There are various chronic skin diseases. Psoriasis is one of the long-lasting, complex skin condition which is caused by an Overactive Immune System. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. In Psoriasis condition, inflammation and redness around the scales is more common. Psoriasis is the result of a sped up skin production process.
Generally skin cells grow deep in the skin then slowly rise to the surface and finally it falls off. The typical life cycle of a skin cell is one month but in Psoriasis condition, this production process occurs in just a few days. Because of this rapid process, skin cells don’t have time to fall off. This quick overproduction causes the buildup of skin cells.
In Psoriasis condition, Scales typically develop on joints like elbows and knees. Scales can also develop anywhere on the body including:
Psoriasis rarely affects the nails, mouth and the area around genitals.
Types of Psoriasis
There are five types of psoriasis including:
• Plaque Psoriasis
Plaque Psoriasis is the most common type of Psoriasis that most of the people experience. It causes red, inflamed patches covering areas of the skin. These patches are often covered with whitish-silver scales or plaques. Plaques Psoriasis is more commonly found on the elbows, knees and scalp.
• Guttate Psoriasis
Guttate Psoriasis is more common in childhood. This type of psoriasis causes small pink spots. The most common sites for guttate psoriasis include the torso, arms and legs.
• Pustular Psoriasis
Pustular Psoriasis is more common in adults. It causes white, pus-filled blisters and broad areas of red, inflamed skin. Pustular psoriasis is typically occurred on smaller areas of the body like hands or feet but it can be found on other areas of the body.
• Inverse Psoriasis
Inverse Psoriasis causes bright areas of red, shiny and inflamed skin. Patches of inverse psoriasis develop under armpits or breasts, in the groin area or around skinfolds in the genitals.
• Erythrodermic Psoriasis
Erythrodermic Psoriasis is a serious and very rare type of Psoriasis.
This type of Psoriasis covers large sections of the body at once. In this condition, skin almost appears sunburned. In Erythrodermis Psoriasis, patient suffers from Fever. This type can be life-threatening hence doctor’s urgent treatment is necessary.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis symptoms are not same in all patients and depend on the type of psoriasis. The most common symptoms of Psoriasis include:
• Red, raised, inflamed patches of skin
• Whitish-silver scales or plaques on the red patches
• Dry skin that can crack and bleed
• Soreness around patches
• Itching and burning sensations around patches
• Thick, pitted nails
• Painful and swollen joints
Psoriasis starts or becomes worse because of a various trigger. Factors triggering Psoriasis include:
• Skin infections
• Skin injury such as a cut, scrape, a bug bite or a severe sunburn
• Heavy alcohol consumption
• Vitamin D deficiency
• Certain medications
Causes of Psoriasis
The causes of Psoriasis are still unknown but the major factors causing Psoriasis are: Genetics and Immune System.
• Immune System
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease. In autoimmune conditions body attacks itself. In a normal body, white blood cells attack and destroy invading bacteria and fight infections but In Psoriasis condition, white blood cells known as T cells mistakenly attack the skin cells. The process of skin cell production becomes faster due to this attack and the sped-up skin cell production causes new skin cells to develop too quickly. These newly generated skin cells collect on the skin surface resulting in the plaques.
This is one of the most significant risk factors. If anyone’s close family member has psoriasis then the risk for developing psoriasis is higher.
Diagnosis of Psoriasis
There are two main diagnosis methods are used for the Psoriasis.
• Physical Examination
Most of the doctors can easily diagnosis psoriasis with a simple physical exam. Symptoms of psoriasis are typically visible and easy to distinguish from other conditions causing similar symptoms.
If psoriasis symptoms are unclear or difficult for doctors to diagnose then Biopsy method is used to detect psoriasis. In Biopsy methods, small sample of skin is taken and examined under microscope. This method is useful to diagnose exact type of Psoriasis.
Treatment of Psoriasis
Psoriasis has no permanent cure. The aim of treatment is to reduce inflammation and scales, to slow the growth of skin cells and to remove plaques. A psoriasis treatment has three major categories:
Topical treatments include creams and ointments which are applied directly on the skin to reduce mild to moderate psoriasis.
Topical psoriasis treatments include:
• Topical corticosteroids
• Topical retinoids
• Vitamin D analogues
• Salicylic acid
Medications are used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis. In this treatment oral or injections are given to patients. Doctor prescribes medicines if topical treatments are failed to relive psoriasis.
These medications include:
Light or Laser Therapy
In this therapy, ultraviolet (UV) or natural light is used to treat Psoriasis. Sunlight and UV light kills the overactive white blood cells that are attacking healthy skin cells and causing the rapid cell growth. Light therapy is used to reduce mild to moderate psoriasis symptoms.
Psoriasis needs immediate medical treatment otherwise it can cause severe medical complications in the future. A healthy lifestyle, healthy diet and disciplined treatment can easily provide great relief from the psoriasis symptoms.