Psoriasis is a condition that affects the skin. It can cause red, scaling plaques that may appear to have a silvery white covering. Believe it or not, it is a very common skin condition and is caused by a recurrent inflammatory disease of the skin. Psoriasis generally does not itch or burn and it can come and go in patches. It is usually found on the extremities (arms, legs) the scalp, and elbows. It can be treated with oral or topical medications such as anti-inflammatory medications or steroids.
Psoriasis can also be found in the nail and almost mimic a fungal nail appearance. When it is found in the feet, it can appear like athletes foot, also a fungal infection. It can be distinguished from a fungal infection by a biopsy which your doctor can perform in office. Your doctor will take a sample of the skin or nail and send it off to a lab where they look at the sample under a microscope and determine exactly what the etiology is. It is possible to have both fungus and psoriasis occur at the same time, which is why a biopsy is always highly recommended before starting any treatment. If it is psoriasis, antifungal medications will not be effective and viceversa if it is fungus, psoriasis medications will not be effective in treating the condition.
Psoriasis can also effect the joints in the body. It can cause a painful arthritis (psoriatic arthritis). Diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis comes with clinical evaluation and imaging such as x-rays. X-rays typically reveal a characteristic boney erosion. Oral and topical medications can be used to treat this condition, such as anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, and medications meant specifically for psoriasis.
If you have a chronic rash or scaling of your skin or nails, or pain in your joints, make sure you call us at (813) 875-0555 so we can find out the cause and provide you with proper treatment. You don’t need to suffer from pain or scaling skin!