Skip to main content

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...

Does Melanoma Always Appear as an Atypical Mole?

You know your ABCDEs by heart, and you use them each month when you examine your skin. If you notice changes in a mole, you go straight to your dermatologist for a skin cancer evaluation. But does deadly melanoma always appear as a mole?

Why You Shouldn't Remove a Wart on Your Own

You hate the way your wart looks and want to get rid of it as soon as possible. You’re tempted to pick it, squeeze it, cut it, or burn it off yourself. Don’t. The end result could be an infection and even more warts. Everywhere.
4 Chronic Conditions That Cause Dry, Flaky Skin

4 Chronic Conditions That Cause Dry, Flaky Skin

When you have dry skin, it may not just be because of the winter winds or indoor heating. You may have an underlying, chronic condition that causes your skin to be dry, flaky, and uncomfortable, no matter the season or the weather.

How to Reduce Your Fine Lines Without Surgery

You aren’t ready for — and may never want — plastic surgery. You do want to look energized, refreshed, and youthful, which means getting rid of fine lines. Can you do that without surgery? Yes with dermal fillers, neurotoxins, and chemical peels.
5 Common Rosacea Triggers

5 Common Rosacea Triggers

Though you can’t cure rosacea, you can tame it. By learning your triggers and avoiding them whenever possible, you keep embarrassing blushes, flushes, and pustules to a minimum. Start with the most common, then find your personal triggers, too.

Using the ABCDE Method to Examine Your Moles

Whether you think of your moles as beauty marks or not, it pays to keep an eye on them. Normal moles are fairly stable throughout your life. Abnormal moles, which could be cancerous, change. Use your ABCDEs to keep track.