Get real talk about psoriasis from dermatologist Dr. Weinberg and Cyndi Lauper
Plaque psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that starts under the skin and is characterized by thick, red, scaly skin plaques. It’s not a rash, and it’s not contagious. And while it’s not curable, it can be controlled with the proper treatment.
What causes psoriasis?
While the specific causes are not fully known, it’s believed that there are multiple proteins in your immune system, including IL-17A, that may play a role in inflammation. When there are too many of these proteins, they cause an inflammatory response that contributes to an overgrowth of skin cells. This results in thick, red, scaly plaques that can appear all over the skin. The skin plaques can also be painful and itchy.
What’s the difference between moderate and severe plaque psoriasis?
The severity of plaque psoriasis may be measured by total coverage, the locations of the plaques, and how it affects you.
MODERATE: 3% to 10% of the body has psoriasis.
SEVERE: More than 10% of the body has psoriasis.
What are the symptoms?
Plaque psoriasis symptoms you can see and feel:
Red patches of skin
Dry, cracked skin that can bleed
Pitted or thickened nails
“Living with psoriasis is like being in jail. You’re not free at all. The stares, the looks. I had it all over my body.”
Individual results may vary. Gary was compensated for his time.
“The psoriasis itch is not a surface itch. It feels deep, like you cannot get to it. It doesn’t matter how hard you scratch.”
Individual results may vary. LauraLee was compensated for her time.
Why do symptoms flare?
There are many reasons why your psoriasis symptoms could flare. These can differ from person to person. Some triggers include certain infections, skin trauma or injury, stress, alcohol, smoking, cold or dry weather, starting some medications, stopping medication, or even the natural course of the disease.
It’s a good idea to keep track of your symptoms, triggers, and flares to help you manage them in the future. Talk to your doctor about how best to keep track of your symptoms.