What Is The Medical Treatment For Plaque Psoriasis
It must be remembered that psoriasis is a chronic health condition that is not curable in the usual sense. The disease is characterized by exacerbations and remissions that often seem to occur spontaneously. Patients often relate some incidental environmental event or psychological stress to changes in their disease’s activity. This can complicate treatment.
Since psoriasis is incurable, doctors treat the condition to enhance the patient’s sense of well-being and independence. Treatment options are chosen that are appropriate to the severity of the condition. Mild, localized psoriasis is treated with topical therapy while more extensive, severe disease will require systemic, expensive, and potentially hazardous treatment.
What Are The Types Of Psoriasis
In children, common types of psoriasis include:
Plaque psoriasis. This is the most common type of psoriasis. It causes plaques and silvery scales, usually on the knees, elbows, lower back, and scalp. They can be itchy and painful and may crack and bleed.
Guttate psoriasis. This type often shows up after an illness, especially strep throat. It causes small red spots, usually on the trunk, arms, and legs. Spots also can appear on the face, scalp, and ears.
Inverse psoriasis. This causes smooth, raw-looking patches of red skin that feel sore. The patches develop in places where skin touches skin, such as the armpits, buttocks, upper eyelids, groin and genitals, or under a woman’s breasts.
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:
- Wash hands well and often and stay away from people who are sick to prevent infections.
- Manage stress through exercise, yoga, or meditation.
- Not smoke or drink alcohol.
- Keep a healthy weight. People who are overweight tend to have more severe psoriasis symptoms.
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 child’s 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:
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How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed And Treated
Psoriasis often has a typical appearance that a primary care doctor can recognize, but it can be confused with other skin diseases , so a dermatologist is often the best doctor to diagnose it. The treatment of psoriasis usually depends on how much skin is affected, how bad the disease is , or the location . Treatments range from creams and ointments applied to the affected areas to ultraviolet light therapy to drugs . Many people who have psoriasis also have serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Some people with psoriasis also have an inflammatory condition which affects their joints, called psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis has many of the same symptoms as other types of arthritis, so a rheumatologist is often the best doctor to diagnose it. The treatment of psoriatic arthritis usually involves the use of drugs .
Psoriatic disease may be treated with drugs or a combination of drugs and creams or ointments.
Talk With Others Who Understand
MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 88,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis.
Are you living with plaque psoriasis? How do you manage your symptoms? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.
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What Are Plaque Psoriasis Symptoms And Signs
The characteristic signs and symptoms of psoriasis are small scaly, red bumps. These bumps generally join together into elevated plaques of skin and most often are visible on the elbows, knees, and scalp, although any area of skin can be involved. Frequently, these plaques are quite itchy. Rarely, most of the patient’s skin surface is affected.
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, scalp, and nails. They’ll also ask whether someone else in the family has psoriasis and if the child recently had an illness or started taking a new medicine.
Rarely, doctors might take a skin sample to check more closely. A biopsy can tell the doctor whether it’s psoriasis or another condition with similar symptoms.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Plaque Psoriasis
Plaques can develop anywhere on a persons body, but may often form on the scalp, elbows, knees, lower back, hands, feet, nails, genitals, and skin folds. A person with psoriasis may have plaques just in one area of the body, or they may develop in multiple locations.
Most people with psoriasis have a mild form of the condition, with symptoms that affect less than 3% of a persons total body surface area. Moderate psoriasis affects between 3% and 10% of the body surface, while severe psoriasis affects 10% or more of the body surface.
Plaques are the most common symptom of psoriasis, and they can cause itchiness and burning. They can occasionally crack and bleed, particularly if they are very dry or located on an area of the body that bends or moves frequently .
Light Treatment For Plaque Psoriasis
Light therapy is a common treatment for plaque psoriasis. Because light therapy is nonpharmaceutical, its a popular choice prior to systemic medications.
Some people are able to achieve healing through regular limited sessions of sun exposure, while others fare better using a special light machine.
Check with your dermatologist before treating your psoriasis through exposure to sunlight. Too much sun exposure can burn your skin and make plaque psoriasis worse.
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When Should Someone Seek Medical Care For Plaque Psoriasis
Most dermatologists are able to confirm the diagnosis of psoriasis. The physician can provide helpful suggestions on how to minimize exacerbations of the condition and treatment options. In minimal disease, over-the-counter medications may be sufficient to control the condition. In more severe, extensive, and perhaps debilitating disease, physicians have a variety of treatments that can lessen but not permanently cure psoriasis.
