About 80 percent of people who develop the inflammatory skin condition known as psoriasis have so-called “plaque” psoriasis. Symptoms include patches of raised, reddish skin covered by silvery-white scales. These plaques usually form on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp, although they may appear anywhere on the body. This uncomfortable skin condition is also associated with severe itching and cracked and bleeding skin. Treatment for moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis includes the use of adalimumab (Humira), a tumor necrosis factor blocker. This drug is administered by injection under the close supervision of a dermatologist and is approved for use in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.
Psoriasis is not contagious, although it may be hereditary. Climate, stress, infections, and some medications are things that can sometimes trigger flare-ups. About one in ten people develop psoriasis in childhood, which makes it more likely that the condition will be widespread and recurrent. If you suspect that you have psoriasis or some other irritated skin condition, a board-certified dermatologist should examine you, carefully analyze your condition and create a treatment protocol to meet your personal needs. Don’t let reddened, itchy, flaking skin curtail the quality of your life.
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