Can I get Social Security Disability if I have Psoriasis or Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects about 7.5 million Americans or about 2% of the population. Most people are diagnosed as adults, but psoriasis can occur at any age with most cases diagnosed before age 46. Both men and women are equally affected, but Caucasians are disproportionately affected. Only a very small percentage of people of color are diagnosed with psoriasis.
Psoriasis is not just a skin disorder.
It is a chronic, long-lasting disease of the immune system that can be mild to severe, but is not contagious. When psoriasis occurs, the immune system is overactive, creating inflammation inside the body and causing skin cells to be produced faster than normal. Skin cells are pushed to the surface in 3 to 4 days instead of the normal 28-30 days. The body is not able to shed the old skin cells quickly enough so dead cells accumulate on the skin forming thick, flaky patches called plaques.
Symptoms of psoriasis vary, but commonly include:
- Raised, red, inflamed lesions
- Silvery scaly plaques
- Itching, burning, or soreness of the skin
- Dry skin that may crack and bleed
- Pitted nails or separation from the nail bed
Psoriasis usually appears on the knees, elbows and torso, but can surface anywhere on the body.
What causes psoriasis?
Researchers believe that something sets off the immune system, but the cause of psoriasis is most likely a combination of genetics and triggers. One out of 3 people with psoriasis has a relative with the disease, and while 10% of the population may inherit genes that predispose them to psoriasis, only 2% to 3% of people with the gene develop the disease.
The following frequently trigger psoriasis:
- Injury (cuts, scrapes, sunburn)
- Medications, such as high blood pressure medication
- Infections, such as strep throat
Contact a Social Security disability attorney at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and see if you can get disability benefits while suffering from Psoriasis or Psoriatic Arthritis. If you have been denied disability don’t give up!
There is currently no cure for psoriasis. The goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation, remove plaques and slow the growth of skin cells. Treatments are divided into three categories:
- Topical treatments – creams and ointments such as moisturizers and salicylic acid applied directly to the skin.
- Systemic medications – oral medicines or injections.
- Light therapy – this treatment uses ultraviolet light to slow the growth of skin cells.
Though psoriasis does not actually cause other conditions, psoriasis has been linked to the following diseases:
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Crohn’s Disease
- High cholesterol