A Common Skin Condition Causing Redness and Irritation

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that casus skin cells to build up. It causes your skin to thicken, turn red and develop flaky white patches, called scales. Often, these patches can crack and bleed and become very painful. Psoriasis is one of the most common skin conditions treated by dermatologists at Penn State Health.

Psoriasis typically forms on joints, such as elbows and knees, but can develop anywhere on the body. Although psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition, acute episodes can be triggered by other factors, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Infections
  • Medications
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Sunburn
  • Trauma to skin
  • Weather

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

The symptoms of psoriasis can vary from person to person, although common symptoms include:

  • Cracked, bleeding skin
  • Excessively dry skin
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Red, thickened patches of skin
  • Thick fingernails and toenails
  • Whitish-silver scales

The experts at Penn State Health can diagnosis psoriasis with a medical history and skin exam. The dermatologist may take and analyze a tissue sample of your skin to confirm the type of psoriasis you have.

Psoriasis can’t be cured, but it can be managed and controlled with a personalized treatment plan that may include a combination of therapies, including:

  • Biologic injections
  • Light therapy
  • Medications
  • Topical treatments, such as moisturizers and steroids

Our Experts in Care

The Penn State Health team offers multidisciplinary care with comprehensive treatment options to manage your psoriasis.

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Expert Care

The Department of Dermatology handles more than 40,000 patient visits every year and offers evening clinic hours, as well as an innovative open-access clinic for acute situations. As one of the highest-ranked clinics for patient satisfaction, the department is also nationally recognized, with many of our providers listed in the Best Doctors in America national database.  

Innovative Treatment Options

The team at Penn State Health uses many innovative treatment options, including light therapy and biologic drug therapy. As new drugs are introduced, the Department of Dermatology remains on the forefront of these promising and developing treatments.

Support Groups

If you or a loved one have psoriasis our support groups provide our patients and their caregivers an opportunity to connect with others in similar situations. Learn more about support groups offered at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

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Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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