Health Watch - Itching: Psoriasis

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about itchy skin. Most itchy conditions are more irritating than serious, and the itching can be eased with simple remedies. But some itchy skin conditions cause more than discomfort. They can affect patients’ quality of life.

There is a link between psoriasis, a skin condition that causes flaky red patches of skin, and obesity, and doctors have wondered what the link is. Does obesity lead to psoriasis, or do people with psoriasis tend to become obese? Research has shown that the psoriasis usually comes first. People with psoriasis may avoid going out, which could lead to a sedentary life that makes obesity more likely. People with psoriasis are also more likely to smoke, and that makes symptoms worse. Dr. Paul Bergstresser, professor of dermatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says psoriasis itself isn’t a life-threatening condition, but it can have a major impact on patients’ lives.    

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/dermatology to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in dermatology.

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August 2009


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