Hepatitis C Transmission Risks

Hepatitis C Transmission

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that is spread via blood. Without treatment, hepatitis C mainly targets the liver and can lead to serious liver damage and even liver cancer over time. The downside of hepatitis C is that people with the virus do not exhibit any signs and symptoms until it starts to damage their liver. Here are the most common forms of Hepatitis C transmission.

Sharing Needles

Any exposure to infected blood increases the risk of getting hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is most commonly spread through sharing needles. People who use intravenous drugs are at an increased risk of hepatitis C due to sharing needles. Getting tattoos and piercings with unsterile equipment is also high-risk and another way hepatitis C can be spread.

Blood Transfers

The primary way hepatitis C is transmitted is via blood, so it can also be spread via infected blood transfusions. Until 1992, blood donations were not being screened for the virus, so many individuals with hepatitis C got infected before 1992.


Although transmission via sexual contact is not common, exposure to blood is still possible if a sexual partner is infected with hepatitis C. Small cuts, for instance, can increase the risk of transmission. Even though they are fully effective, using protection during sex is important to prevent transmission.

Mother to Child

Though not very common, pregnant women who have hepatitis C can potentially pass the virus onto their child at birth. Mothers who have the hepatitis C virus should also avoid breastfeeding to prevent transmission.

Toothbrushes and Razors

Even though this is not very common as well, sharing personal hygiene products like toothbrushes and razors that can make contact with infected blood can also put you at a risk of getting hepatitis C. While the likelihood is very small, but sores in the mouth or cuts while shaving can contaminate razors and toothbrushes.

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What Causes Hepatitis C?

Causes Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a liver condition caused by the hep C virus. Without treatment, the viral infection can lead to liver damage and even cancer. So what causes hepatitis C?

Affecting nearly 4 million people in the United States alone, most individuals with the virus do not become aware of their condition until they start experiencing symptoms related to liver damage. Most people are unaware that they have hepatitis C until it has already caused some damage to their liver as it can take years for an individual to exhibit hepatitis C signs.

Hepatitis C Signs

Hepatitis C is typically asymptomatic following exposure to the virus. However, the virus can begin to take its toll on the liver before people start showing any symptoms.

When people with hep C begin to exhibit symptoms, they are typically joint and muscle pain, fatigue, abdominal pain, and dark urine. Hepatitis C can also cause itchy skin and jaundice, which causes yellowish discoloration on the skin and in the eyes. Jaundice often occurs when the primary symptoms begin to subside.

What Causes Hepatitis C?

The most common way hepatitis C is transmitted is via blood, and typically due to sharing infected needles. The United States only began testing blood donations for the hep C virus after 1992, so those who had a blood transfusion before 1992 should get screened if they are already not aware of their status. Just as with sharing needles, getting tattoos and piercings with unhygienic and potentially infected equipment is another common way hep C is transmitted.

Though the incidence rate is low and hepatitis C is not a sexually transmitted disease, sexual contact can also be a concern if the person is infected with the virus. Pregnant women who have hepatitis C can also pass the virus onto their child. However, you cannot get hepatitis C by kissing, sharing utensils, physical contact, and sneezing. Hep C requires one to be exposed to the blood of an infected individual.

Treating Hepatitis C

Though it may not be the appropriate course of treatment for everyone, antiviral medications are typically used to treat the virus. Every case is separate and pertains individual risks, so your doctor ultimately makes the decision as to whether antivirals are the best option depending on the severity of your case and liver damage incurred. There are both standard and newer treatment options to both improve symptoms and prevent the virus from leading to further complications.

Adopting healthier lifestyle choices to keep your immune system and lungs healthy such as regular exercise and a healthy diet is also essential. With today’s advancements, without having a cure, hep C can be considered cured when the virus can no longer be detected in the blood.

