauge the severity of psoriasis based on the percentage of your body that is affected. If you have plaques only on your elbows and knees, for instance, you probably have a mild case. Moderate psoriasis is traditionally defined as covering less than 20% of your skin and can be accompanied by nondebilitating joint pain. Severe psoriasis is characterized by more than 20% body coverage or psoriasis that develops in certain critical areas, such as the face. People with severe psoriasis may also develop fluid-filled plaques and psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriasis typically goes through cycles of flaring and subsiding, but rarely achieves permanent remission. There are, however, many new treatments available that can help people with psoriasis effectively control the disease and live a more comfortable, less painful life.

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How Do Foods Cause Inflammation

Studies are ongoing about how certain foods trigger an inflammatory response. Research suggests that some foods, especially highly processed ones, put your bodys defense mechanisms into overdrive.

For example, fatty foods can increase inflammation in adipose tissue , which is throughout your body. Ongoing fat tissue inflammation greatly increases your risk of psoriasis. It also increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health conditions.

Be Aware Of Itching Or Burning Sensations

Another common symptom of scalp psoriasis is an itching or burning sensation around the affected areas. This can be a result of skin cracking or flaking. Whatever you do, donât scratch at your scalp if you feel these sensations. Doing so could irritate your condition further and lead to complications down the line. In addition, it could cause additional scalp soreness or pain.

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How To Know If You Have Dandruff Or Psoriasis

Dry, flaky skin on your scalp can be uncomfortable and awkward. Those flakes can be caused by dandruff or psoriasis, which are two very different conditions.

Dandruff, known as seborrhea, can normally be treated fairly quickly and is seldom a serious medical issue. Psoriasis, on the other hand, is a chronic condition without an existing remedy, and one that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

Emotional Impact Of Psoriasis

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Because of the effect that psoriasis can have on physical appearance, low self-esteem and anxiety are common among people with the condition. This can lead to depression, especially if the psoriasis gets worse.

Your GP or dermatologist will understand the psychological and emotional impact of psoriasis, so talk to them about your concerns or anxieties.

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What Are The Complications Of Psoriasis

People with severe psoriasis have an increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, obesity, some types of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and other immuneârelated disorders, and liver and kidney disease.

The condition can affect the nails and joints, and can seriously affect someone’s emotional and social wellbeing. It may affect their ability to work, go to school or participate in physical activities.

Psoriasis Beyond The Basics

There are many different types of psoriasis, including chronic plaque psoriasis, types of pustular psoriasis , guttate psoriasis, scalp psoriasis, flexural psoriasis, napkin psoriasis, nail psoriasis and erythrodermic psoriasis .

For those that have psoriasis around 1 in 4 may develop an associated psoriatic arthritis , which is about 325,000 people, or around 0.5% of the UK population. PsA causes pain and swelling in the joints and tendons, accompanied by stiffness particularly in the mornings. The most commonly affected sites are the hands, feet, lower back, neck and knees, with movement in these areas becoming severely limited.

Not all people will be affected in the same way and doctors will class the condition as mild, moderate or severe.

Remember, although psoriasis is a chronic condition, it can be controlled and go into remission .

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How Psoriasis Is Diagnosed

A GP can often diagnose psoriasis based on the appearance of your skin.

In rare cases, a small sample of skin called a biopsy will be sent to the laboratory for examination under a microscope.

This determines the exact type of psoriasis and rules out other skin disorders, such as seborrhoeic dermatitis, lichen planus, lichen simplex and pityriasis rosea.

You may be referred to a specialist in diagnosing and treating skin conditions if your doctor is uncertain about your diagnosis, or if your condition is severe.

If your doctor suspects you have psoriatic arthritis, which is sometimes a complication of psoriasis, you may be referred to a doctor who specialises in arthritis .

You may have blood tests to rule out other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and X-rays of the affected joints may be taken.

What Are Causes And Risk Factors Of Scalp Psoriasis

Do I Have Psoriasis Quiz

It is generally accepted that scalp psoriasis, like all psoriasis, is related to genetic defects that affect certain parts of the immune system. There are undoubtedly environmental risk factors that trigger its initial development in genetically predisposed individuals. The notion that emotional stress plays a causal role or at least exacerbates psoriasis has been difficult to prove. There is no question, however, that psoriasis of the scalp can be an extremely stressful experience.

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Can Psoriatic Arthritis Affect Other Parts Of The Body

Having psoriatic arthritis can put you at risk of developing other conditions and complications around the body.

The chances of getting one of these are rare. But its worth knowing about them and talking to your doctor if you have any concerns.


Seek urgent medical attention if one or both of your eyes are red and painful, particularly if you have a change in your vision. You could go to your GP, an eye hospital, or your local A& E department.

These symptoms could be caused by a condition called uveitis, which is also known as iritis. It involves inflammation at the front of the eye.

This can permanently damage your eyesight if left untreated.

Other symptoms are:

  • blurred or cloudy vision
  • sensitivity to light
  • not being able to see things at the side of your field of vision known as a loss of peripheral vision
  • small shapes moving across your field of vision.

These symptoms can come on suddenly, or gradually over a few days. It can affect one or both eyes. It can be treated effectively with steroids.


Psoriatic arthritis can put you at a slightly higher risk of having a heart condition. You can reduce your risk by:

  • not smoking
  • staying at a healthy weight
  • exercising regularly
  • eating a healthy diet, thats low in fat, sugar and salt
  • not drinking too much alcohol.

These positive lifestyle choices can help to improve your arthritis and skin symptoms.

Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your heart health.

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Psoriatic Arthritis: What Is The Connection

Psoriatic arthritis : 1 in 4 of people with psoriasis may develop an associated arthritis called psoriatic arthropathy, which causes pain and swelling in the joints and connective tissue, accompanied by stiffness particularly in the mornings and when rising from a seat. Most commonly affected sites are the hands, feet, lower back, neck and knees, with movement in these areas becoming severely limited. Chronic fatigue is a common complaint linked with this condition. If you are experiencing mild aches and pains and have psoriasis, even very mildly, consult your dermatologist for further advice and if necessary a referral to a rheumatologist for further assessments. For more detailed information on psoriatic arthritis see What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

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