Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin condition that can cause patches of dry skin on the body. But how can you tell if it is psoriasis or something else?
Affecting up to 11% of the world’s population, psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disorder. It is caused by an imbalance in the immune system that leads the body to produce too many skin cells.
Psoriasis can run in the family; it can also start after events such as a bacterial infection, damage to the skin, ingesting or withdrawing from certain medications.
Ordinarily, skin cells replace themselves every three to four weeks; but in people who have psoriasis this happens every three to four days. The resulting buildup of dead skin cells creates inflamed patches, often overlaid with scales. These patches, which occur in small or large outbreaks all over the body, are characteristic of psoriasis.
For people with Caucasian skin, patches generally appear as red or flushed. However, psoriasis in the skin of people of colour can easily be misdiagnosed if clinicians or patients are looking only for ‘redness’. Inflamed patches present differently depending on skin tone. With that in mind, it’s important to consider other typical symptoms to be sure that your skin condition is definitely psoriasis.
How do I know if this is psoriasis? Here are some of the tell tale signs:
- Psoriasis causes inflamed, thick patches of skin.
- Lesions - patches are often covered in lesions or scales and may bleed when you remove them. These scales may appear as white or silvery or different, depending on skin colour.
- Itchy - patches will be itchy and irritated.
- Blisters - pus-filled blisters may be present.
- Size - psoriasis can vary from small spots to large outbreaks that cover significant areas of the skin.
- Body-wide - psoriasis can occur anywhere: scalp, trunk, arms and legs, in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, around the genitals, on the hands, fingertips and feet. It can also affect finger and toenails, leading to discolouration, crumbling and the separation of nails from the nail bed.
- Bleeding - you may notice bleeding or cracked skin around your joints.
When psoriasis starts, it’s really important to keep your skin moisturised.
Luckily, we’ve got you - and those itchy skin patches - covered! We recommend a psoriasis starter kit of three staple products to get dry skin under control:
Balmonds Skin Salvation
our award-winning natural emollient traps moisture beneath the skin, making it the ultimate tool in psoriasis care. It can be used by all ages (from six weeks) and skin types, anywhere on the body.
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
when psoriasis is affecting large areas of skin, you can’t beat this SLS-free all purpose cleanser for hair and body. Excellent for daily maintenance, its gentle plant-based ingredients are soft on irritated, dry skin.
Balmonds Scalp Oil
with psoriasis commonly affecting the scalp, our gorgeous blend of specially formulated oil can provide soothing relief to itchy heads when applied as an intensive conditioning treatment overnight.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.