Millions of adults and children suffer from psoriasis, a chronic condition of the skin that is triggered by a malfunctioning immune system. Symptoms vary in severity, but can consist of skin inflammation, irritation and flaking. It is easily identified by thick red or silvery white patches on the skin.
There are various treatments available, including oral medication, steroid creams and light therapy. Patients who suffer from the condition usually notice seasonal changes in their symptoms.
The cause of the flaking skin and scaly patches that are the hallmark of psoriasis is the buildup of skin cells that are multiplying far faster than they should. In fact, in people with the skin disorder, skin cells can grow at a rate of ten times that of normal growth.
This overgrowth of cells leads to an abundance of dead skin cells at the surface, which then manifest into plaques or flakes, often with a covering of white scales.
You’ll most often see psoriasis occur on the scalp, elbows, knees and torso. Sometimes it is also present on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands.
Types of Psoriasis
There are different types of psoriasis, each with varying symptoms. Plaque psoriasis is the most common and is characterized by itchy or painful plaques covered with loose, silvery scales.
Scalp psoriasis affects many and consists of crusty or scaly buildup. Sometimes fingernails and toenails are affected by psoriasis with pitting or discoloring of the nail beds.
Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that affects between 10 to 30 percent of psoriasis patients and causes the joints to become painful due to swelling.
Effects of Weather Changes
Psoriasis symptoms tend to flare up as the weather gets chillier. There are a number of reasons for this occurrence. Stress has been proven to be a psoriasis trigger.
With the start of fall comes the hectic back-to-school season, with the holidays following close behind. It’s no wonder this is often when sufferers see their symptoms worsen.
Try to take time to unwind when you feel you are becoming overwhelmed. Engage in a relaxing activity, such as yoga, or another enjoyable pastime.
Be sure to moisturize with thick, creamy lotions as often as possible. This will help to keep your symptoms in check. A humidifier will help add moisture to the air in your home or office.
In the colder months, you are also outside less. Exposure to sun helps to lessen psoriasis flare-ups. A few minutes outside can help.
There are steps you can take to lessen your psoriasis symptoms as the weather changes. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and learn more information.