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What is psoriasis?

What is psoriasis?

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, "psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin."

In reality, psoriasis is a bit of a mystery; we don't yet know what causes it. However, experts suspect it's related to how T cells and white blood cells work within the immune system.

What we do know is:

  • Psoriasis is a chronic condition. There is no cure for psoriasis; however, there are many treatment options. A dermatologist can help determine the best combination of topical, oral, injectable, and/or phototherapy treatments for a patient.
  • The red, scaly patches are a result of skin growing at an abnormally fast rate. And, it doesn't just impact the skin. Roughly 30% of patients will develop psoriatic arthritis as well.
  • Psoriasis is not contagious. Psoriasis cannot be transmitted from person to person. Psoriatic patches and lesions are not infectious in any way.
  • Psoriasis impacts every patient differently. Unique triggers cause flares of the condition. Stress, alcohol, smoking, weather, medications, insect bites, and even jewelry can cause the condition to worsen.
  • Psoriasis is associated with other severe health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and depression. If you have psoriasis, it's essential to not only monitor and treat your dermatologic condition but to strive for overall wellness.

Managing psoriasis is complicated by the pandemic.

When someone is managing psoriasis, it's vital to have easy access to a dermatologist. Most patients require four or more visits per year. Because some psoriasis treatments can suppress the immune system, social distancing, avoiding crowded offices and pharmacies, and reducing stress associated treatment is critical.

Our providers know how to help psoriasis patients online. Our online dermatologists can identify treatments that, when appropriate, can be handled at home. Providers aren't limited to topical and oral prescriptions, either. In-home light therapy can be managed through DermatologistOnCall. Patients can also choose to have medications delivered to their homes through mail-order pharmacies.

When working with our board-certified dermatologists, we encourage patients to communicate concerns and preferences through the DOC portal during the initial visit. Treatment plans are customized for each individual, and providers take all information into account when caring for patients.