National Psoriasis Month~ Germain Dermatology

Did you know that August is National Psoriasis Awareness Month?

Psoriasis affects approximately 7.5 MILLION Americans and the trigger can be as simple as stress! 

Psoriasis is a chronic, noncontagious, genetic autoimmune disease that appears on the skin in red, scaly patches that itch, crack and bleed. It is the most common autoimmune disease in the country.

What many don’t know is that up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory type of arthritis that causes pain and swelling of the joints and tendons. Psoriasis is more than meets the eye.

What causes psoriasis?

Genetics and the immune system play a major role in the disease. In people with psoriasis, the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth of skin cells.

To develop psoriasis, a person must have a combination of the genes that cause psoriasis and be exposed to external “triggers.” Triggers include stress; injury to the skin, such as a tattoo or a scrape; smoking; and certain infections.

There is no cure for psoriasis, but many treatment options are available. Treatment is individualized for each person and depends on the severity of the disease, the type of psoriasis and how the person reacts to certain treatments.

Learn more about psoriasis, its associated health risks, treatment options and ways to effectively manage the disease at http://www.psoriasis.org/. Think you are suffering from Psoriasis? Call us, Germain Dermatology, for the best dermatological treatment in Charleston~ 843-881-4440.

Shedding Light on Chronic Skin Issues

Dermatology refers to so many conditions and issues, but some of our most common seen  are atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. These chronic skin conditions do occur in adults but most cases are in children and adolescents. As if teenage years weren’t hard enough?!  The good side is these conditions flew under the radar for a long time, but now people are talking about these diseases…notice the multitude of commercials and advertisements for such conditions.  

For those of us who do not suffer from a chronic skin condition it is hard to understand the pain these patients suffer. Flare ups come and go with no rhyme or reason and the unsightly appearance takes a mental toll on the patient, especially in the younger cases.

ATOPIC DERMATITIS
Atopic dermatitis — the most common form of eczema — is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by chronic itchy rashes, inflammation, frequent skin infections and sleep interruptions. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of children in Western nations will develop atopic dermatitis in the first few years of life.

Photo Courtesey Diseasepictures.com

Certain substances may trigger an eczema breakout, so it’s important to identify and avoid them. Common irritants include household cleansers, detergents, soaps, chlorine, and wool. Stress can also cause eczema to appear. To confirm whether you have eczema, your doctor may ask about your family history of allergies and want you to have an allergy or blood test.

Photo Courtesy Raynur.Com

Studies have established a link between atopic dermatitis and several other medical conditions that can occur in conjunction with this skin condition. This new research is aimed at better understanding this connection in children. Research has shown that there is an increased incidence of asthma, hay fever and food allergies in patients with atopic dermatitis.

There are also higher rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children with atopic dermatitis — with more severe cases of this skin condition associated with a higher chance of developing ADHD. While the reason for this association is unknown, researchers are questioning whether ADHD may be caused by the sleep disturbances common in children with atopic dermatitis.

PSORIASIS
Psoriasis is another chronic skin condition marked by thick, red, itchy scaly patches, affecting an estimated 7.5 million Americans. They often are located on the outside of the elbows and knees, but psoriasis commonly affects the scalp and nails, too. There is strong data showing psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and higher rates of obesity in adults.

Many things can trigger psoriasis, including stress, cold weather, skin damage, and certain medications. Unlike atopic dermatitis, psoriasis doesn’t usually appear before age 10. It’s more commonly found in adults or adolescents.

Psoriasis can mimic other skin diseases. Doctors diagnose it by closely examining your skin, nails, and scalp. Your doctor may also perform a skin biopsy. This involves removing a small skin sample and viewing it under a microscope.

– Information and Statistics provided by American Dermatology Association and MSN Health

With the greater understanding of these diseases comes more advanced research and treatment options for all those suffering, young and old. If you, or your child, is having any skin issues that seem abnormal it is very important to have them visit a dermatologist to rule out any chronic issues. The earlier the treatment the better for long term results. Treatments vary from case to case but can involve topical medications, oral medications, changing of household items such as detergents and soaps, as well as over the counter lotions and treatments in mild cases.