Psoriasis can affect anyone, at any time in their lives, and if it’s not something you’re familiar with, you might be wondering just what’s happening with your skin and body.
Here are some simple signs that can tell you if you might have psoriasis:
- Has your skin become dry, scaly or patchy?
- Does your skin flake, bump or peel?
- Are there itchy, irritated growths of skin on your scalp, arms, legs or body?
- Are red spots showing up on your skin with no apparent cause?
- Have you noticed fingernails or toenails thickening or discoloring?
- Are you experiencing joint pain?
- Do you suffer from overall fatigue or depression?
These are classic symptoms of psoriasis, which affects more than eight million U.S. patients. Here at Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, located in Windermere, Florida, we see patients suffering with psoriasis every day. If this autoimmune disease has made an appearance in your life, it’s time to find out more with the help of an experienced, qualified dermatologist like our Dr. Jeannette Hudgens.
In some cases, psoriasis sufferers also have a condition known as psoriatic arthritis, which is a similar inflammation as appears on the skin, but it takes place inside joints, making aches, pains and joint trouble a major sign of its presence. Those who have psoriatic arthritis developing along with the more typical psoriasis of the skin, can be helped by a combination of treatments that will help decrease joint problems as well as treat the skin issues.
Risk Factors for Psoriasis
Since psoriasis is linked to the autoimmune system, there are several risk factors that make it more likely for certain people to be affected by it.
- Family history. If your closest genetic relatives have had psoriasis, like your parents or siblings, your risk of getting it is higher.
- Recent infection. Psoriasis can emerge as part of the body’s immune response to a systemic, bacterial or viral infection. Those with other autoimmune diseases also are more likely to experience it.
- Stress. By which we mean, really high levels of stress, resulting from trauma, major life changes or other initiating factors that can bring on a psoriasis outbreak as your immune system struggles to handle it.
- Overweight or smoking. Tobacco use increases your risk of psoriasis and makes existing cases worse. Weight puts more stress on your immune system as well, and excess skin folds can also be home to psoriasis patches or plaques.
If you feel you may have psoriasis or another skin condition that bothers you, please contact us for more information or a consultation. It’s a common, very treatable condition that is diagnosed quickly and easily, and if it turns out you have a different skin condition, such as eczema, which is sometimes mistaken for psoriasis, we can help you with that too.