Psoriasis

PSORASIS

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:

Hands

Feet

Neck

Scalp

Face

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 Triggers

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

Stress

Smoking

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.

• Genetics

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.

• Biopsy

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

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

Anthralin

Vitamin D analogues

Salicylic acid

Moisturizer

Medications

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:

Methotrexate

Cyclosporine

Biologics

Retinoids

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.

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