"Good News" Magazine Aug '17 GN issue to publish online - Page 52

H ealthy L iving -- pages 50 to 56 To your Health! Timely, helpful, and realistic info you can apply to improve your life through better health! AUGUST IS PSORIASIS AWARENESS MONTH! Understanding Psoriasis -- the Basics. What Is Psoriasis? Unpredictable and irritating, psoriasis is one of the most baffling and persistent of skin disorders. It's characterized by skin cells that multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. As underlying cells reach the skin's surface and die, their sheer volume causes raised, red plaques covered with white scales. Psoriasis typically occurs on the knees, elbows, and scalp, and it can also affect the torso, palms, and soles of the feet. The symptoms of psoriasis vary, depending on the type you have. Some common symptoms for plaque psoriasis -- the most common variety of the condition -- include: • Plaques of red skin, often covered with loose, silver-colored scales; these lesions may be itchy and painful, and they sometimes crack and bleed. In severe cases, the plaques of irritated skin will grow and merge into one anoth- er, covering large areas. • Disorders of the fingernails and toenails, including discoloration and pitting of the nails; the nails may also be- gin to crumble or detach from the nail bed. • Plaques of scales or crust on the scalp Psoriasis can also be associated with psoriatic arthritis, which leads to pain and swelling in the joints. The Nation- al Psoriasis Foundation estimates that between 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis. People who suffer from psoriasis know that this uncomfortable and at times disfiguring skin disease can be difficult and frustrating to treat. The condition comes and goes in cycles of remissions and flare-ups over a lifetime. While there are medications and other therapies that can help to clear up the patches of red, scaly, thickened skin that are the hallmark of psoriasis, there is no cure. What Causes Psoriasis? A variety of factors -- ranging from emotional stress and trauma to streptococcal infection -- can cause an epi- sode of psoriasis. Recent research indicates that some abnormality in the immune system is the key cause of psori- asis. As many as 80% of people having flare-ups report a recent emotional trauma, such as a new job or the death of a loved one. Most doctors believe such external stressors serve as triggers for an inherited defect in immune function. Injured skin and certain drugs can aggravate psoriasis, including certain types of blood pressure medications (like beta-blockers), the anti-malarial medication hydroxychloroquine, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.). Psoriasis tends to run in families, but it may be skip generations; a grandfather and his grandson may be affected, but the child's mother never develops the disease. Although psoriasis may be stressful and embarrassing, most outbreaks are relatively harmless. With appropriate treatment, symptoms generally subside within a few months. Is Psoriasis Contageous? Psoriasis causes red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It can look like a rash, so you may worry that you could get it from someone else or pass it to others. But rest easy: It's not contagious. You cannot catch the disease by touching someone who has it. Pine Creek Podiatry 345 East Central Avenue, Avis • 570-753-4335 William J. Schlorff, D.P.M. Board Certified A merican B oard of P odiatric S urgery Source: www.webmd.com. FEET HURT? C all today ! O ffice H ours B y A ppointment 50 “Good News” -- August -- www.bearcountrygoodnews.com