Psoriasis

Serving Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and surrounding areas

Psoriasis – Elbows

Psoriasis – Inverse Type

Psoriasis – Guttate Type

Psoriasis – Nails

Psoriasis – Plaque Type

Psoriasis – Erythrodermic Type

Psoriasis – Scalp

Psoriasis:

  • Can manifest in many forms
  • Can appear at any age
  • Approximately 1 million Canadians and 10 million Americans have psoriasis
  • The cause of psoriasis is not known; however, recent discoveries point to an abnormality in the functioning of certain white blood cells that trigger inflammation in the skin
    • The inflammation causes the skin grow and shed rapidly, every three to four days
  • There is a strong genetic component to the cause of psoriasis
    • Thirty per cent of patients with psoriasis have someone else in their family with psoriasis
  • The most common form, plaque psoriasis, begins with little red bumps that gradually grow larger and form scales
    • The scales on the surface of the skin flake off easily and often, whereas scales below the surface stick together and commonly form lesions that are tender and likely to bleed
  • It rarely involves the skin of the face
  • It most commonly affects the scalp, elbows and knees
  • Less commonly it can affect palms, soles, nails, groins, underarms, genitals or any area with skin
  • It will often appear in the same place on both sides of the body
  • Up to 30% of patients with psoriasis may have symptoms of arthritis and 5–10% may have some functional disability from arthritis of various joints
  • The duration of active psoriasis flares can range from weeks to months to years depending on severity and treatment plan
  • Is typically worse in the winter and better in the summer
  • Usually gets better with sunlight
  • Is not due to poor diet or poor hygiene
  • Is not contagious
  • Does not scar, leave permanent marks or cause hair loss

Specific Measures:

  • A variety of creams, injections and pills are available
  • Please discuss your treatment options with your doctor
  • Nail psoriasis is very difficult to treat

Phototherapy (Light Therapy):

  • If your psoriasis is severe UVB or PUVA light treatments may be used
  • They are very effective but carry the risk of sunburn and long term use may increase your risk of skin cancer
  • These treatments are usually done 2 to 3 times per week for a minimum of 6 weeks

If you are interested in learning more about psoriasis and support groups, please click here