When skin cells grow faster than they are supposed to, a patient is sometimes diagnosed with psoriasis. Approximately 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis, and there are a total of 125 million people around the world who have this common autoimmune disease. Although there is no cure for psoriasis, a provider who offers dermatology services can help you manage this condition effectively. Here are several symptoms and conditions you may experience if you fail to treat your psoriasis.
As many as 35% of individuals living with psoriasis experience joint pain. Some people have sporadic episodes of pain, while other patients develop psoriatic arthritis. Pain can occur even when the lesions from psoriasis are not present, but it may become worse during an active flareup. This is because some plaques and lesions are thick and heavy, so they press against the joints and cause discomfort.
If your joint pain progresses, you may find it difficult to work, exercise, or perform household chores. Luckily, there are medications that help reduce the pain associated with swollen joints. A licensed dermatologist can help you develop a treatment plan that targets the inflammation and pain.
Folks living with psoriasis are twice as likely to become depressed and as people who do not have this disease. They may become depressed about the pain and itching associated with the skin lesions, or they may feel stressed or embarrassed about the way the plaques and blisters look. A psychiatrist can prescribe pills for the symptoms of depression, but that may not be enough.
In situations like this, an experienced dermatologist can listen to the patient's concerns and prescribe treatments that address all of the symptoms. The healthcare provider may recommend lotions or laser light therapy for the skin lesions, as well as antidepressants for the depression. Dermatologists commonly deal with patients who have psoriasis and understand the impact this autoimmune disease can have on a patient's life, so they are trained to prescribe a safe combination of medications for skincare concerns and mental health conditions.
An arryhmthia refers to a heart that beats too quickly or too slowly. It can also refer to a heart that beats irregularly, possibly beating too fast sometimes and too slowly other times. Some arrhythmias are harmless, but an arrhythmia may cause stroke or heart failure. These are serious issues that can result in permanent impairment or even death.
Experts have recently found a link between psoriasis and arrhythmias. This research shows that patients with psoriasis are more likely to suffer from an arrhythmia than patients without psoriasis, and the risk increases in psoriasis patients who also have psoriatic arthritis. The study does not give exact reasons why there is a connection between arrhythmias and psoriasis, but WebMD states that stress and heart disease can cause arrhythmias. Patients with psoriasis may feel stressed about their skin lesions, as referenced in the section above, and the study mentions that many people with psoriasis have heart disease.
High Blood Pressure
Like arrhythmias, high blood pressure affects the heart. Left untreated, high blood pressure can cause serious complications in an individual, including heart attack, kidney problems, and erectile dysfunction. Blood pressure can typically be managed with a combination of medications and lifestyle changes, such as adjustments in diet and exercise.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine have found a link between high blood pressure and psoriasis. Similar studies have been done, but researchers are unsure how high blood pressure and psoriasis are connected. They say it may have something to do with inflammation. People with psoriasis sometimes develop chronic inflammation, and experts believe chronic inflammation may contribute to high blood pressure.
The experts who executed the study at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine say that it is especially important for individuals who have psoriasis lesions that cover more than 3% of the body to receive treatment for high blood pressure. Your dermatologist can recommend treatment that stabilizes your blood pressure while also reducing the pain, itching, and swelling associated with your psoriasis.
If you have psoriasis, it's important to visit a dermatologist regularly, regardless of whether you are diagnosed with a mild or severe case of this autoimmune condition. You may already know that dermatologists can prescribe a treatment plan for the blisters and plaques, but dermatology specialists can also treat symptoms and conditions that are triggered by psoriasis. Schedule an appointment for dermatology services in your area at your earliest convenience to help reduce or alleviate the unwanted effects of psoriasis.
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