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A winter’s eruption: Psoriasis vulgaris

submitted by Schwarz Dermatology, www.schwarzderm.com

With cold weather also comes an increase in some very common inflammatory skin diseases, very commonly psoriasis vulgaris. 

Different types of psoriasis exist, with the most common termed plaque psoriasis and it affects 2% of the overall population. 

The skin cells are produced too quickly and form dry, inflamed, scaly patches called plaques, located mostly on surfaces such as the elbows, knees, and scalp.

The plaques can be intensely itchy. 

It’s very important for patients to know their triggers and what might cause the psoriasis plaques to flare, such as stress, infection, medications, and smoking.

Patients with psoriasis are also at risk for other diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. 

If avoiding triggers is not enough to control the psoriasis, effective medications exist to help fight the disease. 

While there is no definitive cure for psoriasis, it is not contagious and can be kept under control by various treatments.  

Topical steroids can be used, as well as special shampoos and Vitamin D products.

Light therapy, or phototherapy, is also a safe and effective treatment performed in the Dermatologist’s office.

Systemic medications can also be used, though they can be very expensive. 

Please see your local Board-Certified Dermatologist if you think you might have psoriasis or need help in managing it.

You will not be left out in the cold!