How Is Plaque Psoriasis Diagnosed
Plaque psoriasis is not your typical rash.
“There are various subtypes and forms that affect different locations of the body and depending on the location can come with its own impact on quality of life,” says Dr. Friedman.
While a biopsy of the skin is often not needed for diagnosis of psoriasis, Dr. Brodell says sometimes a dermatologist may choose to perform a biopsy to exclude other possible conditions that also include scaling, such as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
To diagnose psoriasis, doctors often examine your skin and look for characteristics of psoriasis on typical areas of the body where psoriasis occurs, such as the elbows, knees, and scalp.
“If people have scaly rashes in those areas, it is most likely psoriasis,” says Dr. Brodell.
Because eczema can often be mistaken for psoriasis and vice versa, he says it’s important that a dermatologist makes the diagnosis.
“For a dermatologist, looking at psoriasis and eczema is like the difference between a VW bug and a Porsche sports car. There are a lot of things about them that are the same, but we can detect some different things just looking at it,” Dr. Brodell says.
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Generalised Pustular Psoriasis Or Von Zumbusch Psoriasis
This causes pustules that develop very quickly on a wide area of skin. The pus consists of white blood cells and is not a sign of infection.
The pustules may reappear every few days or weeks in cycles. During the start of these cycles, von Zumbusch psoriasis can cause fever, chills, weight loss and fatigue.
What You Can Do
Most people who get plaque psoriasis have it for the rest of their lives. You can do a few things to deal with it better:
Avoid triggers. Things like stress and smoking don’t cause psoriasis. But they can make it worse. Try to figure out what triggers your flare-ups. You may be affected by:
American Academy of Dermatology: “Psoriasis.”
Medscape: “FDA OKs Biologic Guselkumab for Plaque Psoriasis.” “Plaque Psoriasis.”
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “Psoriasis.”
National Psoriasis Foundation.
UpToDate: “Treatment of psoriasis.”
Weigle, N., American Family Physician, May 2013.
Bruce E. Strober, MD, PhD. associate director of Dermatopharmacology, Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine co-director of the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Center consultant for Amgen, Biogen, Genentech, Fujisawa, and 3-M.
Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, director of the Clinical Research Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons consultant for Amgen and Genentech.
Abel, E. “Dermatology III: Psoriasis,” ACP Medicine, April, 2005.
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What Are Plaques And Why Do They Form
Plaques are patches of skin that are raised, red, inflamed, and often covered with a layer of silvery scales. Plaques develop because people with psoriasis have an immune system that is overactive, causing inflammation when it is not needed. This inflammation triggers the production of new skin cells more quickly than older skin cells can die off and be shed from the skin naturally. The new skin cells push the older cells up to the surface of the skin, where they build up in the form of plaques.
What Is Cdc Doing About Psoriasis
In 2010, CDC worked with experts in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and public health to develop a public health perspective that considers how these conditions affect the entire population. The resulting report is Developing and Addressing the Public Health Agenda for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis pdf icon. You can read a short article about the agendaexternal icon in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
CDCs National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , an intermittent source of national psoriasis data, has included questions about psoriasis as late as the 2013-2014 cycle. A recent analysis of NHANES data estimates that 7.4 million adults had psoriasis in 2013external icon.
- Psoriasis causes patches of thick red skin and silvery scales. Patches are typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of feet, but can affect other places . The most common type of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis.
- Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that eventually occurs in 10% to 20% of people with psoriasis. It is different from more common types of arthritis and is thought to be related to the underlying problem of psoriasis.
- Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are sometimes considered together as psoriatic disease.
Who is at risk for psoriasis?
Anyone can get psoriasis. It occurs mostly in adults, but children can also get it. Men and women seem to have equal risk.
Can I get psoriasis from someone who has it?
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Racial Disparity In Psoriasis
Psoriasis can affect persons of any race however, epidemiologic studies have shown a higher prevalence in western European and Scandinavian populations. In these groups, 1.5-3% of the population is affected by the disease.
The highest documented disease prevalence is in Arctic Kasach’ye, with 12% of the population affected, followed by Norway, where 4.8% of the population has psoriasis. Lower prevalence rates for psoriasis have been reported among Japanese and Inuit populations.
Psoriasis is thought to be rare in West Africans and African Americans and is nearly absent in North American Indians. Psoriasis was undetected in the Samoan population and in a study that examined 26,000 South American Indians.
Ways To Treat Psoriasis At Home
Even though it affects your skin, psoriasis actually begins deep inside your body in your immune system.
