We all know how frustrating it can be to have an itch that just won’t stop itching. Now, imagine adding a few other unpleasant symptoms, such as painful inflammation and scaly patches, to the mix. It certainly doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience, but it’s a challenge that many people with psoriasis face every day.
The chronic autoimmune disease known as psoriasis grants those who have it brief periods of respite, but it can flare up again at any time. Like all autoimmune diseases, psoriasis doesn’t have a cure and never disappears completely, but it's possible to manage the symptoms by following doctor prescribed treatment instructions. If you’re having skin issues and think you might have psoriasis, here’s what you need to know about the symptoms and possible treatments.
What Is Psoriasis?
When you have psoriasis, your overactive immune system causes new skin cells to build up before your old skin cells are ready to fall off. The scaly buildup of silvery-white cells on the skin’s surface is itchy and painful, not to mention visually unappealing. The area around the dry, scaly patch is often red and painful as well, with the scales sometimes cracking and bleeding. Stress is a common trigger for flare-ups, and then the stress of the flare-up can make the situation even worse.
Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the skin, but the face, neck, scalp, hands and feet are the most common spots for this buildup to occur. Joints like elbows and knees are particularly vulnerable to attack as well. Some people have developed psoriasis in the mouth, on their fingernails and even around their genitals.