While it is usually the dermatologists who have patients presenting with this annoying skin condition, the truth of the matter is that almost everyone in the cosmetic surgery and aesthetic procedures industry should have some basic knowledge about psoriasis – its causes and its treatments.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to attend the talk that David Cohen, MD, is giving on the topic at SCALE 2019 Music City on Thursday, May 9th, at 2:00 p.m. Until then, or if you are unable to make that session, here is a little review. Dr. Cohen is a partner at Dermatologic Surgery Specialists in Georgia where he specializes in difficult skin conditions including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, pyoderma gangrenosum, epidermodysplasia verruciformis, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Dr. Cohen also performs surgical procedures including excisions and MOHS repairs and performs cosmetic procedures including sclerotherapy, Botox, Juvederm and Sculptra. He has extensive training in treating psoriasis patients with biologic therapy, ultraviolet light therapy and systemic treatments. (Source).
What is Psoriasis
As a very basic definition, psoriasis is a common skin condition that is chronic. It manifests by speeding up the life cycle of skin cells, causing them to rapidly build up on the skin’s surface. This creates red, scaly patches that can be itchy and painful. The disease can come and go in patients, and while there is no cure, there are treatments that can help the cells from growing so quickly.
Types of Psoriasis
According the to the Mayo Clinic there are at least 7 distinctly different types of psoriasis:
- Plaque psoriasis. The most common form, plaque psoriasis causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques might be itchy or painful and there may be few or many. They can occur anywhere on your body, including your genitals and the soft tissue inside your mouth.
- Nail psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration. Psoriatic nails might loosen and separate from the nail bed (onycholysis). Severe cases may cause the nail to crumble.
- Guttate psoriasis. This type primarily affects young adults and children. It’s usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. It’s marked by small, water-drop-shaped, scaling lesions on your trunk, arms, legs and scalp. The lesions are covered by a fine scale and aren’t as thick as typical plaques are. You may have a single outbreak that goes away on its own, or you may have repeated episodes.
- Inverse psoriasis. This mainly affects the skin in the armpits, in the groin, under the breasts and around the genitals. Inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin that worsen with friction and sweating. Fungal infections may trigger this type of psoriasis.
- Pustular psoriasis. This uncommon form of psoriasis can occur in widespread patches (generalized pustular psoriasis) or in smaller areas on your hands, feet or fingertips. It generally develops quickly, with pus-filled blisters appearing just hours after your skin becomes red and tender. The blisters may come and go frequently. Generalized pustular psoriasis can also cause fever, chills, severe itching and diarrhea.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis. The least common type of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis can cover your entire body with a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely.
- Psoriatic arthritis. In addition to inflamed, scaly skin, psoriatic arthritis causes swollen, painful joints that are typical of arthritis. Sometimes the joint symptoms are the first, or only, manifestation of psoriasis or at times, only nail changes are seen. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint. Although the disease usually isn’t as crippling as other forms of arthritis, it can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage that, in the most serious cases, may lead to permanent deformity.
For most of us, this makes the disease too complicated to become any sort of expert in; instead, choosing to refer them to a dermatologist, like Dr. Cohen. That said, more people suffer than you may think, so chances are that you are going to come across clients or patients with the condition. You will want to make sure that the procedures they are seeking will both work and not aggravate their psoriasis.
Who Has Psoriasis
The National Psoriasis Foundation tracks statistics on the disorder. They report that approximately 7.5 million people (just over 2% of the population) in the United States suffer from the disease. It is an autoimmune disease that is the most prevalent in the country. The odds of having psoriasis go up to 10% if you have parents that suffer. Caucasians suffer at a rate more than double that of other populations. Only 1% of African Americans, for instance, are impacted. Generally speaking there is onset between age 15 and 25 years old, but it can show up at any age.
The disease does seem to have a greater impact on the quality of life of very young patients and women, however, everyone that has it is affected. There are treatments available and there is emerging science that can provide even more relief, ranging from topical to atopic. Those will be discussed at SCALE 2019 Music City.