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6 Types of Psoriasis and Their Symptoms

6 Types of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that currently has no definite known cause or cure. It is often characterized by large or small patches of skin that may be red, raised, and flaky. These patches may be itchy or painful. Specific symptoms may vary depending on what type of psoriasis a person has.  There are 6 types of psoriasis. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, usually depending on environmental and/or other health factors. Cold temperature, dry climates, infections, stress, over-consumption of alcohol, and smoking are just some factors that could worsen psoriasis symptoms.

Although there is no cure for psoriasis currently, there are still plenty of treatments available to manage psoriasis symptoms. The treatment received may be dependent on what type of psoriasis a person has. As such, knowing what kind of psoriasis a person has is extremely important. Below are six different types of psoriasis and their characteristics.

Plaque Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis. Most people with psoriasis may have some form of plaque psoriasis. It is typically characterized by the general symptoms of psoriasis: patches of skin that is red, raised, and/or flaky. These patches of skin are usually covered in a silver-white buildup of dead skin cells. Generally, plaque psoriasis affects the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

Guttate Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis is often characterized by small patches of skin that is red and/or scale-like. These patches often look like a teardrop and can cover large areas of the skin. Guttate psoriasis typically affects the arms, legs, and torso. It can sometimes be linked to other health conditions or illnesses, like strep.

Inverse Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis has symptoms like red and shiny patches on the body. However, the patches are not what differentiates this kind of psoriasis from other kinds. Inverse psoriasis is characterized by these patches affecting only the inner folds of the body — places like armpits, around the genitals and/or buttocks, and/or under the breasts. This psoriasis usually strongly affect people who are overweight, as the symptoms of inverse psoriasis worsen when the skin rubs together or when there is too much sweating.

Pustular Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis is one of the more rare types of psoriasis. It is characterized by red, raised skin that is filled with a thick and white fluid known as pus. Pus is made up of white blood cells. This is one of the most painful types of psoriasis. If a person has this type of psoriasis, there is a higher chance that they may be hospitalized when compared to people with any other types of psoriasis.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis is the rarest type of psoriasis. It is characterized by red and almost inflamed skin that affects almost all areas of the body. It is more likely to be developed from unstable plaque psoriasis. Unstable plaque psoriasis is characterized by undefined lesions on the body.

Erythrodermic psoriasis can appear periodically and is often accompanied with severe itchiness, pain, and at times, swelling.

Nail Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis is often seen with other types of psoriasis. Additionally, people who have psoriatic arthritis, a complication that occurs when a person who has psoriasis develops arthritis or vice versa, is often also affected by nail psoriasis. As the name suggests, it affects the fingernails and toenails. It is characterized by small bumps on the nails,  irregular contours on the nails, and/or nails that appear thicker than usual.

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Talking to Your Doctor About Psoriasis


Psoriasis is a skin condition that is usually characterized by red patches on the skin that are dry and cracked. These patches may be itchy and could bleed. If you experience any of these symptoms, then you could have a condition to psoriasis.

It has affected millions of people — all with various medical histories and age. Because it is a common health condition, psoriasis is easily diagnosed. However, there is no known cure or cause for it. Still, the condition can be treated and managed.

If you think you may have psoriasis, below are some things you may want to look up before seeing a doctor, physician, or dermatologist.

Types of Psoriasis

While you shouldn’t attempt to self-diagnose your condition in any way, doing some research on the different types of psoriasis and their symptoms can be helpful. There are six types, and they all have unique characteristics that differentiate themselves from each other:

  • Plaque (the most common type)
  • Guttate 
  • Inverse 
  • Pustular 
  • Erythrodermic
  • Nail

Information about the types can be easily found on the Internet. Keep in mind, though, that sometimes this information can be inaccurate.

To be sure of exactly what type you have, consult a doctor or dermatologist. They will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Speaking with Your Dermatologist

If you think you have some type of psoriasis, set up an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Ask your doctor if you should see a dermatologist — a doctor that specializes in skin health. You can also set up an appointment with a dermatologist straight away if you do not want to go through the hassle of being redirected by your doctor.

