Ducharme Dermatology, Inc

Erin Ducharme, MD, FAAD

Board-Certified Dermatologist located at the junction of Waukee & Clive, Iowa

Often linked to diabetes, heart disease, and depression, psoriasis is an illness that causes your skin cells to grow faster than usual. If you have raised, red, scaly patches that won’t go away, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Erin Ducharme, MD at Ducharme Dermatology, Inc. in Clive and Greater Des Moines Area, Iowa.

Psoriasis Q & A

What are the different types of psoriasis?

Dr. Ducharme diagnoses several different types of psoriasis including:

Plaque psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and presents as itchy, painful lesions covered with silvery scales called plaques.

Nail psoriasis

Nail psoriasis causes your fingernails and toenails to grow and pit abnormally, leading to discoloration, loosening, and separation from the nail bed.

Guttate psoriasis

Appearing as small, droplet-shaped scaling lesions, guttate psoriasis primarily affects young adults and children. Though usually triggered by a bacterial infection, the sores associated with guttate psoriasis tend to be thinner than those caused by plaque psoriasis.

Inverse psoriasis

Often associated with fungal infections, inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin to appear on your armpits and groin, as well as under your breasts and around your genitals. Inverse psoriasis worsens with friction and sweating.

Pustular psoriasis

Though generally uncommon, pustular psoriasis develops quickly causing pus-filled blisters to come and go frequently on your hands, feet, or fingertips. Fever, chills, severe itching, and diarrhea often accompany pustular psoriasis.

Erythrodermic psoriasis

Though uncommon, erythrodermic psoriasis causes a red, peeling, itchy, burning rash that covers your entire body.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis goes beyond inflamed, scaly skin and causes your joints to swell and feel painful. Although symptoms range from mild to severe, psoriatic arthritis isn't as crippling as other forms of arthritis.

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

When you see Dr. Ducharme for psoriasis, she performs a physical that includes inspecting your skin, nails, and scalp for lesions and other signs of this condition. Dr. Ducharme also asks about your symptoms, including itchy skin and joint problems, as well as if you have any relatives with psoriasis and if you’ve encountered increased stress or illness recently.

To confirm your diagnosis, Dr. Ducharme would need to first examine your skin. If the diagnosis is in doubt a biopsy may be recommended. 

How is psoriasis treated?

To create your treatment plan, Dr. Ducharme takes into consideration the type, placement, and severity of your psoriasis, as well as your other medical conditions and medications prescribed to you.

In addition to advice on how to care for your skin and prevent flare-ups, treatment plans usually include cream or ointment medications you apply to your skin. Dr. Ducharme might also prescribe light therapy or systemic therapy. 

If over-the-counter medications haven’t improved your psoriasis symptoms, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Erin Ducharme, MD at Ducharme Dermatology, Inc. in Clive, Iowa.