What Is Psoriasis?

I’m Dr. Jay Wofford I’m a board-certified dermatologist with U.S. Dermatology Partners practicing in Dallas, Texas. Another condition I frequently see and get questions about is psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a surprisingly common disease that affects about 2 to 3% of the population to some extent. A lot of people ask what causes psoriasis. Psoriasis is actually an immune mediated auto inflammatory condition what that essentially means is that there is increased inflammation in the bloodstream that is being expressed onto the skin.

So not only is psoriasis a disease of the skin but it is actually a systemic disease and there are multiple systemic comorbidities that are increased in psoriasis patients. A few of these comorbid conditions commonly seen in patients with psoriasis are cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure or coronary artery disease.

Additionally, patients with psoriasis have a higher risk of depression. Another question people frequently ask is what triggers psoriasis and the answer to that is that we don’t truly know what triggers psoriasis. There are definitely genetic factors that predispose people to having psoriasis but what actually brings it out or triggers the condition is still unknown at the current time.

People frequently end up in the dermatologists office for treatment for their psoriasis because they’re very limited and few over-the-counter treatments that work for psoriasis. When we see psoriasis in our clinics we treat it based on the severity.

Oftentimes psoriasis is initially treated with topical medications such as creams and lotions but other treatments include photo therapy using UV light in addition to some of the newer therapies which involve injectable biologic drugs. Psoriasis is presented on the skin usually as pink to red scaly patches or plaque. The scale overlying psoriasis is often described as silver or white additionally psoriasis can be itchy but does not have to be. People are often confused between psoriasis and eczema which can look very similarly and that’s why it’s important to see your dermatologist to make the correct diagnosis of what really is affecting your skin. For patients with severe psoriasis which is also relatively common in the United States and frequently undertreated there are newer biologic medications that work extremely well for this condition and so patients living with severe psoriasis no longer have to just accept the fact that their skin is never going to get better and that they’re gonna have to live with their condition we now have much better medications that in a majority of patients can clear their skin.

If you think you might have psoriasis you can click the link below in the description to set up an appointment with U.S. Dermatology Partners. you.

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