Going to see a dermatologist can seem daunting, but keep in mind that they are specialized to treat all kinds of skin conditions. As well, since psoriasis is so common, there is a good chance that they have seen your condition many times with other patients.

During your appointment, your dermatologist might ask for your symptoms and which parts of the body has been affected. They may also ask you how long you’ve been experiencing symptoms. Additionally, they can also ask to see the parts of the body that’s been affected and/or inspect the parts of the skin that’s been affected. Typically, a dermatologist can tell if you have psoriasis without a lot of extensive testing or taking samples. However, they may ask to do testing just to be sure you don’t have something else.

Getting Treated

As mentioned previously, there is unfortunately no cure. There are, however, plenty of treatments that can help you manage the skin condition and even allow you to go into remission for a period of time. After your initial appointment, your dermatologist might prescribe topical ointments to treat your psoriasis based on how severe your symptoms are. Throughout the course of your treatment, you may also want to talk to your dermatologist about other kinds of treatment, like phototherapy. It is important to remember to always talk to your dermatologist before switching treatments or trying alternative treatments. Having good communication with your dermatologist is one of the best ways to ensure that your psoriasis is being treated and managed well.

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5 Ways to Manage Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is a chronic skin condition. The condition is characterized by large patches of the skin that is silver-white and scaly. The patches are typically red and raised. The elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back are the most commonly affected areas.

Because of the physical appearance of the condition, it can be embarrassing to live with. Besides treatments, there are a number of things a person can do to help manage and deal with the symptoms of plaque psoriasis. Below are some ways someone with plaque psoriasis can calm flare-ups, remove scales, and soothe itchiness and/or inflammation.


Moisturizing can help reduce dryness, itchiness, redness, soreness, and scaling — all common symptoms that can be extremely irritable for someone with plaque psoriasis. Because skin type differs between individuals, finding the correct moisturizer to help with plaque psoriasis can be a little tricky.

Moisturizing ointments are usually recommended because it is thick and heavy. This makes ointments great for locking in moisture. Lotions are typically more thin and smooth. As such, moisture isn’t easily locked in. Moisturizing creams are more or less somewhere between ointments and lotions.

Whatever product you wish to use, you can relieve your plaque psoriasis symptoms by applying moisturizer after showering and/or as often as needed through the day. For example, if the temperature is cold and/or dry, you may need to apply moisturizer more often than if the weather was humid.


Baths can help soothe itchiness and get rid of dry skin. Make sure that the bath is warm and not too hot, as to avoid worsening the plaque psoriasis. Steer clear of adding harsh soaps to the bath — instead, add oil, oatmeal, Epsom salt or Dead Sea salt to the bath. It is usually recommended that you stay in the bath for about 15 minutes to feel some soothing effects of the bath.

After the bath, be sure that you pat yourself dry. Rubbing the skin with a rough towel could irritate the skin further.


Also known as phototherapy, sunlight, or UV light can help with lessening the intensity of psoriasis symptoms. If you are using sunlight to treat your plaque psoriasis symptoms, make sure that you are not exposing yourself to too much sun. Small amounts of exposure to the sun two or three times a week with sunscreen are the safest and easiest way to start off your phototherapy.

Avoid Itching

It’s hard not to — scratching an itch usually provides some short-term comfort. In the case of plaque psoriasis, the itching will only make the condition worse. Itching the lesions could create new sores and even cause infections. To soothe itchiness, apply some moisturizer or take a bath.

Avoid Tobacco and/or Alcohol

Practicing healthy habits typically means healthy skin. Frequent alcohol consumption and/or smoking cigarettes can trigger and/or worsen plaque psoriasis. Additionally, too much drinking can result in some dangerous side effects with certain drugs taken to treat psoriasis. For people who want to quit smoking, talk to a doctor or physician before using nicotine patches. Using nicotine patches can worsen the plaque psoriasis.

