When Dry Skin Isn't Just Dry Skin

Published On: Mar 06 2014 05:26:21 PM CST

Sadly winter will just not die this year and many of us may be suffering from extra dry skin.  For a small proportion of the population, only about 2%, the issue could be more than just dry skin, though - it could be psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin that can present as itchy, scaly, red, and even raised lesions on the skin on (most commonly) the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.  You often see psoriasis develop only after a "trigger" or stressful event or circumstance in your life.  Sometimes psoriasis develops in young children after a strep infection, but other triggers can be psychological stress or trauma or even some minor/major trauma to the skin that is unable to heal.

Other lifestyle factors, like smoking, heavy drinking, and being overweight.  Dr. Landon Johnson, a dermatologist here in Wichita, suggests avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake, and working to maintain a healthy weight.

Often patients confuse psoriasis for rosacea or eczema, but for those patients who have had a skin lesion/rash for longer than two to four weeks without relief, Dr. Johnson suggests seeking the help of a professional.  Treatment options range from topical ointments and creams to pills, injections, or laser or light treatments depending on the severity of your psoriasis.

If you're suffering from skin lesions or rashes, even if you think it's most likely not psoriasis, you can always seek the help of a dermatologist for verification and possible treatment.  As the largest organ in/on your body, your skin is certainly important to your health!