Plaque Psoriasis

Written by Kimberly Clark
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Plaque psoriasis, the most common type of psoriasis, is suitably named because it typically manifests itself as itchy, scaly, red, and often inflamed skin blotches. These blotches are referred to as plaques or lesions. The scales indicative of this form of psoriasis look like silver flakes. Approximately 80 percent of the people afflicted with psoriasis suffer from plaque psoriasis.

Plaque psoriasis can infect any portion of the body or scalp, but is usually concentrated on the elbows, knees, or lower back. This condition is also known to plague the fingernails and toenails as well, causing them to appear brittle and discolored. In more severe cases, the skin surrounding affected areas can crack and bleed.

Normally the skin takes about 30 days to replace itself, but in a psoriatic cycle the process is shortened to about a week. This causes the infected to skin to build or pile up faster than the surrounding areas, giving it that raised appearance. The age group most affected by psoriasis is young adults ages 16-22.

Treatment Options

Currently there is no known cure for psoriasis, but there are three major treatment options available to people who suffer from it. They are the application of topical agents, phototherapy, and internal dosages of systematic agents. There are also a host of herbal remedies, aromatherapies, and essential oils that have been shown to alleviate some to the symptoms associated with plaque psoriasis. No single treatment seems to work for all patients so caregivers often have to rely on trial and error to find the best option for their particular patients.

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