Psoriasis Can Affect Internal Organs As Well As The Skin
Not only can psoriasis affect the skin, but it can have devastating effects that can affect your internal organs.
The systemic inflammation inside the body that accompanies the disease is often overlooked.
Patients may think that they are having success with their treatments if they cannot see the thick psoriasis plaques on their skin.
However, patients can have serious consequences on their joints, arteries and other organs if not properly treated early to decrease the inflammation.
It is important to know that psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. It is not contagious and is caused when the immune system attacks the skin.
As a result, scaly red patches or plaques occur on the skin.
In addition to skin problems, some patients can develop psoriatic arthritis. Signs and symptoms of this are painful, stiff and swollen joints that can come and go.
Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the back or neck.
An early and accurate diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis is essential because persistent inflammation can cause damage to the joints.
Nobody knows exactly what causes psoriatic arthritis, but it can affect anyone.
Psoriatic arthritis typically occurs in people with skin psoriasis, but it can occur in people without skin psoriasis, particularly in those who have relatives with psoriasis.
Sometimes certain heart medications like B-blockers can cause a psoriasis flare on the skin or it may be triggered by a streptococcal throat infection.
Learning The Differences Between Eczema And Psoriasis
Psoriasis causes well-defined, thick, red, scaly patches, commonly in areas like the elbows and knees. It is common to see psoriasis on the face, buttocks, and scalp of a child. Youll also commonly see thick patches of skin with overlying redness.
Eczema tends to appear in the crooks of the knees and the elbows.
Children who have psoriasis tend to have mild itching. In eczema, the itching can be intense.
There are many ways for a dermatologist to tell the difference between eczema and psoriasis, including what one sees on the skin, the amount of itch, and where the disease appears on the skin.
What Are The Most Affected Areas
The most affected areas of genital psoriasis include:
- Pubis: affects the area above the genitalia where there is hair, and symptoms are similar to scalp psoriasis
- Thighs: patches usually appear in the groin area, near the genitalia
- Vulva: these patches are usually red and smooth and are only on the external part of the vagina
- Penis: psoriasis usually occurs on the glans , but it can also affect the body of the penis
- Buttocks and anus: the patches appear near the anus, causing intense itchiness
- Armpits: symptoms get worse with tight-fitting clothes and sweat
- Breasts: the patches usually appear in the bottom part of the breasts.
In men, genital psoriasis does not cause sexual dysfunction, however, the condition may cause anxiety which will hinder intercourse. Also, some of the medications used for treatment can have side effects which hinder erection.
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What Does Psoriasis On The Feet Look And Feel Like
In many cases, psoriasis on the feet presents like psoriasis does elsewhere on the body. The most common type is plaque psoriasis . Psoriasis on the feet may appear with:
- Clearly defined red, purple, or brown patches or lesions on the skin, often covered with thick, silvery scales
- Patches of thick, dry skin that may crack or bleed easily and that may cover the entire sole
- Soreness, burning, or itching, either on a red patch of skin or over much of the foot
- Small patches of skin that are scaly but not necessarily red
- Signs of inflammation, such as heat and redness
- Small pustules on the bottom of the feet
Pain and discomfort from psoriasis on the feet may be worse than pain from psoriasis elsewhere on the body because of the pressure caused by walking. Feet are highly sensitive, which can make basic movements uncomfortable if they are affected by psoriasis. When your feet hurt, even getting out of bed or wearing socks can be painful. Many MyPsoriasisTeam members with psoriasis on their feet report that their feet feel like they are on fire. One member even said, My feet feel like Im walking on knives. Another member shared, My feet are inflamed, red, and painful.
Occasionally, different types of psoriasis will appear on the feet.
Can You Get A Tattoo
Just because you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, it does not mean that you cant get some ink done! There has been a lot of research done into the areas of tattoos and psoriasis, and both doctors and tattoo artists have been conducting studies on how psoriatic skin reacts to the tattoo gun. However, if you have psoriasis, getting a tattoo can be a challenge.
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What Causes Psoriasis And Psoriatic Arthritis
While no one knows the exact cause of psoriasis or PsA, experts believe that a faulty immune system is partly to blame. Specifically, the immune system attacks healthy skin cells and joints, causing the inflammation, swelling, and pain characteristic of psoriatic disease.
Genetics plays a part, too: Often will have other family members with psoriatic disease, says Dr. Haberman. In fact, roughly 40 percent of people with PsA have at least one close family member with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Research is still ongoing, however, and its not clear whether having a family history of psoriasis alone increases PsA risk.
Obesity is also a common risk factor for people with psoriasis and PsA. According to a 2019 study in the journal Medicine, roughly 40 percent of people with psoriasis are obese. While it is unknown why obesity is so strongly linked to psoriatic diseases, we do know that obesity is associated with the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body, says Dr. Haberman. It may be that this underlying inflammatory environment helps predispose the body to the development of psoriasis and PsA, she says.
