Hodge Dermatology

Learn more about Psoriasis and how Hodge Dermatology can help.
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About Psoriasis

What is It?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder in which your skin produces skin cells much faster than normal. This causes them to build up into thick, flaky, itchy, inflamed patches. There are several types of psoriasis, including plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, nail psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and several other types that are rare. Common areas of the body where psoriasis develops include the scalp, torso, arms, thighs, armpits, groin, and on the fingernails and toenails. There’s also the very painful psoriatic arthritis, in which both the skin and the nearby joints are stiff and inflamed. While psoriasis most commonly appears in people between the ages 15 to 35, approximately 10% of people who develop psoriasis will be under the age of 10 when symptoms appear and 4% will have their first sign of psoriasis occur over the age of 60.

External Symptoms
Symptoms of psoriasis, especially early on, can be similar to other conditions like eczema or skin allergies. However, as time goes on, the physical symptoms of psoriasis can worsen including itchy, flaking skin that bleeds or cracks and thick, discolored, and/or ridged nails.
Internal Symptoms
Some of the most damaging symptoms of psoriasis occur internally with the emotional distress one faces with psoriasis, as well as psoriatic arthritis which occurs in 30% of people who are affected by the disease. Psoriatic arthritis is painful and affects the joints most commonly in the fingers and toes, feet and lower back. Also, there is a higher rate of heart disease, stroke and other internal diseases associated with psoriasis.
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About Psoriasis

What Causes It?

Genetics and the immune system function play major roles in the appearance of psoriasis. Instead of the immune system protecting the body from viruses, foreign proteins and bacteria, the immune system in someone with psoriasis "misfires" and attacks healthy cells. This causes inflammation in the skin leading to more rapid growth of skin cells. The increased growth of skin cells requires more blood circulation to feed the process that results in a multitude of psoriatic symptoms.
The genetic predisposition to psoriasis involves abnormal function of the inflammatory cells called T-lymphocytes, or "T-cells". While many people live with these abnormal T-cells without having symptoms of psoriasis, there are many situations that can trigger these cells to create the red, scaly patches of psoriasis.
Common triggers include...

Strep Infections
For children ages 10 or younger, the most common trigger for psoriasis is strep infection, the most common of which is strep throat. 
Emotional Distress
Emotional distress is a common trigger of psoriasis for adults.
The Abuse of Substances like Alcohol and Tobacco
Skin Irritation
Skin irritations such as scrapes or irritations from getting a tattoo applied are other triggers for psoriasis.
Certain medications including lithium, antimalarials, inderal, quinidine and indomethacin have been associated with triggering psoriasis.
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About Psoriasis

Common Treatments

Though psoriasis is not contagious, it is unpredictable. You may heal without warning only to have it return just as quickly or years later. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for psoriasis, but our dermatologists have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you manage your symptoms. Our psoriasis treatment options include topical medications, Vitamin D (steroids or retinol creams/gels), oral treatments, biologic treatments (retinoid pills, chemotherapy medicine), light therapy, and UV-B light (controlled doses of sunlight).
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Our Approach & Expertise

We know that an aggressive and troublesome skin condition like psoriasis can affect you both physically and psychologically. As your community skin specialists, we’re here to provide encouragement and answers to questions you may have about this problematic skin issue. Contact us today if you notice symptoms of psoriasis so that we can help you deal with this unpredictable condition. We provide treatment options that can be tailored to suit your needs and goals, and we’ll be by your side each step of the way, addressing your concerns and providing advice and after-care support.
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