Balfour Dermatology

2221 Balfour Road, Suite A

Brentwood Ca, 94513          

  Dr. Robert E. Beer M.D.

  (925) 240-9116

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PSORIASIS


Psoriasis is a common, chronic T cell mediated skin disorder that affects between 2-3% of the

population. T cells are white blood cells that regulate the body's immune system. In psoriasis,

T cells become over activated, which triggers an inflammatory response that leads to the

accelerated production of skin cells. Normally, the time between the production and shedding

of skin cells is about 28 days, however, in psoriasis, the process accelerates to approximately

7 times faster, and results in poorly formed outer cells that do not shed properly. Instead, the

accumulated dead skin cells pile up and produce the associated scaling. Although the exact

cause is unkown, current evidence suggests that autoimmunity, along with genetic influences,

are contributing factors. Individuals with moderate-to-severe psoriasis may be significantly

impacted not only by symptoms of the skin disorder, but also in terms of the affect on their

quality of life. Frequently, joint involvement develops years later, and this associated disabling

condition is known as psoriatic arthritis. Medical intervention under the supervision of a

qualified physician is recommended for the management of psoriasis to slow or prevent

disease progression and improve the quality of life of affected individuals.


WHO CAN GET PSORIASIS?

Psoriasis can affect men and women in any age group. There is a genetic component to the

psoriasis, but influence of inheritance is variable. Approximately 30% of people with this

condition also have a first degree relative (that is parents, brothers, sisters and children) with

psoriasis. The severity of psoriasis may vary amongst family members. For example, one

member might have a very mild disease with only a couple of lesions, while another member

may have more extensive involvement. A second type typically begins around age 60 and does not run in families.


KEY POINTS

    >    Psoriasis is chronic, non-contagious and reoccurring

    >    Chronic plaque psoriasis is the most common and if affects about 90% of the psoriatic patient population

    >    It produces red, scaly, well defined and/or thickened skin patches (also referred to as plaques) of varying sizes

    >    Psoriasis can affect any part of your body, including the scalp, elbows, knees, lower back, and nails, but the face is usually not affected

    >    It may include nail involvement and can eventually progress to the joints (arthritis)

    >    Chronic lesions, particularly of the hands and feet, can produce persistent dryness, hyperkeratosis, itching, fissuring, and infection


INFLUENCING FACTORS

The following is a list of potential triggering factors for psoriasis:

    >    In approximately one-third of people with psoriasis, an injury to the skin can induce psoriasis where the injured occurred

    >    Stress, Alcohol and Smoking

    >    Infections (e.g., streptococcal infections)

    >    Certain drugs can trigger or worsen psoriasis


PSORIASIS TYPES:            

    >    Plaque Psoriasis                             >    Nail Psoriasis                                >    Guttate Psoriasis                      

    >    Scalp Psoriasis                               >    Erythrodermic Psoriasis                >    Psoriatic Arthritis