Other risk factors for psoriasis include:
- Family history
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How Can I Get Started With A Psoriasis Diet
If youre going to change your diet to combat psoriasis, Wesdock recommends starting slowly. Jumping into a highly restrictive diet isnt usually sustainable and may deprive you of important nutrients. Instead, start by cutting out some highly processed foods.
Substitute the pastries and cookies with fresh fruit. Opt for herbal tea or water flavored with fresh fruit, mint or cucumber. If you think theres a specific food or ingredient thats triggering psoriasis flare-ups, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Being overweight or obese can also make psoriasis worse, so you may want to start a weight loss plan that includes fewer calories and smaller portion sizes. Any psoriasis treatment diet should be accompanied by healthy lifestyle choices. Get plenty of sleep and regular exercise, and try to reduce stress in your life. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about a plan to quit.
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What Is Psoriasis Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes plaques, which are itchy or sore patches of thick, dry, discolored skin.
While any part of your body can be affected, psoriasis plaques most often develop on the elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms, and feet.
Like other autoinflammatory diseases, psoriasis occurs when your immune system which normally attacks infectious germs begins to attack healthy cells instead.
Whats The Deal With My Red Crusty Belly Button
You may have a bacterial, fungal, or yeast infection if your belly button is leaking clear or colored fluid or blood. Infection is also indicated by crusty skin, a strong odor, itching, and redness. If the discharge and crust from your belly button persist after youve washed it, you should consult a doctor.
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Psoriasis Of The Legs
Plaque psoriasis is also common on the legs and/or knees. Your doctor may prescribe a vitamin D cream, like Dovonex or Rocaltrol , to reduce the rate of skin cell growth, or a topical retinoid, as well as regular application of an over-the-counter cortisone cream or ointment-based moisturizer. If topical treatments are unsuccessful, light therapy may be recommended.
Psoriasis On Feet: Symptoms Causes And Treatments
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which skin cells grow and build up faster than normal. Some people with psoriasis develop symptoms on their feet. Itching, rashes, and dry, thick skin can be particularly bothersome on the feet and make walking or standing uncomfortable.
If you think you have psoriasis on your feet, its important to get the right diagnosis and work with your dermatologist to find the best treatment for your skin.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Psoriasis
Psoriasis, in general, is a genetic condition passed down through families. “It’s likely that multiple genes need to be affected to allow psoriasis to occur and that it’s frequently triggered by an external event, such as an infection,” says James W. Swan, MD, professor of dermatology at the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Illinois.
Certain risk factors, such as a family history or being obese, may increase your odds of developing psoriasis.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation , at least 10 percent of people inherit genes that could lead to psoriasis, but only 3 percent or less actually develop the disease. For this reason, it is believed that the disease is caused by a combination of genetics and external factors or triggers.
A psoriasis outbreak may be provoked by:
What Causes Genital Psoriasis
Genital or anogenital psoriasis may be part of more generalised psoriasis. Psoriasis has multifactorialgenetic and environmental causes. These are not fully understood. In the anogenital area, specific factors to consider include:
- Colonisation by bacteria and yeasts
- Injury to the skin, causing new plaques of psoriasis to develop
Psoriasis in the genital area may also be worsened by contact with irritants such as:
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What Kind Of Doctor Treats Psoriasis
There are several types of doctors who may treat psoriasis. Dermatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders, including psoriasis. Rheumatologists specialize in the treatment of joint disorders, including psoriatic arthritis. Family physicians, internal medicine physicians, rheumatologists, dermatologists, and other medical doctors may all be involved in the care and treatment of patients with psoriasis.
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.
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Shannon Hall 31 San Antonio Texas
Air Force veteran Shannon Hall had never heard of the Koebner phenomenon and the effects prior to getting tattooed.
âI didnât know that damage or an injury to the skin could cause a flare-up, and that wouldnât have changed anything anyway. I love my tattoos, and after this current flare-up is gone, I will be getting more,â says Hall.
âPsoriasis is not curable, so Iâm not going to let it stop me from living,â she adds.
Hall got her first tattoo at age 19 â a cherry blossom on her lower abdomen. Luckily, she has never had any reaction to getting tattoos. She now has a sleeve and 5 other tattoos, all of which hold deep symbolism for her. For instance, on her foot is an infinity symbol, which represents her refusal to âsink because of the obstacles,â Hall says. âItâs a reminder of what I went through and that Iâll always make it.â
Exploring The Treatment Options
Eczema and psoriasis are both long-term conditions that require long-term treatments. Treatment may depend on the severity of symptoms as well as the size and location of the affected area of skin. Common treatments include topical anti-inflammatories, hydrating skin creams, phototherapy, and biologic or systemic drugs to control the bodys inflammatory and immune responses.