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8 Common Terms About Plaque Psoriasis

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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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Three Kinds of Plaque Psoriasis Treatments

Plaque Psoriasis Treatments

Plaque psoriasis is a skin condition that is characterized by silver-white patches on the skin. These patches can be itchy and be prone to flaking off. Although there is currently no known cause of plaque psoriasis, many believe that the condition stems from a weak or abnormal immune system. In the immune system, a type of white blood cells known as T cells attacks the body’s healthy skin cell. This causes the overproduction of skin cells which leads to the patches that characterize plaque psoriasis.  So what sort of plaque psoriasis treatments are out there?

Just as the exact cause of plaque psoriasis is currently unknown, there is currently no known cure for the condition either. However, there are a number of treatments that can help someone treat and/or manage plaque psoriasis. The common treatment options are discussed below.

Topical Medication

One of the most common ways that plaque psoriasis is treated is through topical creams and/or ointments. The creams and/or ointments typically include medications like corticosteroids, salicylic acid, anthralin, and coal tar. Depending on what kind of product it is, the topical medicine can either be bought over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor.

Corticosteroids treat plaque psoriasis by suppressing the immune system, which helps with reducing skin cell production. Because topical products that contain corticosteroids can be pretty powerful, doctors typically don’t recommend the medicine to be used on more sensitive areas of the body like the face. It is also important to note that corticosteroid-based topical products lose effectiveness when used in the long-term. As such, it is strongly suggested that patients only apply corticosteroid creams/ointments when they have active breakouts of plaque psoriasis symptoms.

Anthralin works similarly to corticosteroids in treating plaque psoriasis as it also helps with slowing down skin cell production. It is much more powerful than corticosteroids, though, and can stain anything it is applied on. Many doctors suggest that patients only use this type of topical product in the short-term. Anthralin-based topical medication is typically only used when the patient does not respond to other forms of treatment.

Coal tar is also another topical medication that treats plaque psoriasis. It is actually one of the oldest treatments for plaque psoriasis. Coal tar treats plaque psoriasis by removing the dead skin cells from the skin surface. This helps reduce the itching symptom often seen in plaque psoriasis. However, coal tar is not often some patient’s first choice of treatment due to the fact that it can stain clothing and that it imposes health risks to people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


This treatment is also known as exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light and/or rays. It is typically recommended for those with a mild or moderate form of plaque psoriasis. Like topical medication, phototherapy works by suppressing the immune system so that skin cell production is reduced. However, it is not as effective as topical medication.

Phototherapy is usually done along with another type of treatment, like oral/injected medication or topical medication. The easiest way for someone to access this treatment is to simply spend time in the sun. It is important to keep sun exposure brief, though, as too much can actually worsen the symptoms of plaque psoriasis. Be sure not to get sunburnt because this can complicate the condition.

If regular exposure to sunlight is hard to come by — this is especially true during winter — phototherapy can also be accessed through UV lamps. UV lamps are not very expensive and come in many shapes and sizes. Patients can purchase them based on their own preferences. SImilar to phototherapy using natural sunlight, those with plaque psoriasis should also limit their time spent under the UV lamps. Again, too much exposure can actually worsen the symptoms of plaque psoriasis.

Oral or Injected Medication

This type of treatment is typically given to people who have a more severe form of plaque psoriasis. It is also given to those who do not respond to topical products and/or phototherapy. It should be noted that these medications are generally very powerful when compared to topical medication or phototherapy. They can also cause some serious side effects.

Retinoids are a type of drug that can be taken orally. It is a chemical compound that is related to vitamin A and is often chosen as a form of treatment for plaque psoriasis when other treatments do not work. Retinoid works to treat plaque psoriasis by helping to lower skin cell production. Side effects of this medication can include swelling of the lips, hair loss, and birth defects for those who are pregnant. However, these side effects usually go away once the patient stops taking retinoids.

Methotrexate can be given through an IV or orally. Similar to retinoids, it treats plaque psoriasis by reducing skin cell production. However, methotrexate is usually better received since the side effects of the drug is less jarring. Side effects of this medication can include nausea, fatigue, and/or loss of appetite. Side effects don’t typically occur, particularly if the medication is administered in small doses.

