What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a non-contagious, chronic autoimmune disease that causes skin inflammation and scaly patches on the skin. Psoriasis causes white blood cells to attack the skin cells, which triggers the body to rapidly generate new skin cells. However, psoriasis causes these cells to form abnormally, which results in thick scaly patches on the skin. These patches often cause the skin to appear red, while the dry scaly skin may appear white or silver.
What Causes Psoriasis?
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, though it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental and immune factors. Approximately one out of three individuals who are affected by psoriasis also have at least one family member who has the disease as well. Other triggers of psoriasis may include stress, injury to the skin, infections, medications, sunburns, cold and dry air, or frequent alcohol or tobacco use.
Psoriasis on the Face and Scalp
The face and scalp are highly visible areas of the body, often causing individuals who suffer from psoriasis in these areas to also suffer from psychosocial challenges. The sensitivity and thin nature of facial skin makes treatment of facial psoriasis more difficult than other areas of the body. Because of constant exposure to environmental factors, the severity of psoriasis on the face may vary.
Psoriasis vs Eczema
Psoriasis causes skin to be red with clearly-defined, raised, thick scaly patches of dead skin cells that are silver or white in colour. In addition to itching, psoriasis patches may also sting or burn. It is common for psoriasis to appear on areas like the elbows, knees, scalp and face, lower back. Psoriasis is more common in adults, where eczema usually first appears in early childhood.
Eczema causes the skin to be extremely itchy, red, and inflamed. The patches appear rough and leathery; though they are often not as thick or inflamed as psoriasis. Eczema patches commonly occur on areas of the body that bend, such as the neck, wrists, ankles, or inside of the knees and elbows. Infants may experience eczema in other areas of their body as well.
Psoriasis Treatment Options
GraceMed dermatologists provide a variety of psoriasis treatment options to reduce the appearance and symptoms of psoriasis. Contact us to learn more about treatment and prevention of psoriasis.