Psoriasis is a chronic disease of the skin which affects over 5 million people in the United States. Typical characteristics of psoriasis include dry, red patches of skin and inflammation. Psoriasis is not contagious and may be inherited. There are several types of psoriasis, each similar to the others in many respects. The most common type of is plaque psoriasis which affects approximately nine out of ten people with psoriasis.
Skin affected by plaque psoriasis is red and covered with silvery scales. Circular or oval shaped red plaques which may itch or burn are typical of plaque psoriasis and the patches are usually found on the elbows, knees, trunk, or scalp, but may be found on any part of the skin. Plaque psoriasis patches are very persistent and may not go away. Some triggers work together to cause an outbreak of psoriasis which makes it difficult to identify individual factors.
Acne is a skin disorder in which the skin pores become clogged, leading to pimples and inflamed, infected lesions. This skin disorder has been associated with depression, anxiety, and unemployment. Acne in adulthood affects both men and women equally, though women are more likely to be concerned about it. Dermatologists throughout the world recognize acne as a common problem and one that requires a variety of therapeutic approaches. Once a dermatologist determines that a skin condition is acne there are numerous treatments available.
Occasionally what looks like an acne breakout is actually a condition called Rosacea, a skin condition where excessive circulation creates a ruddy appearance. Rosacea is a livid facial rash which affects mainly middle aged men and fair skinned women. No one knows what triggers rosacea, but it may be linked to long term sun exposure or stress.
Psoriasis is another skin condition that is a genetically determined inflammatory skin disease which is characterized by dull red and scaly plaques. Certain people carry genes that make me more likely to develop psoriasis, but not everyone with these genes will develop the disease.
Acne affects over 15 million people in the United States and may be triggered by several factors such as hormonal changes which occur during pregnancy, menstrual cycles, and stress, use of certain drugs or medications, and exposure to chemicals. Mild acne is treated with over the counter topical ointments such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Moderate to severe acne is treated by dermatologists who prescribe oral and topical medications.
For moderate to severe acne, doctors often prescribe oral antibiotics such as tetracycline and doxcyclline. These antibiotics may be combined with topical treatment such as retinoid which help unplug hair follicles. There are several side effects with certain retinoid including birth defects, depression, muscle aches, and sensitivity to sun.
Dermatologists perform many in office procedures to help treat acne. Some treatments include injecting corticosteroids directly into single acne lesions for faster action and better results. Patients like this therapy as it eliminates the need for repeated topical and oral therapy and the results are instantaneous.
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