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November 14, 2022

Do I have psoriasis?

Treat psoriasis Dr. Kors
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A psoriasis flare-up cannot be overlooked on the skin: Increased blood flow to the skin area and inflammatory processes lead to severe reddening, on which white-silvery skin flakes are deposited. For those affected, the disease is usually a very heavy burden because, on the one hand, they are ashamed of their appearance and feel shunned or at least eyed by other people (even if the disease is not contagious) and, on the other hand, have symptoms such as severe itching and pain caused by the disease. How exactly does psoriasis manifest itself? What is the cause of the skin disease? And what helps against psoriasis?

How does psoriasis develop?

Psoriasis is closely linked to the renewal process of skin cells. In the normal cycle, the upper layer of skin is renewed approximately every 28 days. The upper skin cells dry off and are then shed by the body. New fresh cells are already underneath, which are pushed upwards again in the course of the new cycle and eventually dry out, die and detach. In psoriasis, this process is disrupted and greatly accelerated. The new cells form within about three days and are therefore not fully developed. As a result, more and more skin cells accumulate.

What triggers this accelerated educational process has not yet been conclusively clarified. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s defense reactions are directed against its own healthy tissue. The natural processes are disrupted by the inflammatory processes. In addition, the typical reddening of the skin occurs due to the persistent inflammation. The whitish shimmering skin scales (plaques) are visible above this.

Important: Psoriasis should not be seen purely as a skin disease, but as a so-called systemic disease. The inflammatory processes, which can be seen in the typical skin changes, take place throughout the entire body. They can therefore also affect other areas and, among other things, increase the risk of rheumatic joint diseases.

Psoriasis flare-ups – what triggers them?

Psoriasis often occurs in relapses. These relapses occur differently from patient to patient. Some sufferers, for example, suffer from severe psoriasis flare-ups, particularly in winter, when the skin is often stressed anyway, while they are (almost) symptom-free in summer. Other patients, however, are affected by stronger or more frequent outbreaks in summer.

It is not possible to say with certainty when psoriasis may occur, but there are some risk factors that can promote an outbreak. These include, among others:

  • Stress, persistent strain
  • Infections, weakened immune system
  • Skin irritation (e.g. sunburn)
  • Injuries to the skin area
  • Certain medications
  • Hormonal changes
  • Certain chemicals
  • Hot showers/hot baths rather not, applies more to neurodermatitis
  • Recognizing psoriasis: how the disease manifests itself

    A common characteristic that leads to the suspicion of psoriasis is the typical appearance of the disease. The severely reddened, inflamed skin with white-silvery scales is very noticeable. In addition, the affected areas of skin usually burn and itch. The heavily stressed skin is also often cracked and can suffer painful injuries. In severe cases, the skin tears can also bleed or become inflamed or infected.

    The areas of the body that are often affected include:

  • Elbow
  • Hands
  • Knee
  • Hairy scalp
  • Behind the ears
  • Feet
  • Belly button
  • Intimate area / buttock crease
  • It should also be noted that there are different forms. The form mainly discussed in this text so far is psoriasis vulgaris (also known as common psoriasis or plaque psoriasis). It affects around 80 to 90 percent of psoriasis patients. Other types of the disease include psoriatic arthritis (inflammation and stiffening of the joints), psoriasis inversa (occurs in skin folds), psoriasis guttata (droplet-shaped psoriasis that manifests itself in small spots on the body, especially in children) and nail psoriasis on fingernails and toenails.

    When should I see a doctor?

    If there is persistent or recurring reddening of the skin with itching, burning, pain and scaling, you should always have the affected areas examined by a dermatologist. The expert can determine relatively quickly whether you suffer from psoriasis or whether you have another skin disease, so that appropriate treatment can be initiated. Skin irritations and skin diseases are unfortunately very often ignored or played down. Self-treatment with (unsuitable) creams without consulting a doctor can even lead to the symptoms worsening.

    An estimated 30 percent of psoriasis sufferers do not consult a doctor despite their symptoms. Psoriasis can be treated very well and gently using modern methods, so that flare-ups occur much less frequently and are less intense. In some patients, the outbreaks even remain completely absent for months or years.

    How is psoriasis treated?

    Psoriasis treatment depends on the individual findings. In many cases, treatment with cortisone creams is suitable. The specific creams and ointments can also be supplemented with additional light therapy.

    If local applications are not sufficient, for example because the disease is present on several parts of the body, systemic therapy is usually an option. This is also carried out with special medication or infusions. So-called biologics (biotechnologically produced drugs) are also available.

    Find out more?

    Is your skin showing signs of irritation and are you wondering what is wrong? Dr. Kors will examine and discuss with you in a personal consultation whether your case is psoriasis and which therapies are possible. Please feel free to make an appointment . We look forward to being able to help you.

    You can also take a look at the Psonet page. Here you will find a special search function to help you find a psoriasis expert in your area. Here you can access the Psonet doctor search where you can also find Dr. Kors.

    last update: 14.11.2022

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