Here Are The Signs That You May Have Psoriasis – Allure Magazine

If youve noticed inflamed, scaly skin on your body and wondered what it is (and what the hell you should do about it) we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that it sounds like you have psoriasis. The good news is that youre most likely not turning reptilian. OK, the actual good news is that there are tons of treatments available! This is really really good news because probably the worst thing you can do when you have psoriasis is to do nothing and hope it goes away on its own. Actually, thats not completely true; well get into what the absolute worst thing you can do for psoriasis is in a little bit.

Dr. Joshua Zeichner , MD, explains it in the simplest terms: Psoriasis is a condition in which the immune system gets angry at the skin, leading to red, scaly plaques. Usually youll see it on elbows and knees but psoriasis can appear anywhere, including the scalp, lower back, nails, and even the genitals.

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Want to get even more specific? This is a genetic, autoimmune, inflammatory condition in which your skin cells divide too quickly and do not shed quickly enough, says Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills and a clinical instructor at the University of Southern California. Thats what creates the inflamed, scaly plaques. According to Dr. Shainhouse, psoriasis is often associated with psoriatic arthritis, metabolic syndrome, elevated triglycerides, increased risk for heart disease, and obesity. Yikes. You can see why its not something you want to sleep on.

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You can generally tell that its psoriasis thanks to the main symptom of the aforementioned scaly plaques that can be pink, white, or even silvery. Sometimes these plaques will itch, crack, and possibly even bleed. There are also different subtypes of psoriasis, according to Dr. Shainhouse: Inverse psoriasis appears in the underarms and groin; palmo-plantar psoriasis causes itchy or painful peeling and pustules on the palms and soles; and guttate psoriasis is named after ‘raindrops’, because you get a sudden eruption of small pink, scaly spots all over the trunk, usually after exposure to Strep throat, Dr. Shainhouse says. A dermatologist will have to examine your skin for a concrete diagnosis.

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Once youve been diagnosed, you can discuss treatment plans with you dermatologist. Luckily, there are now quite a few different options available now for those suffering from psoriasis. According to Dr. Zeichner, your treatment will depend on how mild or severe your case is, as well as what kind of psoriasis you have. Mild cases of psoriasis may be treated with topicals anti-inflammatories including cortisones and Vitamin D creams, Dr. Zeichner says. More severe cases may require systemic medications like pills or shots to keep the inflammation calm. If you have scalp psoriasis, Dr. Zeichner suggests using over-the-counter tar shampoos, such as Neutrogena T-Gel , to relieve dandruff and itching.

Dr. Shainhouse seconds asking your doctor for topical or oral/injectable medications, depending on the severity of your psoriasis. You could also try an over-the-counter exfoliating product, but Dr. Shainhouse recommends getting advice from your dermatologist first. Exfoliating moisturizers can help to remove some of the thick scale, but this condition requires management by your dermatologist, she says.

Phototherapy could also be a viable option. UV light is generally a no-no in dermatology, since we know that too much can be associated with the development of skin cancer and melanoma, Dr. Shainhouse explains. However, it has an anti-inflammatory effect in psoriatic skin, and is a very useful option for reducing skin disease/symptoms.

Finally, Dr. Shainhouse also warns against doing certain things that could worsen your psoriasis. Picking at the scales is the last thing you should do. Rubbing and picking at the skin will actually worsen the spots, Dr. Shainhouse says. Psoriasis tends to develop in sites of skin trauma, including cuts and scratches. This is called the Koebner phenomenon. She also recommends maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding drugs and alcohol, as obesity and substance abuse can also exacerbate psoriasis.

If you suspect you might have psoriasis, make an appointment with your dermatologist and check out the National Foundation for Psoriasis at .

In case that wasn’t quite comprehensive enough:

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Here Are The Signs That You May Have Psoriasis – Allure Magazine

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