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What is Psoriasis?

Updated: Sep 23, 2023


an example of psoriasis
Psoraisis

What is Psoriasis? Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes skin redness and irritation. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Most people with psoriasis have thick, red skin with flaky, silver-white patches called scales. Psoriasis can appear suddenly or slowly. In many cases, psoriasis goes away and then flares up again repeatedly over time. People with psoriasis have irritated patches of skin. The redness is most often seen on the elbows, knees, and trunk, but it can appear anywhere on the body. For example, there may be flaky patches on the scalp. Signs & Symptoms of Psoriasis The skin patches or dots may be:

  • Itchy

  • Dry and covered with silver, flaky skin (scales)

  • Pink-red in color (like the color of salmon)

  • Raised and thick

Other symptoms may include:

  • Genital lesions in males

  • Joint pain or aching (psoriatic arthritis)

  • Nail changes, including nail thickening, yellow-brown spots, dents (pits) on the nail surface, and separation of the nail from the base

  • Severe dandruff on the scalp


Who Gets Psoriasis? As with most other autoimmune diseases, there is a strong connection between genetics and the prevalence of psoriasis. Around one third of those who are diagnosed with psoriasis have reported a family history of the condition as well. In most cases, people who have psoriasis experience flare-ups that come and go in varying degrees. Although autoimmune diseases are generally more common in women than men, psoriasis develops in men and women at an equal rate. Psoriasis occurs in all ethnic groups and has a prevalence of only 1.9% in African-Americans whereas 3.6% of Caucasians develop psoriasis. Psoriasis typically occurs between the ages of 15 and 35 but anyone of any age is susceptible. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, about 10 to 15% percent of psoriasis patients are under the age of 10. Psoriasis has even been found in infants, although it is far less common. What Causes Psoriasis? The direct cause of psoriasis is not completely understood. Autoimmune diseases are conventionally thought to be quite mysterious in nature, but many theories and studies have emerged stating environmental and nutritional factors play a significant role in both the severity and prevalence of many autoimmune diseases. Aside from the genetic link, environmental “triggers” such as stress, pollution, and infection have been found to initiate psoriasis flare-ups. Similarly, research on diet and nutrition has provided some clues as to why certain “trigger” foods affect the severity and frequency of psoriasis flare-ups. When the immune system attacks itself, inflammation occurs – as it does when it is attacking a foreign body. As such, patients have found relief by avoiding inflammatory foods like dairy, wheat, soy and refined sugars. Click here to learn more about the different types of psoriasis. For more information or to schedule an Ozone appointment, please call (678)-721-0096.

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