Plaque PsoriasisPsoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition that causes raised, scaly patches. Psoriasis occurs due to the body producing new skin at a faster rate than normal. This disease affects nearly 7 million Americans and comes in several forms, but plaque psoriasis is the most common. Plaques are raised patches of thick, red, scaly skin that usually appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. However, they may appear anywhere on the body. While there is no cure for this condition, there are treatment options available to help individuals manage symptoms.
Symptoms of Plaque Psoriasis:
Common signs and symptoms of plaque psoriasis include:
- Red, inflamed patches of skin
- Itchy, painful skin that can crack or bleed
- Scaly plaques on the scalp
- Dry, cracked skin
- Itching, burning or soreness
Causes of Plaque Psoriasis:
Plaque psoriasis is considered an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system attacks healthy cells as if it’s fighting an infection. This causes the buildup of new skin cells to grow much faster than normal. Flare-ups often occur when exposed to certain triggers. Triggers may include:
- Certain medications
- Cold, dry weather
- Skin injury
- Tobacco or alcohol use
Treatment for Plaque Psoriasis:
There is no cure at this time for plaque psoriasis. In most cases, treatment aims to relieve symptoms, such as reducing inflammation, scale development, slow the accumulation of skin cells and remove plaques. Treatment options may include:
- Topical treatments – Topical corticosteroids, topical retinoids, anthralin, vitamin D analogues, salicylic acid, and moisturizers.
- Systemic medications – Biologic therapy, oral immune suppressants, and oral retinoids.
- Light therapy – UVA and UVB light