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Identifying and Treating a Psoriasis Skin Rash

When you have a skin rash, it can be difficult to determine the cause of the rash. Many rashes look similar and even may have similar symptoms, such as itching and burning. However, it is important to identify the cause of the skin rash in order to treat it.About Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that has specific triggers, or causes. The triggers differ according to the individual. Some people find that their psoriasis skin rash is triggered by exposure to an allergen, such as exposure to cat dander, an infection, emotional stress, or an injury to the skin.While medical researchers know many of the common triggers of a psoriasis flareup, they do not currently know the cause of psoriasis. The most common theory is that psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder. When the person experiences a flare-up, the body’s immune system is attacking the skin cells as a foreign body, causing the skin cells to regenerate rapidly.

Symptoms and Types of Psoriasis
The symptoms of psoriasis depend on the type of psoriasis that the person has. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. Up to 80 percent of psoriasis sufferers have this type of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is characterized by thick, silver-colored scaled made up of an accumulation of dead skin dotted with red bumps. When a person with plaque psoriasis experiences a flareup, it may begin as a red, dotted rash that develops into patches of raised, red skin. Later, as the flareup progresses, the silver scales may appear on top of the red rash. The patches of silvery dead skin buildup are called plaques. The plaques usually appear on the elbows, knees, and back.

Guttate psoriasis looks very different from plaque psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis is the second most common type of psoriasis, and it is characterized by pin-prick sized red bumps on the skin that may grow larger and develop into small patches of red, slightly scaly skin. These affected areas appear all over the torso and on the arms and legs.

Inverse psoriasis is a less common type of psoriasis. This type of psoriasis occurs in in folds of skin, such as in the groin area or under the armpits. The affected areas appear red and sometimes swollen. Sweating or heat may make the rash worse.

Pustular psoriasis is characterized by the appearance of white, pus-filled bumps, or pustules. The pustules tend to be localized to the hands and feet, but they may occur on the shoulders or limbs as well.

Finally, erythrodermic psoriasis is the least common type of psoriasis. Erythrodermic psoriasis is characterized by widespread areas of red, inflamed skin. The redness is usually accompanied by itching and pain.

Treating a Psoriasis Skin Rash
There is currently no cure for psoriasis. However, every year, new and more promising medications and therapies are developed which alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis for many people.

One of the most common treatments for a psoriasis skin rash is a topical steroid. These creams are available in a variety of strengths and brands. A physician may recommend a particular brand because of the patient’s age, the severity of the flareup, and the type of psoriasis.

Moisturizers may also improve psoriasis symptoms. Choose a thick moisturizer that is unscented and free from dyes. Scents and artificial colors may trigger flareups for some people.

Light therapy may help relieve the symptoms of some cases of psoriasis. There are many types of light therapy. One strategy is to expose the patient’s skin to a special type of ultraviolet light. In some cases, the light therapy is combined with oral medications to increase its effectiveness.

Retinoid creams may also ease psoriasis symptoms during flareups. These creams are derived from vitamin A. However, the creams do have side effects, including increasing the patient’s sensitivity to sunlight. In addition, the creams have the potential to cause birth defects in pregnant women.

Oral medications and injections may calm some flareups. Most of these medications belong to a class of drugs known as immunosuppressants. These medicines act to reduce the reactivity of the immune system, which in turn may prevent the body from having the autoimmune reaction that results in the production of too many skin cells. There are several brands and varieties of medications that a physician may prescribe. In some cases, a patient may have to try several different types of medications before he or she finds one that works for them.

Biologic medications are among the newest medicines available. These medications target the problem areas and prevent the body’s immune system from starting a flareup. These medications may cause fewer side effects than traditional medicines. Many biologic medications are still undergoing clinical trials, which means they will be available within a few years if they are proven to be safe and effective.


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