Psoriasis is a skin disorder in which the cells of the skin multiply up to 10 times faster than normal skin cells. Because of the overabundance of cells, these collect along the surface of the skin, causing areas of red plaque and white scales. Usually, this disorder occurs on the scalp, elbows, knees, torso, soles of the feet or the palms.
Symptoms of psoriasis can vary, but the most common one is areas of red and inflamed skin. These rashes often have a scale-like appearance and are usually itchy and painful. If dry and irritated enough, they can even crack and bleed.
You may also experience problems with your fingernails and toes. They may change color, crumble easily, or even detach from the bed itself.
Psoriasis is caused by genetics. The genes that control your immune system malfunction and cause your skin cells to multiply too quickly causing inflammation. So far, scientists have found over 25 genes that can cause psoriasis.
Psoriasis is typically not a condition presents constant symptoms. Flare-ups are usually triggered by different stimuli. This includes an injury to the skin, such as a cut, sunburn, or bug bite, cold and dry weather, and certain medications. Additionally, infections such as strep, bronchitis, the flu, or pneumonia can also trigger a rash to develop.
The way you treat your body can also affect your psoriasis. People who are stressed, drink too much alcohol, and smoke on a regular basis have more prevalent flare-ups.
Because it is a genetic disorder, there is no cure for psoriasis. However, with the use of prescription topical creams containing salicylic acid, steroids, calcipotriene, and coal-tar, many of the symptoms of psoriasis can be relieved. Talk to your doctor to find an appropriate treatment for you.