Psoriasis is a skin condition that is lifelong once you get it and usually occurs in adults. It causes thickened, scaly, red skin over certain parts of your body and can also affect your joints. Psoriasis is thought to be an autoimmune condition, but the exact cause is unknown. It is very treatable with a variety of medications that can be prescribed by a doctor.
WHO IS AT RISK?
The cause of psoriasis is unknown, so any is at risk for the condition. However, it does seem to have a genetic component as it often runs in families. People with psoriasis are at risk of having an outbreak when they undergo stress or have an infection or other illness. There are also medications that can worsen psoriasis, as does smoking cigarettes.
Psoriasis primarily causes a particular skin rash. They appear as red, scaly, thickened skin and typically occur over the elbows, knees, and back. There are a number of other subtypes of psoriasis that can have varying symptoms which can include pus filled blisters, fingernail problems, and joint pain. If you believe you may have psoriasis or aren’t sure, it is important to discuss with a doctor.
Diagnosis and Psoriasis Treatment
Psoriasis if diagnosed by looking at the skin. Doctors are often able to tell based on the appearance of the skin alone, but occasionally a small biopsy of the skin can be taken and studied to help confirm the diagnosis. There are no blood tests that can tell for sure whether or not you have psoriasis.
Once diagnosed, there are a multitude of treatment options available. For mild cases, using moistening lotions and emollients can help. For flares of symptoms, steroid creams are available that can reduce symptoms, but shouldn’t be used over the long term. Various other topical medications including coal tar, anthralin and derivations of vitamin A and D that have some benefit in the condition. Even shining ultraviolet light on the lesions can improve the symptoms.
If the symptoms are more severe, your doctor may recommend taking a pill or having injections of medications to control the symptoms. Methotrexate, vitamin A derivatives, and immune system suppressing drugs can be used to combat the condition but come with side effects that can be quite severe. Be sure to consult with a doctor about which treatment is best for you.
How PlushCare Works
1. Video chat and send pictures to your PlushCare physician
2. Your PlushCare doctor can prescribe medication including steroid creams, and make other treatment recommendations.
3. Pick up your prescription at any pharmacy you like, and followup with your PlushCare doctor if needed.