From Itch to Psoriasis – What to Watch For

Itchy skin can be caused by a plethora of different things.  Bug bites, poison ivy, allergic reactions and the list goes on and on as what can cause itchy skin.  Acute (short) times of itching are irritating, but they usually resolve with easy, over-the-counter treatments.  Acute causes may be from an irritant such as poison ivy or even an allergy to something you touched. But what about that itch that doesn’t go away?  What is it and what can be done about it?

Psoriasis is a common skin disease that affects more than 3 million people annually in the United States. It is a lifelong disease that is to an abnormal immune reaction that causes a rapid buildup of skin cells.  The buildup of skin creates raised patches of skin cells, called plaques. The plaques may be silvery or white and can occur on any part of the body – elbows, scalp, hands, legs, groin, etc. These areas may burn or and the skin can turn dry, crack and bleed overtime.  Swollen joints and stiffness can also be a symptom of this disease.  If you begin noticing itchy, scaly skin on your body that does not go away, there is a chance that it could be psoriasis.

Treatments for psoriasis aim at reducing the symptoms and slowing the skin cell growth.  Topical creams, oral medications, and injections are typical treatments used to manage the disease.  These treatments reduce inflammation, strengthen the body’s immune system, and slow skin cell growth and plaque buildup. Even though these spots or plaques may itch, we strongly discourage you from itchy or picking at them – this can make them look worse or get infected.

While psoriasis is thought to be a response to an abnormal immune system, there certainly are triggers that can influence psoriasis.  Family history, bacterial, viral or fungal infections, skin injury, stress, obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiency, medications, and cold weather are all factors that can trigger psoriasis flare-ups.

The Dermatology Center of Indiana can help provide psoriasis suffers with relief through some of the treatments mentioned above. Call us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your options. We also offer clinical trials to those who qualify.  Those who struggle with chronic conditions (like psoriasis) are encouraged to see if they qualify.  Click here to find more information and fill out a form to be contacted by the staff.

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.