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What is Psoriasis?

“Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease* (a disease with an unclear cause that is characterized by inflammation caused by dysfunction of the immune system) that causes inflammation in the body.”
~National Psoriasis Foundation

Psoriasis is a chronic disease in which the immune system attacks the body creating inflammation. That inflammation manifests in the overproduction of skin cells most commonly in the form of plaques.


One of the biggest myths about Psoriasis is that it is JUST a skin disease, in fact, that is what I used to call it because it was the easiest way to get an explanation out. The skin symptoms are the easiest symptoms to see but they are not the only ones. Other symptoms include nail pitting, anxiety, and depression.


As with any auto-immune or immune-mediated disease, inflammation in the body can cause other problems such as fatigue, brain fog, and a greater chance of comorbidities such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.



I mentioned various skin rashes and more specifically there are five types of Psoriasis that someone can experience:

  • Plaque psoriasis - raised, scaly patches most commonly on the scalp, elbows, and knees

  • Pustular Psoriasis - pus-filled bumps on the hands and feet

  • Inverse Psoriasis - red burning skin in the skin folds

  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis - shedding skin in sheets

  • Guttate Psoriasis - red/discolored spots


You can experience different types of Psoriasis throughout your life, I mostly have plaque psoriasis but if I get Strep, I get guttate psoriasis for weeks or months and I have had a few bouts of inverse psoriasis during major flares. While there are common locations for Psoriasis to appear (hands, feet, elbows, knees, scalp, face, skin folds) it can appear anywhere with various coverage. Some may only get one spot and some are 90% covered.


So to summarize, Psoriasis is chronic, not curable, impacts more than just the skin, can really appear anywhere at any time, and can vary in how it presents. To learn more about Psoriasis, visit psoriasis.org or stay tuned for more posts!


References

National Psoriasis Foundation https://www.psoriasis.org/


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