Beneath the Surface

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Understanding is Action: 5 Questions for Psoriasis Action Month

August is Psoriasis Action Month – but how much do you really know about psoriatic disease? Before the month is out, we wanted to address the most common questions and misconceptions surrounding the disorder.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that affects more than 8 million Americans. It is best known for causing skin cells to regenerate much faster than average – in a matter of days, rather than weeks – forming red, scaling plaques covered by a white, flaky buildup of dead skin cells on affected areas. However, it is not just a skin condition. Psoriasis can impact your eyes, joints (psoriatic arthritis), gums, digestive tract, and kidneys.

Check out this helpful guide from the American Academy of Dermatologist on the full impact of Psoriasis on the body.  If you have any of these symptoms, contact your dermatologist immediately.

How do you contract psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a genetic condition meaning a patient is born with the disorder. Psoriasis is not contagious – you cannot spread the disorder to other people. While you cannot catch psoriasis, certain things can trigger flares, causing symptoms appear or to get worse.

Common triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Strep throat
  • Certain medications
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Damage to the skin such as a cut, scratch, or a nasty sunburn

Is all psoriasis the same?

No, in fact, there are five different types of psoriasis with varying symptoms.

  1. Plaque (This is the most common form)
  2. Guttate
  3. Pustular
  4. Inverse
  5. Erythrodermic

Can psoriasis be cured?

There is no cure for psoriasis; however, it can be treated and managed with the help of a dermatologist. Treatment usually involves a combination of topical therapies (medications applied directly to the skin) in the form of corticosteroids, Vitamin D, immunomodulators (tacrolimus ointment and pimecrolimus cream), and moisturizers. Biologics, a new class of protein-based drugs derived from living cells, are sometimes used to treat severe cases of psoriasis.

Can patients use DermatologistOnCall to help manage their psoriasis?

Yes! The average psoriasis patient sees their dermatologist 4-6 times a year. Taking control of psoriasis by taking some of your visits online can be a useful and time-saving way to stay on top of symptoms.

Taking psoriasis treatment online.

If you’re managing psoriasis (or another chronic condition), DermatologistOnCall can help reduce the amount of time spent in the car, on the way to the doctor and sitting in waiting rooms by taking care online – particularly for routine checkups and prescription refills. Even more importantly, if you’re experiencing a sudden flare, our board-certified dermatologists are available at anytime and from anywhere to help you get relief as soon as possible. Just log in to, answer a few questions about your health, and upload pictures of the affected area of your skin. Within an average of 24 hours, you can have a diagnosis, treatment plan, and any prescriptions (if necessary) sent to the pharmacy of your choice.



American Academy of Dermatology. Can psoriasis affect more than my skin?

American Academy of Dermatology. Psoriasis Resource Center.

National Psorisis Foundation. About Psoriasis.

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