The symptoms of psoriasis can sometimes go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months followed by periods when they subside or go into remission.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. It causes a rash with itchy, scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp. Psoriasis is a common, long-term (chronic) disease with no cure. It can be painful, interfere with sleep and make it hard to concentrate.
What are the symptoms of Psoriasis?
Rashes that vary in color, tending to be shades of purple with gray scale on Brown or Black skin and pink or red with silver scale on White skin
Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
Itching, burning or soreness
Cyclic rashes that flare for a few weeks or months and then subside
What causes Psoriasis?
Infections, such as strep throat or skin infections.
Weather, especially cold, dry conditions.
Injury to the skin, such as a cut or scrape, a bug bite, or a severe sunburn.
Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
Heavy alcohol consumption.
How is Psoriasis Treated?
Treatments range from creams and ointments applied to the affected areas to ultraviolet light therapy to drugs (such as methotrexate).
When Should You See a Doctor for Psoriasis?
If you suspect that you may have psoriasis, see your health care provider. Also seek medical care if your condition:
Becomes severe or widespread
Causes you discomfort and pain
Causes you concern about the appearance of your skin
Doesn't improve with treatment
Psoriasis Quick Facts
There are several types of Psoriasis
Approximately 30% of psoriasis instances begin in childhood
Smoking can increase both the risk of psoriasis and the severity
Psoriasis Symptoms & Causes (Mayo Clinic)
Overview of Psoriasis (National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)