Complications of Psoriasis

Complications of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder most commonly associated with scaly, rashy, and itchy skin. Psoriasis is common and affects almost eight million adults in the United States. Although psoriasis can’t be cured at this time, various treatment strategies help keep you comfortable and reduce your risk for complications. 

Our expert dermatologists at Specialists in Dermatology diagnose and treat psoriasis at their offices in Houston, Texas, or The Woodlands, Texas. Following are some of the complications of psoriasis with which you may struggle now or in the future.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a common complication of psoriasis, affecting almost one third of people who have this autoimmune disorder. If you have PsA, your symptoms are more like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) — which is another autoimmune disorder — rather than osteoarthritis (OA), which is a wear-and-tear disease. Signs that you have PsA include:

Even if your joints feel painful when you move, you should work with your doctor to devise an exercise and activity plan that keeps you active and mobile. Using your joints helps them stay healthier. Without treatment, PsA can permanently deform your joints.

Vision troubles

If you develop PsA, you may also experience problems with your eyes, including your vision. Researchers suspect that the inflammatory state that causes psoriasis and PsA also affects your eyes, causing symptoms such as:

You may experience symptoms in one or both eyes. Without treatment, psoriasis-related eye problems could become permanent and lead to loss of vision.

Hair loss

If you have scalp psoriasis, an unwelcome complication may be hair loss. In addition to an itchy, scaly scalp, you may lose clumps of hair at a time, even within days. 

Though it’s relatively easy to hide scaly, red patches of skin on your body with clothing, it isn’t so easy to hide lesions on your scalp, nor is it easy to camouflage profound hair loss. Wearing wigs and hats is an option, but may not always be comfortable, particularly in warmer months. 

The National Psoriasis Foundation offers peer support groups. Support helps you deal with the emotional ramifications of psoriasis and its complications, including hair loss. 

Increased risk for cancer and other diseases

If you have psoriasis, you’re at greater risk for lymphoma, which is cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of your immune system, which is likely why it’s affected by an autoimmune disease. Your weakened and stressed immune system also increases your risk of developing:

Some disease risk may be correlated with ethnicity, lifestyle, and other factors. For instance, Caucasians with psoriasis have an increased risk for IBD, but Asians with psoriasis have a negative risk. Some of the increased risk for lymphoma may be related to the drugs used to treat psoriasis rather than to the disease itself.

Anxiety and depression

The daily stress of living with an incurable autoimmune disease takes a toll on your mental health as well as your physical health. In addition to getting treatment for your psoriasis, consider counseling and other self-care strategies to help you cope with the emotional aspects of dealing with your disease. 

Treating psoriasis helps alleviate many of the most upsetting symptoms and reduces the risk for complications. If you have psoriasis, we diagnose the full extent of your disease and then devise a customized treatment plan to help you feel and function better. 

Feel more comfortable and reduce your risk for psoriasis complications by getting the tailored treatment you deserve today. Contact us at Specialists in Dermatology by phoning the office nearest you or using our online form.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Help for Your Rosacea

Rosy cheeks are cute when you’re a kid, but when your cheeks are always rosy — and rough — you probably have a skin condition called rosacea. Without treatment and management, rosacea worsens and may disfigure your nose and face.

When Moles Are a Concern

Birthmarks. Beauty marks. Moles. Nevuses. Whatever you call those clusters of dark cells on your skin, almost everybody has quite a few of them. Most moles are benign, but some aren’t. Do you know the difference?

Am I at Risk for Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer may seem too abstract to worry you. After all, you’ve never gotten it, and you might not even know anyone who has. But skin cancer rates rise every year, and your personal risk rises as you age, too. Here’s how to lower yours.

Different Types of Eczema

You itch. You ooze. Your skin looks rashy, red, and just plain mad. If you’re constantly scratching itches and rashes, you may have a skin condition called eczema. What causes eczema and how do you treat it? That all depends on the type of eczema.

5 Common Signs of Psoriasis

You’re itchy, red, and scaly. No creams or potions help for long. Just when you think your skin’s in the clear, you break out in a rash again. Do you have an allergy? Or a chronic skin condition called psoriasis? Here’s how to tell.