A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Managing this Chronic Skin Condition

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by red, scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp.This condition can be painful, interfere with sleep, and make it difficult to concentrate.In this article, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, types, and treatments for psoriasis. Additionally, we will address ten frequently asked questions about this skin condition.

Understanding Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation in the skin. It results from an overactive immune system, which leads to a sped-up skin production process. Typically, skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface before falling off. In individuals with psoriasis, this process is accelerated, leading to the formation of thick, discolored patches of skin covered with scales, called plaques.

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some potential triggers for psoriasis include:

  1. Infections: Streptococcal infections, such as strep throat, can trigger psoriasis in some individuals.
  2. Skin injuries: Cuts, scrapes, or sunburns can lead to the development of psoriasis at the site of the injury.
  3. Stress: High levels of stress can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms.
  4. Medications: Certain medications, such as lithium, beta-blockers, and antimalarial drugs, can worsen psoriasis.

Types of Psoriasis

There are several types of psoriasis, including:

  1. Plaque psoriasis: This is the most common form of psoriasis, characterized by raised, red patches covered with silvery scales.
  2. Guttate psoriasis: This type appears as small, dot-like lesions and is often triggered by streptococcal infections.
  3. Inverse psoriasis: This form affects skin folds and is characterized by smooth, red patches without scales.
  4. Pustular psoriasis: This rare form presents with pus-filled blisters and can be severe.
  5. Erythrodermic psoriasis: This is a rare but severe form that causes widespread redness and scaling over the entire body.

Treatment Options

While there is no cure for psoriasis, various treatments can help manage symptoms and improve the appearance of the skin:

  1. Topical treatments: Creams and ointments containing corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, or retinoids can help reduce inflammation and slow down skin cell growth.
  2. Light therapy: Controlled exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, either through natural sunlight or specialized lamps, can help improve psoriasis symptoms.
  3. Systemic medications: Oral or injectable medications, such as methotrexate, can be used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis.
  4. Biologic therapies: These medications, which are derived from living organisms, target specific components of the immune system to reduce inflammation and slow down skin cell growth.

Prevention Strategies

While it may not be possible to completely prevent psoriasis, some strategies can help minimize the risk of flare-ups and manage symptoms:

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress can help improve overall health and potentially reduce psoriasis symptoms.
  2. Avoid known triggers: Identifying and avoiding personal triggers, such as certain medications or skin injuries, can help prevent flare-ups.
  3. Protect your skin: Use sunscreen and avoid sunburns to reduce the risk of triggering psoriasis.
  4. Follow your treatment plan: Adhering to prescribed treatments and working closely with your healthcare provider can help manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

The journey to a more confident you starts with one decision. That is the decision to get treated, why wait Book Online today? If you’re on the fence or have questions brewing, remember: We at Sullivan Dermatology are always here to help.



Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that speeds up the lifecycle of skin cells, causing them to accumulate on the skin’s surface. The extra skin cells form thick, silvery scales and red patches that can be itchy and painful. While psoriasis has no cure, treatments such as Skyrizzi, Taltz, Tremfya, Humira, Cosentyx, and Otezla can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life of those affected.

The most common symptoms of psoriasis are red, raised patches of skin covered with silvery scales. These patches can be itchy or sore and are often found on the knees, elbows, lower back, and scalp. Other symptoms can include dry, cracked skin that may bleed, stiff and swollen joints, thickened nails, and in severe cases, large areas of scaling. The severity of psoriasis varies greatly from person to person, and for any given individual, it can vary from day to day.

The exact cause of psoriasis isn’t fully understood, but it’s believed to be related to an immune system issue with T cells and white blood cells. In psoriasis, T cells attack healthy skin cells as if healing a wound or fighting an infection. Overactive T cells trigger other immune responses, leading to increased production of skin cells and inflammation.

Many misconceptions surround psoriasis. One is that it is contagious, which is not true – you cannot catch psoriasis from another person. Another common myth is that it is purely a skin condition, but psoriasis is a systemic disease that can affect the entire body. Additionally, many people believe psoriasis is the result of poor hygiene, which is incorrect. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, not a cleanliness issue.

Several prescription medications are available to treat psoriasis, including biologics such as Skyrizzi, Taltz, Tremfya, Humira, and Cosentyx, and oral treatments like Otezla. These medications work by targeting specific parts of the immune system to control inflammation and slow the overproduction of skin cells.

Skyrizzi, Tremfya, and Taltz are injections administered under the skin and are often used for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. They work by targeting specific proteins to reduce inflammation.

Humira and Cosentyx are also injectable biologics. Humira can be used for several autoimmune conditions, including psoriasis, while Cosentyx is used specifically for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Otezla, on the other hand, is an oral medication used to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It works by blocking an enzyme in your immune system that can affect certain cells and contribute to inflammation in the skin.

It’s important to remember that while these treatments can manage the symptoms of psoriasis, they do not cure the condition and not every medication is right for every person. Each of these drugs has its own set of potential side effects and risks. Therefore, it’s crucial to discuss with your healthcare provider to determine which treatment is best for you.

In conclusion, while living with psoriasis can be challenging, advances in treatment, including medications such as Skyrizzi, Taltz, Tremfya, Humira, Cosentyx, and Otezla, provide hope and relief to many people dealing with this condition. Remember, every person is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, always consult with your healthcare provider to find the best treatment for your condition.

For More Information:

National Psoriasis Foundation or Psoriasis (AAD).

FAQs About Psoriasis

No, psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person.

There is currently no cure for psoriasis, but various treatments can help manage symptoms and improve the appearance of the skin.

While psoriasis primarily affects the skin, it can also be associated with other health conditions, such as psoriatic arthritis, which affects the joints.

There is no specific diet for psoriasis, but eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight may help improve symptoms.

Stress can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms but is not the sole cause of the condition.

Psoriasis is typically diagnosed through a visual examination by a healthcare provider, who may also take a small skin sample for further analysis.

Yes, children can develop psoriasis, although it is more common in adults.

Yes, genetics play a role in the development of psoriasis, and having a family history of the condition increases the risk of developing it.

Some cases of mild psoriasis may resolve on their own without treatment, but it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of action.

Some alternative treatments, such as acupuncture or herbal remedies, have been suggested for psoriasis management, but their effectiveness has not been conclusively proven. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before trying any alternative treatments.

Useful Links

Scroll to Top