Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease that is chronic, which means it is long-lasting. Psoriasis usually starts out as small bumps that worsen and grow into a red, scaly patch. It is generally found on the skin in and around the ears, buttocks, genitals, navel, knees, elbows, and surfaces of the scalp. It is also sometimes found in the nails. Psoriasis is not a disease that you should treat on your own, as the symptoms can be hard or impossible to manage. Below are some tips to help you deal with this disease so you can get some relief.
Seeing a Dermatologist
Whether you have a small patch or patches all over your body, make an appointment with a dermatologist, such as those at American Dermatology. When you arrive, the doctor will examine your scalp, nails, and skin for any signs of this disease. They may ask you if any of your family members have this problem and determine if you are under stress, started taking a new medication, or have had a recent illness.
In most cases, the dermatologist can diagnose psoriasis just by looking at it. They may, however, remove a small part of the red, patchy skin to help them confirm the diagnosis of psoriasis. They can confirm this by looking at the skin through a microscope. The dermatologist will likely put you on some medication, which can completely clear your skin of the red, scaly patches and give you a much better quality of life. Psoriasis cannot be cured, so you will have to stay under your treatment plan.
Managing this Disease
It is very important that you follow your dermatologist's advice in managing your disease. People with psoriasis are more likely to have strokes and heart attacks than people that do not have this disorder. For this reason, you should eat a healthy diet, drink only small amounts of alcohol, and do not smoke.
Be aware of your joints, because if they start to feel sore and stiff, you should see your dermatologist immediately. This could be a sign that you have psoriatic arthritis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, up to 30% of people diagnosed with psoriasis develop arthritis. Over time, psoriatic arthritis can damage your joints, so it is important to see your doctor before this happens.
The symptoms of psoriasis may come and go, and you may go through periods of time where your skin is completely clear. Even if this does happen, you should not stop taking your medication.