HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessAllergic skin or Psoriasis: don't scratch if you see these signs

Allergic skin or Psoriasis: don’t scratch if you see these signs

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Skin develops by layers of skin cells pushing up to the surface as new ones are formed.

Usually, these outer cells are shed so slowly it is not noticed but in psoriasis new cells are formed about one thousand times more quickly due to a disturbance in the body’s cell replication control mechanisms.

This gives the appearance of red areas of skin covered in fine silvery scales known as lesions.

Although psoriasis and allergies both involve your immune system, the causes for them aren’t related.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. That means your body’s immune system wrongly attacks some of its own healthy cells.

An allergy happens when your immune system has a severe reaction to something that most people don’t have a problem with, like pollen, pet dander, or certain foods.

Some people confuse psoriasis for allergies before they visit the doctor, because both conditions can cause itchy, red skin.

A lot of people come in thinking they have allergic skin problems and when I see them, they’ve got psoriasis

says Dr. Clifford Bassett, an allergist and immunologist from New York City.

If you suspect it’s one thing, it could be something else.

So, get checked by a dermatologist if your skin itches or flakes, he says.

When you’re having an allergic reaction, your body is working hard

says Dr. Julie Pena, a dermatologist from Nashville.

It’s trying to fight something. When your body is going through stressful events, it alters the immune system. We know that stress can cause psoriasis to flare, [even] the internal stress of what your body is going through.

Psoriasis can flare in places where your skin is damaged. If you have hives or an allergic reaction and you scratch that spot too much, the damage your nails do can make your psoriasis worse.

The constant desire to scratch can be overwhelming.

says Caroline Williams who started to notice tiny white flakes of skin on her shoulders in 2000, and finally in 2008, she was relieved from this.

It was literally life-changing for me after so many years of intense itching.

But of course, scratching just made it worse. Every doctor she’s been to, says Williams, is clear on one thing:

Don’t scratch.

Image Credit: Getty

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