It comes from your T cells, a type of white blood cell. T cells are designed to protect the body from infection and disease. When these cells mistakenly become active and set off other immune responses, it can lead to psoriasis symptoms.
Even though theres no cure, many treatments exist to ease the symptoms of psoriasis. Here are 12 ways to manage mild symptoms at home.
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What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
Signs And Symptoms Of Psoriasis
Psoriasis plaques can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. The diseases symptoms and appearance vary according to the type and severity of psoriasis.
Some common signs and symptoms include:
- Discolored patches or raised plaques of skin that are covered with scales
- Burning, itching, or soreness near the affected areas
- Pitted or thickened fingernails or toenails
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Pervasive Plaque Psoriasis Covering The Body
In some cases, plaque psoriasis can be very severe. It may cover the majority of the body. Plaque psoriasis of this severity can be uncomfortable, and even dangerous, if it becomes infected or progresses to other forms of psoriasis.
Moderate to severe plaque psoriasis can be treated effectively with different types of therapy, including biologics. Severe cases will often require a specialized treatment plan developed with a dermatologist. Prescription systemic medications may also be necessary.
What Is Mild Plaque Psoriasis
Mild psoriasis is when you have red and scaly skin bumps on less than 3% of your body. Although it is called mild, it can still be very uncomfortable. Topical treatments applied to your skin, such as creams and shampoos can help provide relief.3 If you have been diagnosed with mild psoriasis your doctor will discuss with you what treatment is right for you. They may recommend topical treatments you can buy from your pharmacist, or they may prescribe stronger formulations.3,4
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Diagnosing Plaque Psoriasis By Looking At The Skin
Most doctors and nurses can tell if a scaly or rough patch of skin is psoriasis. Sometimes a biopsy or a visit with a dermatologist is needed. During your visit, make sure to point out all of your abnormal patches of skin.
Tell your doctor about your symptoms and what seems to aggravate your skin. Possible triggers of psoriasis include:
- skin trauma
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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What Is Plaque Psoriasis Caused By
The causes of plaque psoriasis are not fully understood.2,6 It is thought to be caused by genetic factors and environmental factors .6,7 Scientists believe that mutations in genes are an important reason for psoriasis. While around 10 in every 100 people carry these mutated genes, only 2 or 3 in every 100 develop psoriasis.3,7 It is thought that environmental triggers, in combination with genes, are responsible for psoriasis.7 These triggers may include: stress, certain medications, skin injuries, allergies, diet, weather, smoking or alcohol.2,8
As your immune cells attack your skin cells, your skin constantly renews itself. Healthy skin cells are usually shed and replaced every month. In psoriasis, this process speeds up to several days. As a result, red plaques consisting of dead skin layers build up.4
What Are Other Types Of Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type. About 80% to 90% of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis.
Other, less common types of psoriasis include:
- Inverse psoriasis appears in skin folds. It may look like thin pink plaques without scale.
- Guttate psoriasis may appear after a sore throat caused by a streptococcal infection. It looks like small, red, drop-shaped scaly spots in children and young adults.
- Pustular psoriasis has small, pus-filled bumps on top of the red patches or plaques.
- Sebopsoriasis typically appears on the face and scalp as red bumps and plaques with greasy yellow scale. This type is a cross between psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.
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Other Types Of Plaque Psoriasis
Uncommon subtypes or descriptions of chronic plaque psoriasis include:
- Rupioid psoriasis: limpet-like cone-shaped hyperkeratotic lesions of psoriasis
- Lichenified psoriasis: chronically rubbed or scratched areas of psoriasis that have become very thickened
- Elephantine psoriasis: very persistent, very thickly scaled, large areas of psoriasis
- Ostraceous psoriasis: very thickly scaled, ring-like areas of psoriasis, resembling an oyster shell
- Linear psoriasis: psoriasis arranged in lines along the body
- Koebnerised psoriasis: psoriasis developing within an area of skin trauma such as injury, infection, a surgical wound or scratch mark.
- Photosensitive psoriasis: psoriasis worst in the sun-exposed areas of the face, neck, hands and forearms. Most patients with psoriasis find ultraviolet light very helpful for their psoriasis. A small group experience exacerbations of their rash following sun exposure. In these people, sometimes clear ‘sunburn‘ lines are seen. They may also have typical plaque psoriasis elsewhere. Strict sun protection, usually in combination with other treatment, is required to control this type of psoriasis.
Uncommon forms of plaque psoriasis