Dry Skin, Allergy or Something More Serious?

The cold winter months cause many of us to itch and scratch what appears to be dry skin. But is it weather-related, an allergic reaction, or something more serious like psoriasis?

Psoriasis typically develops between the ages of 15 to 35, but it can begin at any age. Many first-time psoriasis patients may brush off a warning sign and not realize they have a condition that requires medical attention. Check with your doctor if you have:

  * Skin with red patches or scales.
  * Changes or discoloration of nail beds.
  * Red, tender, blistered skin.
  * Inflamed or red areas in folds of the skin.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, in addition to weather, diet, or allergies, triggers of the disease can include emotional stress, injury to the skin, some types of infection, and reactions to certain drugs. Also, stress can cause psoriasis to flare for the first time or aggravate existing cases.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 20, 2011
Last revised: by David A. Scott, M.D.