Dr. Raymond Kuwahara speaks on Psoriasis and why finding the right treatment can make living with the illness less stressful

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – People living with psoriasis live with a very visible, and uncomfortable, disease.

Some may try to hide psoriasis with clothes depending on where it flares up. But, for example, in the summer it can be hard to wear long sleeves or pants when temperatures hit the 90s.

“Oftentimes, it’s very itchy, but more so is the appearance of the thick red plaques. You can also have it on your scalp where you have a white scale that’s called dandruff that’s very unsightly. Itching, sometimes pain, especially if it is cracked,” said Dr. Raymond Kuwahara, CNOS Dermatologist.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, an estimated 45-56 percent of people living with psoriasis have it on their scalp, 12-16 percent have it on their hands or feet, and about 50 percent live with it on their face.

Dr. Kuwahara says avoiding triggers for flare-ups can make the quality of life more bearable.

“One trigger could be trauma. Another one could be an infection like strep throat, or staph causes the immune system to go into higher gear which causes the stress to happen. But there’s also a genetic component. Most experts think there’s a genetic and environmental factor that triggers psoriasis, and usually happens in their 20s and 30s. Stress could also trigger it. Trauma, damaging the skin scratching.”

Dr. Kuwahara says working with your doctor to find the right treatment – whether that be topical creams or biologics, like Humira or Enbrel – can make living with psoriasis feel less embarrassing.