In addition to discussing treatment options with your doctor, its important to avoid factors that may trigger or worsen your symptoms. Eczema may be worsened by wetness or allergies as well as certain cleansers, soaps, and detergents. Psoriasis flare-ups are more likely to follow injuries to the skin and can also be brought about by stress or infection.
The first step in resolving your skin issues is to talk to your doctor to receive a diagnosis. Though both eczema and psoriasis can be chronic, finding the right treatment may help relieve symptoms and reduce flare-ups.
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How To Apply Psoriasis Medication On Your Face
Here are a few basic tips:
- Use small amounts.
- Be careful when you apply creams and ointments around the eyes. Some treatments can irritate them.
- Follow your doctorâs instructions for taking the medication so you can prevent side effects, especially with steroids.
- Ask your doctor if you can use makeup to conceal the psoriasis on your face. Some products can prevent treatment from working.
- If your medication doesnât help or causes too many side effects, work with your doctor to figure out a treatment that will help.
Sensitivity Of The Area
Nipples are a sensitive part of the body. They can get irritate easily and hurt for a variety of reasons. Tight clothes, rashes, infections all can irritate the tender skin. So to answer can you get psoriasis on your nipples, yes they can get affected. Being such a sensitive area, psoriasis can be very uncomfortable around this region. Patches with scales can form, and scratching them can irritate the skin to extreme levels. It also impairs your ability to properly breastfeed your baby. Psoriasis causes the immune system to be hyper sensitive. This, in turn, makes the nipples even more sensitive than they already are. It is uncommon to have psoriasis on your nipples, especially for females, but it does happen. There are ways to remedy around the problem and makes things a little bit easier.
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How Long Does A Psoriasis Flare
People with psoriasis often have flare-ups . Flare-ups, or flares, are often the result of specific triggers, such as cold and dry weather, infection, illness, stress, dry skin, skin injuries, and the use of some medicines.
A psoriasis flare can last from a few weeks to a few months. Flares are usually followed by periods in which symptoms subside or go into remission.
A psoriasis flare-up is marked by red, dry, and thick skin patches. These patches sometimes contain silvery-white scales that itch or burn. The skin might become cracked and bleed. Psoriasis plaques frequently appear on the scalp, low back, knees, skinfolds , and genitals.
Additional symptoms of a psoriasis flare include:
- Nail changes: Pitting, thickening, ridges, crumbling, discoloration, and nail bed separation
- Emotional effects: Including depression and anxiety
- Joint symptoms: Including stiff, swollen joints if you have psoriatic arthritis, which affects up to 30% of people with psoriasis
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.
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Psoriasis Diet: Foods To Eat And Avoid If You Have Psoriasis
A range of treatments are available for psoriasis, from skin ointments to drugs that alter your immune system. But can easing the symptoms of this common condition be as simple as changing the foods we eat?
For the more than 8 million people in the U.S. who live with psoriasis, diet may play a bigger role than we think in how our bodies handle inflammation. , a registered dietitian at Johns Hopkins Medicine, offers insight on which foods to eat and which to avoid if you have psoriasis.
Dry Cracked Skin: Irritation That Can Lead To Infection
Dry, cracked skin is a psoriasis symptom. However, dry air can also cause your skin to become dry and itchy. When the skin is dry and irritated , it’s more likely to get infected. Infection may cause your skin to become red and swollen. If you have any skin rashes that keep coming back or won’t go away, see your doctor. Most cases of psoriasis can be diagnosed with a physical examination but because psoriasis can look like many other skin conditions, a skin biopsy may have to be done to definitively diagnose it.
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Eczema Up And Down The Legs
Eczema on the legs may often occur in body creases, such as the back of the knee or the front of the ankle. These areas may trap sweat or irritants from clothing and the air.
Close contact of irritants with skin and areas of skin rubbing together create a perfect environment for atopic dermatitis to thrive.
If eczema on the backs of the knees isnt quickly or effectively treated, it can become very irritating and painful. Constant contact from clothing can cause significant bleeding, oozing, and infection.
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How To Tell Whether That Itchy Rash Is Eczema Or Psoriasis
Do you have a dry, itchy, red rash that doesnt seem to go away? You may have eczema or psoriasis. Both conditions have similar symptoms and both can run in families, which can make it difficult to distinguish one from the other. These similar skin conditions are often managed with similar treatments, but there are differences you should know.
Here at Riviera Allergy Medical Center, allergy specialist Dr. Ulrike Ziegner helps patients manage a wide variety of allergies and immune-related conditions, including psoriasis and eczema.
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