August is Psoriasis Action Month, and at Connecticut Foot Care Centers we find that many patients are unfamiliar with this condition and the effect it can have on the feet and legs. Below is some important information about this disease.
WHAT: Psoriasis is a chronic disease whose root cause is an immune system gone awry. In patients with this condition, the immune system is overactive and sends out signals that speed up the growth and surfacing of new skin cells. This causes abnormal lesions on the skin that can take the form of thickened patches of skin that are red, white or gray and scaly in appearance. In some cases, small blisters or pustules may form as well. The affected areas may feel itchy, burning and painful. Patients with psoriasis may also develop psoriatic arthritis which results in pain and inflammation of the joints. Psoriasis on your feet, toes, and legs can be particularly disabling because of the constant use of these parts of your body for daily life.
WHO: Psoriasis often begins between the ages of 15 and 25, but it can affect a person at any age. Currently, over 8 million Americans have this disease.
HOW: Researcher believe that the defect in the immune system that is responsible for psoriasis may be genetic, but environmental triggers are what cause the disease to become active. Triggers differ by individual, but some known ones include stress, infection, skin injury and taking certain medications.
TAKE ACTION: The first step is getting any unusual skin symptoms evaluated promptly by one of our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. Many times, psoriasis can be mistaken for athlete’s foot or another fungal infection. The foot doctor will diagnose your skin condition. If psoriasis is suspected, the foot doctor may refer you to another physician specializing in this disease. There are a variety of topical and oral medications used to treat psoriasis. The podiatrist will help manage this condition on your hands and feet. Contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices to make an appointment.