What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disorder characterized by the rapid growth of skin cells, leading to the development of thick, red, and scaly patches on the skin’s surface. This condition affects millions of people worldwide, transcending age, gender, and ethnicity. Its exact cause is multifactorial, involving genetic predisposition and immune system dysfunction.

The hallmark of psoriasis is the accelerated turnover of skin cells. In a normal skin cycle, cells mature and shed over a period of weeks. However, in psoriasis, this process takes mere days, resulting in an accumulation of cells at the surface. This accumulation triggers inflammation, causing the classic symptoms of redness, scaling, and itching. Psoriasis can affect various body parts, including the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

Beyond its physical manifestations, psoriasis can significantly impact patients’ quality of life due to its visibility and discomfort. It is associated with increased risk of other conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic disorders.

Treatment approaches for psoriasis vary based on its severity, patient preferences, and medical history. Topical treatments, phototherapy, oral medications, and biologic agents are among the options available to manage symptoms and control progression. While there is no definitive cure for psoriasis, advancements in medical research continue to provide hope for better management and understanding of this complex condition.

To see me for your dermatological issues or pre-screens contact me, Amy Hahn, PA-C at our Lansdale, PA dermatology office.

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