Glossary

Bacteria. A class of microorganisms that cause infections.

Beta blockers. A widely prescribed class of drugs to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) that can trigger psoriasis.

Chronic. Long lasting, ongoing.

Coal tar. A thick, black liquid used as a topical treatment for psoriasis.

Contact dermatitis. A condition resulting from contact between skin and some allergy-causing substance, or an irritant, such as detergent, fragrances, or jewelry.

Corticosteroids. Also called steroids. These steroids are similar to hormones that your body produces. They can reduce inflammation.

Cortisone. A natural hormone that can be made synthetically for use as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Dandruff. Skin cells that grow and die off too fast.

Dead Sea Salts. A blend of minerals found in the Dead Sea in Israel used as a bathing treatment.

Dermatitis. Inflammation of the skin.

Dermatologist. A medical doctor who specializes in skin conditions.

Epsom salts. Used in the bath to relieve the aches, pains, and itch of psoriasis.

Erythrodermic psoriasis. (eh-reeth-ro-der-mic pso-ri-a-sis). The least common type of psoriasis, it can cover your entire body with a red peeling rash that can itch and burn.

Exfoliate. To remove dead skins cells from the surface of the skin.

Flare-ups. Sudden outbreaks.

Guttate (guh-tate) psoriasis. Psoriasis that shows up as red, drop-like spots on the skin.

Immune system. The body’s natural defense against foreign substances and organisms that could lead to illness.

Inflammation. A process by which the body’s immune system malfunctions.

Inverse psoriasis. Smooth, red patches may appear in skin-folds in the armpits, groin, under the breasts and around the genitals. Sweating and friction can make things worse.

Lesions. A wound or injury to the skin.

Light therapy. The use of ultraviolet (UV) light to slow the rapid growth of new skin cells. Also called phototherapy.

Lithium. A medication used to treat bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses; can trigger psoriasis.

Mild psoriasis. Psoriasis that covers less than 3 percent of the body.

Moderate psoriasis. Psoriasis that covers 3 to 10 percent of the body.

Oatmeal bath. An alternative treatment for psoriasis that eases itching and reduces redness.

Oral medications. Medicines taken by mouth.

Phototherapy. The use of ultraviolet (UV) light to slow the rapid growth of new skin cells. Also called light therapy.

Plaque (plak) psoriasis. A common type of psoriasis, which causes dry, red patches (also known as plaques) with silvery scales.

Plaques. Patches of red, rough skin covered with silvery scales caused by psoriasis.

Psoriasis. A chronic skin condition caused by an overactive immune system.

Psoriatic (pso-ri-a-tic) arthritis. An immune system disorder that includes both inflamed, scaly skin and inflamed joints. They don’t necessarily happen at the same time.

Pustular psoriasis. A rare type of psoriasis that causes skin to become red and painful with raised, pus-filled bumps.

Pustules. Small blisters or pimples on the skin containing pus.

Recurring symptoms. Symptoms that return.

Salicylic acid. An ingredient that exfoliates skin and improves its texture and color.

Scaling. Abnormal shedding or build-up of an upper layer of skin.

Skin biopsy. A small sample of skin that is removed (biopsied) and examined under a microscope.

Steroids. Synthetic drugs that decrease inflammation and reduce activity of the immune system.

Systemic treatment. Medicines that affect the entire body.

Topical. On the surface of the body.

Topical treatments. Medicines applied on the surface of the skin.

Triggers. Things that make psoriasis symptoms worse or cause flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers include emotional stress, injury to the skin, certain drugs, and infections.

Ultraviolet light. Also called phototherapy; exposure to ultraviolet light slows the rapid growth of new skin cells.

Zinc PCA Complex. The unique moisturizing ingredient in Dermarest® that combines zinc PCA, panthenol, and white tea extract.