Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects 7.5 to 8.5 million people in the United States. It produces raised, thickened and scaling patches of dry skin that typically targets the elbows, knees and scalp.
Psoriasis occurs when the body sends false signals to the immune system that it’s under attack. The body begins to attack healthy skin cells, causing them to develop nearly 10 times faster than normal. This excessive skin growth does not shed but instead gathers on the surface, causing red patches to appear.
Psoriasis is a genetic disorder and is not contagious. Those between the ages of 15 and 30 are more susceptible. Psoriasis affects all races but it’s more prominent in Caucasians. Some people have a mild form of it while others can develop a more severe form.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis comes and goes and may lie in remission for a long period of time before resurfacing. Many people suffer from it more during the cold winter months. Psoriasis is associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.
What Are Its Symptoms?
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, symptoms of psoriasis can vary from person to person but may include one or more of the following:
- Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
- Small, scaling spots
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning or soreness
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas.
What Types Exist?
There are several types of psoriasis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, including the following:
- Plaque (also called psoriasis vulgaris)
- Inverse (also called flexural psoriasis or intertriginous psoriasis)
- Erythrodermic (also called exfoliative psoriasis)
Some people get more than one type and sometimes a person gets one type of psoriasis, and then the type changes to a different one.
If you develop a rash that doesn’t go away with an over-the-counter medication, you should consider contacting your doctor. For more information, visit www.psoriasis.org.
OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy is a privately-held healthcare entity that is ACHC and URAC accredited and uniquely qualified to meet the particular needs of individuals diagnosed with psoriasis. OptiMed is devoted to helping these individuals optimize treatment outcomes by providing personalized medication management and research-based clinical information. We work closely with each patient, prescriber and payer to create a personalized plan that will lead to treatment success and improved quality of life.
If you would like to learn more about how OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy can help treat your psoriasis, please visit www.optimedspecialtyrx.com or call 877-385-0535.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, National Psoriasis Foundation, American Academy of Dermatology