What Everyone With Untreated Mild Plaque Psoriasis Needs To Know

Posted on: 23 July 2021

Plaque psoriasis is a skin condition that causes a buildup in skin cells which results in red, scaling patches of itchy skin. According to research, as many as 50% of people with mild psoriasis do not get treated for their skin disease. Many people with mild plaque psoriasis are aware of the fact that sunlight helps clear up the patches, even to the point of their psoriasis going into remission during the summer months.

However, plaque psoriasis sufferers should be fully aware of what is called the Koebner phenomenon. Here's what you need to know if you have mild plaque psoriasis and use sunlight to treat it.

Plaque Psoriasis & Koebner Phenomenon

Typically, plaque psoriasis forms in the skin of particular regions of the body, such as the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. The Koebner phenomenon is an isomorphic response to an injury of some sort (such as a cut or scrape) in an area of the skin that isn't typically affected. While it's not entirely understood, the Koebner phenomenon essentially causes the formation of the lesions or scales on injured skin, even if the person never had psoriasis in that same area.

Keep in mind that a sunburn is an injury to the skin. For example, a sunburn on your shoulders could trigger the formation of patches of plaque psoriasis on your shoulders. Due to this risk, as well as the known risks of skin cancer, it's important to seek professional treatment by a dermatologist instead of sunbathing. 

Plaque Psoriasis Triggers & Treatments

While there are different types of treatments available through a dermatology clinic, including topical therapies, medications, and phototherapy treatments, the most important thing to do is to determine what triggers your plaque psoriasis. By determining what triggers your skin to reproduce so quickly and reducing or eliminating those triggers, the treatment plan you and your dermatologist choose should be far more effective. 

Some common triggers of plaque psoriasis include anxiety, depression, stress, alcohol, cigarette smoking, poor eating habits, and certain medications. Your dermatologist can help you select an elimination method to determine what may be triggering your plaque psoriasis before settling on any one particular treatment plan. 

The goal of treatment is to ease your discomfort and hopefully put your psoriasis into remission. Once in remission, you could remain symptom free until or unless your psoriasis is triggered again, which is another reason to determine what triggers your psoriasis. 

For more information, contact a dermatologist near you.