What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes scaly, red patches to emerge on the skin. These patches are sometimes called plaques. Psoriasis typically occurs in flareups triggered by different factors. During these flareups, the plaques can become very uncomfortable.

A specific type of psoriasis is called psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis affects the joints similarly to regular arthritis. A small percentage of patients will develop this type and it often goes undiagnosed.

What Are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?

Psoriasis plaques are typically dry, scaly, flaky, bumpy, and red, similar to a rash. They are also very itchy. They are often raised above the surface of the skin, usually occurring in areas like the scalp, lower back, elbows, nails, and knees. However, they can also occur in any area of the body. Plaques can be so severe that they may crack or bleed, especially if they occur around the joints.


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What Causes Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is not contagious, and you cannot catch it from someone else. Instead, psoriasis is believed to be genetic and congenital, meaning you will most likely have it for life if you develop it while young. It also seems to run in immediate families, meaning you have a much higher chance of experiencing it if your family has a history of it. Psoriasis most often affects your immune system and its function within your normal skin regeneration mechanisms. Its characteristics are caused by excess production of skin cells which pile up on the skin, causing plaques to develop. This isn’t always constant, however, since certain things can trigger flare-ups which are unique to each patient.

Psoriasis Treatment Options

Psoriasis cannot be cured, and most patients live with psoriasis for their entire lives. However, treatment for psoriasis involves reducing symptoms and preventing further flare-ups through many different techniques and medications. The first step in psoriasis treatment is a diagnosis from one of our board certified dermatology providers who can determine the right course of action. Usually, a combination of treatments can be effective in reducing symptoms and treating plaques. This can include topical medications like corticosteroids, VTAMA (tapinarof) cream, oral medications like methotrexate, or biologic therapy.


If you have an immediate concern, you want to find quality care as soon as possible. Our office takes walk-in appointments and will be happy to address your concerns and offer you immediate treatment suggestions and medical care.


Managing Psoriasis

Living with psoriasis can be difficult, but it’s important to take the right steps to prevent and manage flareups. Our certified dermatology provider will work with you to determine any possible triggers and how you can avoid them. Additionally, our team can help you develop a skincare regimen that will help soothe and protect the skin. Our team is here to help you manage it with the best therapies available.

Schedule a Consultation

Achieving relief from psoriasis requires the knowledge of a Dermatology Certified provider. To meet with our team, call our Terre Haute, IN office, fill out our online contact form, or “Walk In Now.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes psoriasis, and is it contagious?

Psoriasis occurs when abnormal skin cells rapidly grow and then shed after 3-4 days, but the exact cause is unknown. It’s thought to be an immune system reaction where cells that typically fight infections attack healthy cells. Psoriasis is not contagious and can’t spread to other people.

What are the common symptoms of psoriasis?

The most common symptoms of psoriasis include patches of thick, red, and scaly skin, itching or burning, dry cracked skin, and thick, ridged, or pitted nails.

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

To diagnose psoriasis, your provider will look at the affected area and may take a sample of your skin and send it off to be reviewed by a dermatopathologist. They’ll determine the type of psoriasis.

What treatment options are available for psoriasis?

There are a number of psoriasis treatment options, including topical therapies, oral therapies, and biological medications.

Can lifestyle changes help manage psoriasis symptoms?

Exercising, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking are ways you can manage your psoriasis symptoms. You’ll also want to maintain a healthy weight, limit your alcohol intake, and regularly see your dermatology provider.


Ryan is State Licensed and Nationally Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner (NP-C) by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Additionally, he is board certified as a Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP) by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board. He has 20+ years of Dermatology Experience.

Meet The Team

“My wife and I had our first visit to Biltmore Dermatology. Doctor and staff were very friendly and helpful. Was able and willing to answer all our questions that we brought up. So thankful to have staff with attitudes of caring when having to go through a stressful medical condition. My wife and I thank you.” – William P.

“I could not be more pleased with my visit today. Everyone was especially nice and compassionate. I had a procedure done and was in and out within an hour!! Highly recommend.” – Debbie E.

“I absolutely LOVE Biltmore Dermatology.. From the time I enter the office until I exit. This staff ROCKS. Maddy u are amazing. Thank you for all your help with everything.” – Shelly W.




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