Psoriasis Causes, Symptoms & Treatments in Dallas, Texas

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-related skin condition that causes an accelerated growth of skin cells, making affected areas of skin appear inflamed, red, and scaly. Psoriasis may also cause the skin to itch, burn, or sting. Symptoms of psoriasis can range from mild to moderate, to severe and can affect any area of the body, including the nails and areas of the face, including the lips, eyelids, and mouth. Areas most commonly affected by psoriasis include the scalp, elbows, and knees. Depending on which areas of the body are affected, along with the severity of the condition, psoriasis treatment will vary.

How do you get psoriasis?

Psoriasis is caused by a defect in the immune system that causes T-cells to attack healthy skin cells. This leads to an excess reproduction of skin cells. The excess skin cells then accumulate at the surface of the skin, causing the skin to appear flaky. Triggers that may cause psoriasis to occur may include:

  • Infections
  • Injury to the skin
  • Stress
  • Cold, dry climates
  • Certain medications
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

In general, symptoms of psoriasis include flare-ups where affected patches of skin become red, flaky, and inflamed. However, there is more than one type of psoriasis. Depending on the type of psoriasis, symptoms may vary. Types of psoriasis along with their symptoms may include:

  • Plaque psoriasis—the most common form of psoriasis. This type of psoriasis primarily affects the lower back, knees, elbows, and scalp. Affected patches of skin will appear red and inflamed, along with a layer of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Additional symptoms may include pain, itching, and cracking and bleeding of the affected areas.
  • Guttate psoriasis—the second most common form of psoriasis. This type of psoriasis typically begins during childhood or adolescent years. Symptoms of guttate psoriasis include small red bumps that are spread across areas of skin, usually on the arms, legs, abdomen, and chest. Symptoms may also affect the face, scalp, and ears.
  • Inverse psoriasis—smooth red patches of skin in crevices of the body, such as the groin, behind the knees, and the underarms. Inverse psoriasis may also be accompanied by symptoms of other types of psoriasis in other areas of the body.
  • Pustular psoriasis—defined by pus-filled blisters and reddened skin, mainly on the hands and feet.
  • Erthythromedic psoriasis—a rarer, but more severe, form of psoriasis that occurs across almost the entire body. Symptoms of erythrodermic psoriasis include extreme redness, fluctuating body temperatures, shedding of skin, and severe pain and itching.

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

Psoriasis is diagnosed through a thorough physical exam of the skin, nails, and scalp. Your doctor may also review your medical history, symptoms, and any changes in behaviors that may be causing the skin to flare up. To help determine what type of psoriasis you have and to rule out other possible causes, your doctor may recommend a biopsy or other tests.

How is psoriasis treated?

Depending on the severity, type, and affected areas of psoriasis, medication and treatment will vary. Your doctor will determine the best treatment options for you based on your unique needs.

Psoriasis treatments may include:

  • Topical treatments, e.g., ointments or shampoos
  • Phototherapy
  • Oral medications
  • Injectables

If you are experiencing symptoms of psoriasis that are interfering with your quality of life, a consultation with an experienced dermatologist may be the first step towards helping restore the appearance and health of your skin. At Dermatology Treatment and Research Center, our board-certified physicians hold expertise in clinical, cosmetic, and general dermatology and are ready to provide you with high-quality expert care in a friendly and compassionate atmosphere. Call 972.661.2729 or fill out the form on this page to book an appointment.