Psoriasis is a malfunction of the immune system that causes an inflammation of the skin.
A condition known as psoriatic arthritis actually affects the joints. But most of us are more familiar with skin symptoms. Physician's Assistant Nicole Raulerson says the inflammation triggers real thick scaly plaques on the skin to happen.
Psoriasis is usually hereditary. It's most common in people ages 15 to 35, but it can show up at any age, "I had a patient this morning and she's twelve and developed full blown psoriasis on every surface."
For psoriasis patients like Mrs. Shiderer the worst part of the disease is the emotional stress of how people will respond.
Raulerson says, "My patients want to cover it up because they're embarrassed by it because people don't understand it. They're worried will I catch it or it's just unusual in appearance. That piece is the hardest one because it's not something that they can control."
Mrs. Shiderer has psoriasis in the usual places, "On the elbow is one of the most common presentations. Elbows, knees and you'll see people who come in and are like, I've had this for 10 years.. they just think it's thick, dry skin.
She also has a sometimes painful type, "Palmoplanter psoriasis on both hands. The cracks can affect fingertips. The fingertips will crack and bleed and make it hard for people to really grasp or touch anything because it hurts."
It's important to point out psoriasis is not contagious and is very treatable.
For More information you can contact Nicole Raulerson at Gulf Coast Dermatology at 850-233-3376