What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition in which a person's immune system sends faulty signals that make skin cells grow too quickly. This causes the excess skin cells to pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear. Psoriasis is not contagious.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
There are several types of psoriasis and each type has a variety of different symptoms. If you think you might have psoriasis, talk to your health care provider.
• Plaque Psoriasis: reddish itchy patches on the skin (especially knees, elbows, lower back, and scalp), nail problems.
• Guttate Psoriasis: small red spots (usually on the chest, legs, and arms) that usually appear after an illness, the spots may clear up on their own.
• Pustular Psoriasis: swollen red skin with pus-filled bumps (usually only on the palms and soles), soreness and pain near the bumps, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite.
• Inverse Psoriasis: smooth red patches on the skin (usually in the armpits, around the groin or genitals, or near the buttocks), sore skin.
• Erythrodermic Psoriasis: the skin looks burned and turns bright red, intense itching, intense pain, a person might not be able to regulate their body temperature.
What can I do to help with my psoriasis?
There are several things that you can do to help prevent outbreaks or treat outbreaks once they appear.
• Moisturize: Use a humidifier to keep the air where you are moist. This can help prevent dry skin before it even starts.
• Avoid Dyes/Perfumes: Many soaps and perfumes have harsh chemicals in them that can aggravate your psoriasis. Try to pick skin-sensitive options.
• Eat Certain Foods: The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends eating certain foods to help reduce your psoriasis outbreaks. These foods include fish that contain omega-3 fatty oils, colorful fruits and vegetables, and certain nuts and seeds.
• Take a Warm Bath: A lukewarm bath with Epsom salts, mineral oils, or olive oil can help relieve the itching. Be sure to moisturize your skin after your bath.