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TREATING AND MANAGING COMPLEX CONDITIONS



What is plaque psoriasis?

According to The National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the Immune system. It mostly affects the skin and joints, but it also may affect the fingernails, toenails, the soft tissue of the genitals, and inside of the mouth. Psoriasis occurs in all age groups but is primarily seen in adults. Psoriasis plaques appear as raised, inflamed and scaly patches of skin that may also be itchy and painful. On Caucasian skin, plaques typically appear as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells or scale. On skin of color, the plaques may appear darker and thicker and more of a purple or grayish color or darker brown.

Plaques can appear anywhere on the body, although they most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso. Plaques generally appear symmetrically on the body, affecting the same areas of the body on the right and left side. Plaque psoriasis often accompanies nail psoriasis which may look like discoloration, pitting or separation of the nail from the nail bed.


What causes plaque psoriasis?

Plaque Psoriasis occurs because the overactive immune system speeds up skin cell growth. Normal skin cells completely grow and shed (fall off) in a month. With psoriasis, skin cells do this in only three or four days. Instead of shedding, the skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin. Some people report that psoriasis plaques itch, burn and sting. Plaques and scales may appear on any part of the body, although they are commonly found on the elbows, knees, and scalp.

Inflammation caused by psoriasis can impact other organs and tissues in the body. People with psoriasis may also experience other health conditions. One in three people with psoriasis may also develop psoriatic arthritis. Signs of PsA include swelling, stiffness and pain in the joints and areas surrounding the joints. PsA often goes undiagnosed, particularly in its milder forms. However, it’s important to treat PsA early on to help avoid permanent joint damage.

While scientists do not know what exactly causes psoriasis, we do know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development. One thing we do know: psoriasis is not contagious. You cannot catch psoriasis from another person. Usually, something triggers psoriasis, causing symptoms to appear or worsen. Triggers vary from person to person.


How is psoriasis diagnosed?

To diagnose psoriasis, a dermatologist will examine your skin, nails, and scalp for signs of this condition. Your dermatologist will also ask if you have any:

  • Symptoms, such as itchy skin
  • Joint problems, such as pain and swelling or stiffness when you wake up
  • Blood relatives who have psoriasis
  • Recent changes in your life, such as an illness or increased stress


How is psoriasis treated?

Treatment options for plaque psoriasis include topicals, phototherapy, oral treatments and biologics. You and your health care provider will discuss the best treatment plan for you based on the severity of your symptoms and your medical history.

Dermatologist can also diagnosis other diseases such as:
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Bechet’s Disease


How a specialty pharmacy can help?

Kroger Specialty Pharmacy's total life care programs set a clear path to caring, compassionate dermatology therapy management and support.

We are here to provide patients, providers and partners with the necessary coordination of care vital to achieving successful treatment outcomes. By utilizing our expert patient care team comprised of Doctors of Pharmacy, registered pharmacists and nurses, reimbursement specialists and dedicated Patient Care Coordinators (PCCs), we are able to offer each and every patient and partner with high-quality, personalized care, ongoing patient evaluation and clinical support including frequent patient follow-up and continual education about their dermatology treatment.


What are some support resources?

References:

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PSORISIS GLOSSARY