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General Information on Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is one of the most common types of psoriasis. It is a skin condition that is characterized by patches of the skin that has raised lesions, redness, and/or silver-white scales. These patches typically appear on the joints and the back. In some cases, the patches of affected skin can appear inside the mouth and/or around the genitals. These patches of skin can be itchy or cause a burning sensation. In severe cases, the skin can appear cracked and cause some bleeding. The severity of the symptoms is usually dependent on the individual.

Currently, no one knows what exactly causes psoriasis to occur in an individual. However, many researchers and specialists believe that the condition may be caused by a weak or abnormal immune system. There are also some factors that could increase a person’s chances of developing the condition. These factors include smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. For those that have already been diagnosed with plaque psoriasis, there may be triggers that could cause symptoms to worsen or recur. These triggers can include the factors that were mentioned previously as well as cold weather and certain medications like beta blockers, iodides, and lithium. Infections or skin injuries can also worsen the condition or cause it to recur.

Chances of getting any type of psoriasis can increase by as much as 40% in an individual if they have one or more family members who have psoriasis. Having stress, obesity, or getting HIV/AIDS can also increase a person’s chances of developing psoriasis.

Although it is a condition that can be managed and treated fairly easily, many of those who have plaque psoriasis suffer from depression and/or low self-esteem. This is largely due to the physical symptoms that occur with plaque psoriasis. As a result, a lot of people who are affected by plaque psoriasis may be socially isolated. To combat this, it is strongly suggested that patients keep up with their treatments and learn how to manage the condition. Treatment for plaque psoriasis can include topical corticosteroids, Anthralin, and Calcineurin inhibitors. Some patients may receive light therapy or medication provided through injections. Additionally, doing things like taking baths, cutting down alcohol consumption, and maintaining a healthy diet can also help manage the condition.

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Symptoms of Plaque Psoriasis and How to Treat Them

Symptoms of Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis — about nine out of every ten people who have psoriasis is affected by plaque psoriasis. The chronic skin condition typically affects the skin on the elbows, knees, scalp, and/or lower back. So what are the symptoms of plaque psoriasis?

Plaque Psoriasis Symptoms

Plaque psoriasis can typically be diagnosed easily because of its physical symptoms. The condition causes white and silver-like patches of skin around the body. The areas surrounding these patches are could be raised and red. Lesions may also be visible, particularly on the elbows. These patches of affected skin are usually itchy, painful, and can swell and/or burn.

In some serious cases, plaque psoriasis can develop into psoriatic erythroderma. Psoriatic erythroderma is a condition that causes most of the skin to become inflamed. It can be extremely painful and can turn life-threatening if untreated. While it is rare for plaque psoriasis to develop into psoriatic erythroderma, it is still important for one to see a doctor and seek treatment if they are affected by plaque psoriasis or any other kind of psoriasis. This will significantly lower the chances of getting psoriatic erythroderma.

Plaque Psoriasis Treatment

Although there is no definite cure for plaque psoriasis, an early diagnosis can be beneficial. If you start noticing any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact your doctor or physician and set up an appointment as soon as possible. If your doctor or physician suspects you have plaque psoriasis, they may refer you to a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment for plaque psoriasis can vary greatly depending on the patient. Common treatments include topical medication and phototherapy. Topical medication can be prescribed or bought over-the-counter. Phototherapy, which makes use of UV rays to treat plaque psoriasis, can be accessed either at a specialized treatment center or just by being exposed to the sun. Because plaque psoriasis is a chronic health condition, symptoms can recur. As such, it is important to keep up with your treatment by applying topical products or receiving phototherapy as instructed.

If someone does not respond to topical medication and/or phototherapy, then they may receive other treatments such as oral medication or injectable treatments.

It is important to note that you have to consult your doctor or a specialist about your plaque psoriasis before undergoing any type of treatment. Never attempt to treat this condition by yourself.

