What are the signs of psoriasis?
Dry, scaly plaques in your elbows, your knees, your scalp — those are the more common places. The color can vary based on skin color, so in lighter-pigmented individuals, the skin would look red, while in darker, more pigmented skin, it often looks more violet. [The affected area] may be very well demarcated, like you would almost draw a line around it with a pencil. Psoriasis may develop in additional sensitive areas, within the groin, on the genitals, under the breasts, within the underarms, and it looks a bit different there because those areas are more moist. They give the impression of being like little lesions within the body folds. People sometimes think they’ve a yeast infection, so it’s necessary to get those hidden areas assessed.
And about half of patients experience itchiness, which quite a few studies have shown is essentially the most bothersome symptom. One other thing about psoriasis, though, that’s also shown in studies, is the effect on relationships where it causes what we call “touch avoidance.” Patients don’t want people touching them or they don’t wish to touch other people, even in the event that they comprehend it’s not contagious, they’re just self-conscious. So we would like to diagnose it early in order that it doesn’t interfere with intimacy or relationships with others.
How do people develop psoriasis? What are the chance aspects?
You inherit a genetic predisposition. We comprehend it’s related in families. A whole lot of people will say, ‘My parents don’t have it,’ but it surely’s not quite like that. You inherit the gene that would turn it on, even though it’s not at all times turned on. So what can turn it on? Sometimes it’s triggered by an infection or a recent medication, like a beta blocker for heart disease or lithium which is used for certain mental health disorders. It’s proven that psoriasis actually flares up with stress, but we don’t want people pondering, ‘Oh, if I get stressed I’m going to get psoriasis.’ It’s not like that. You’ve to be predisposed to psoriasis after which some trigger activates that immune response.