Psoriasis is the result of an error in your immune system that causes your skin cells to grow too fast. Rather than forming over the course of a week, like normal, these new skin cells form in just days.
When excess cells build up on the surface of your skin, they form patches. As they continue to pile up, these patches become thicker and scalier. Psoriasis patches are often itchy and sore; they can also become very dry, form cracks, and bleed.
Researchers believe that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of psoriasis, which isn't contagious. Factors that are known to trigger the condition or make it worse include:
- Skin injuries, including cuts or sunburns
- Specific infections, including strep throat
- Prolonged vitamin D deficiency
- Chronic psychological stress
- Specific medications, including beta blockers
- Smoking or heavy alcohol consumption
Although psoriasis takes many forms, most patients are affected by one of the following:
Plaque psoriasis, the most commonly diagnosed type, causes patches of dry skin that are raised, red, and overlaid with white or silvery scales. These lesions may be few or many and can appear anywhere.
This type of psoriasis is often brought on by a bacterial infection, and mostly affects children and adolescents. It causes small scaling lesions on the arms, legs, trunk, or scalp.
This form of psoriasis is unique in that it causes swollen, painful joints as well as inflamed, scaly patches of skin. Symptoms may be mild or severe and can affect any joint.
Usually triggered by a fungal infection, inverse psoriasis causes patches of smooth, red, skin in the armpits, groin area, or under the breasts. The inflammation gets worse with sweating or rubbing.
Psoriasis is incurable, so the primary goal of treatment is to successfully manage the condition by reducing inflammation and clearing your skin.
For mild to moderate cases, applying topical creams and lotions directly to lesions can provide excellent results.
XTRAC laser is a state-of-the-art psoriasis treatment that involves controlled exposure to ultraviolet light to help slow cell turnover and reduce scaling and inflammation. Because light therapy doesn’t target healthy tissues, it can safely deliver a high-dose treatment for faster clearing and longer remission.