Plaque Psoriasis Prognosis

Since there is currently no known cure for plaque psoriasis and it is a chronic health condition — meaning that the symptoms can recur continuously throughout one’s lifetime — plaque psoriasis can greatly affect how someone lives their life.

Most of those who have plaque psoriasis only have a mild form of the condition that can be easily managed and treated. In some cases, however, plaque psoriasis can sometimes be serious enough to negatively affect a person’s sleep, self-care, occupation, and/or hobbies. Additionally, many people who have some form of psoriasis experience low self-esteem and/or depression because of the physical symptoms of the condition.

However, it is important to keep in mind that treatments for psoriasis is constantly improving. Staying positive and keeping up with the treatment your doctor recommended to you can also help a lot when dealing with plaque psoriasis. If you have yet to be diagnosed but you are showing some symptoms of any form of psoriasis, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible. The sooner psoriasis is diagnosed, the quicker you can receive treatment. This can really help with minimizing the severity of the symptoms of the condition and can even eliminate the symptom for some period of time.

There are also some things that can trigger someone’s plaque psoriasis to recur or worsen. If you have plaque psoriasis or any other form of psoriasis, it is important to spot these triggers and avoid them. Some common things that can trigger psoriasis are infections and skin injuries.

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Plaque Psoriasis Overview: Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is a condition where the body produces an excessive amount of skin cells. The overproduction of cells can result in thick and scaly skin that comes in patches. These patches may flake and can be itchy. It is a chronic health condition and so these symptoms can recur even after treatment.

Plaque Psoriasis Causes

There are specialized cells called T cells in the body that helps to attack foreign things that could cause harm, like bacteria and viruses. For those with the disease, however, the T cells in their body will attack the body’s healthy skin cells alone with harmful things like bacterias and viruses. As a result, the body reacts by producing more and more skin cells, causing the scaly, itchy patches.

The question as to why the T cells attack these healthy skin cells currently remains unanswered, and thus the exact cause of the condition is unknown. However, most health professionals agree that the condition is caused by problems within the immune system.

Plaque Psoriasis Risk Factors and Triggers

The symptoms may be relatively mild. However, there can be some triggers and/or risk factors that can make the condition worse in some people. Many people find that skin injury or infection can trigger their condition and symptoms can either recur or worsen.

Several other factors, like smoking and obesity, can trigger or worsen the condition. These factors can also put people at a higher risk of developing plaque psoriasis. Smoking can negatively affect the health of the skin and obesity can increase the risk of someone developing some type of plaque psoriasis that occurs in folds and/or creases of the skin. Additionally, cold weather can also trigger the condition because long-term exposure to low temperature can result in damaged skin.

Diagnosing Plaque Psoriasis

Because the symptoms are fairly visible — it occurs on the skin — the condition is typically quite easy to diagnose by doctors. However, doctors may need to rule out other similar skin conditions, like ringworm, dermatitis, or rosea before diagnosing the patients. This can be done by conducting a skin biopsy, which is a quick and easy test that can be done in the doctor’s office during the appointment.

Treating Plaque Psoriasis

There is currently no cure. However, there are multiple treatment options available for people with plaque psoriasis. The treatments typically work by either lowering skin cell production and/or removing the already-existing excess skin cells.

Topical treatment is commonly used for people with mild to moderate symptoms. Ointments that contain corticosteroids work by lowering the production of skin cells. These topical products are typically only available with a prescription. Unlike corticosteroids based topical products, ointments that contain salicylic acid can be bought over-the-counter and works by removing already-existing excess skin cells. Usually, people use both kinds of ointments to ensure the best results.

Phototherapy, or exposure to UV rays, is another treatment for people with plaque psoriasis. Patients can easily access this treatment by sitting in the sunlight. The UV rays work by killing the skin’s T cells which helps limit cell production. It also helps to get rid of the rough patches on the skin caused by the condition. Phototherapy is sometimes not recommended, however, since too much exposure can actually worsen the condition. This is because even a mild sunburn can cause complications.

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