Atlantic Dermatology , PA

Board-Certified Dermatologists located in Wilmington, Clinton, and Burgaw - North Carolina

Psoriasis appears as itchy patches of reddened skin, typically on your elbows, knees, or scalp, and doesn’t go away with over-the-counter medications. The experienced team at Atlantic Dermatology in Wilmington, North Carolina, can diagnose and treat your psoriasis, so you have reduced inflammation and smoother skin. Call the office or book an appointment online to learn how you can manage your psoriasis.

Psoriasis Q & A

What causes psoriasis?

The skin condition psoriasis is due to skin cells that have an irregular life cycle. Their growth increases at an unnatural rate, so the cells pile up on the surface of the skin forming red patches and scales that itch and cause pain.

The exact reason why your skin cells go haywire is unknown, but it’s likely due to genetics and a faulty immune system. It can develop at any age, but it most commonly appears between ages 15 and 35. A trigger, such as stress or the weather, is often responsible for the onset of psoriasis and outbreaks.

Psoriasis is not contagious, so you cannot catch it from coming in contact with it.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

Most often you experience itchy patches of reddened skin with scaly cells on top. But you may also develop small red lesions or areas of shiny, thicker skin. Most often psoriasis appears on your:

  • Scalp
  • Skin folds – behind the knees or under the arms
  • Hands, feet, or nails
  • Genitals

What are the different types of psoriasis?

Psoriasis describes a group of skin conditions that include:

  • Plaque psoriasis, which is most common and manifests as red patches covered in silvery scales
  • Guttate, which shows up as dot-like pimples on the body
  • Inverse psoriasis that appears as bright red lesions in folds, such as under the arm, or in the groin
  • Pustular psoriasis, consisting of white blisters of pus surrounded by red skin
  • Erythrodermic, which is an exceptionally severe form that causes bright redness over the whole body, resulting in severe itching and pain

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

The providers at Atlantic Dermatology do a thorough physical exam, review your symptoms, and discuss with you your medical and family history to determine if you have psoriasis. No blood test can diagnose it, but they may order a skin biopsy to see if the psoriatic skin is thicker and inflamed.  

How is psoriasis treated?

Psoriasis does not have a cure, but the symptoms are manageable. Treatment aims at reducing skin inflammation and making itching less prominent. Your provider may offer topical treatments, oral or injectable medications, or light therapy to ease the skin condition.

If you need help with psoriasis management, call Atlantic Dermatology or book a consultation online.