8 Common Terms About Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is a skin condition. It is one of the most common types of psoriasis — about 85% to 90% of people that have psoriasis is affected by plaque psoriasis. If you have been diagnosed with plaque psoriasis, or you know someone with plaque psoriasis, it may be helpful to learn some terms associated with the condition.

Below are some commonly used terms when talking about plaque psoriasis.

Plaque

This is a symptom of plaque psoriasis. It is the area of the skin that looks white-silver and is scaly. The area is typically inflamed, meaning that it is red and raised. Plaque usually appears on the elbows, knees, scalp, and back.

Epidermis

Commonly known as the skin, the epidermis is the outer layer of cells that typically covers an entire organism. The epidermis is essentially an organ of your body. This is what is affected the most.

Lesion

This is a medical term that refers to a part of an organ or tissue that has been damaged due to an injury or disease. A wound, ulcer, abscess, or tumor could all cause lesion on the organ or tissue. In plaque psoriasis, lesions refer to the affected areas on the skin. The affected areas are characterized by raised and red parts of the skin that is covered in dead skin or plaque. These areas may be itchy.

Inflammation

This term is commonly used when talking about injuries and infections. In this case, inflammation usually refers to the part of the skin and/or body that is red, hot, painful, and/or swollen.

Chronic

This term refers to illnesses or health-conditions that affects the individual in the long-term and can constantly recur. At times, chronic illness and/or conditions can last for a lifetime. Most forms of psoriasis are chronic conditions. While symptoms may go away for a bit, symptoms can still recur. The risk of recurrence can increase if an individual with plaque psoriasis is exposed to some particular factors. These factors can include cold and dry environments, infections, stress, dry skin, and/or taking some medications. The factors are typically referred to as triggers or risk factors.

Scaly

Scaly refers to the parts of the skin that is dry and flaking.

Remission

Although someone with plaque psoriasis or some other type of psoriasis can experience symptoms throughout their lives, there can be times when symptoms of the condition are practically non-existent. During this time, the person is in remission. There is no set amount of time that one can be in remission. People can be in remission from plaque psoriasis for months or even years at a time. For some people with plaque psoriasis, their condition work in a sort of cyclical pattern, where symptoms are less severe in the summer and worse in the winter.

Flare-up

This term basically refers to the opposite of remission. Flare-up typically means the time in which the symptoms of plaque psoriasis or other types of psoriasis is particularly severe. Flare-ups can also be known as an episode or outbreak. Many health professionals and researchers believe that flare-ups in plaque psoriasis occur when the immune system experiences an abnormality caused by external stressors. A number of those with plaque psoriasis experience a flare-up after experiencing emotional trauma. Other things like taking medications such as beta-blockers and ibuprofen or a change in environment can also trigger flare-ups.

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