Plaque psoriasis is a form of psoriasis characterized by patches of silvery scales on the skin. These patches, known as plaques, are typically itchy and can sometimes be painful. As an autoimmune condition, this type of psoriasis does not have a well-defined cause, and it does not always respond to treatment.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the condition; between 80 and 90 percent of people with psoriasis experience these psoriasis symptoms, or around 6.7 million adults in the United States. If you think you may have this type of psoriasis, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.
As an autoimmune disease, plaque psoriasis has no definable cause. However, researchers have isolated certain factors that may trigger a reaction. Plaque psoriasis appears to be a genetic condition, so if you have a family member with scaly patches, you are more likely to develop them yourself. While not a cause on its own, this can predispose somebody to developing the condition after encountering a trigger.
Certain environmental factors have also been known to trigger the autoimmune response that creates plaque psoriasis. This can include:
- Some medications
- Injury to the skin
Some patients also report that changes to weather and allergies, as well as dietary factors, can spur on or affect this type of psoriasis.
The plaques formed by this type of psoriasis typically have well-defined edges. They can be pink or dark in color while white or silvery scales cover the surface. Plaques can appear anywhere on the body, but they are commonly found on the lower back, scalp, elbows, and knees.
These plaques are the most defining characteristic of the condition, but patients may experience additional plaque psoriasis symptoms. This includes joint pain, pitted nails, and other changes to the finger and toenails. Some may also experience psoriatic arthritis, which involves joint pain and inflammation. Most symptoms, including the visible skin plaques, occur in cycles, often lasting for several weeks at a time before clearing up.
Plaque Psoriasis Treatment
Plaque psoriasis treatment typically involves some form of symptom mitigation, such as creams and topical ointments to relieve itching. Laser therapy can also be used to target specific plaques, and corticosteroid injections are used in the most severe cases to reduce inflammation. Additionally, certain lifestyle choices can also aid symptom management, including moisturizing regularly, avoiding tobacco, and getting enough sleep. However, as an autoimmune condition, plaque psoriasis does not always respond to treatment, so it’s important to speak with your doctor about options.
These psoriasis symptoms overlap with other types of skin conditions, like eczema and dermatitis. If you’re unsure which condition you have, visiting a dermatologist can help secure a diagnosis and treatment plan. If you’re unsure that what you’re experiencing is psoriasis, schedule an appointment at one of our Minneapolis-area dermatology centers. Our staff is uniquely equipped to diagnose your condition and provide personalized psoriasis treatment.
The best plaque psoriasis treatment is one that works for your body and lifestyle. Don’t let scaly, itchy patches interfere with your confidence.
Contact us to schedule your consultation today.
*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.