What is Psoriasis?
Medikoe Health Expert
Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru Feb 14, 2017
Psoriasis is known to be one of the standards, chronic, non-contagious, autoimmune skin conditions that speed up the life cycle of skin cells? It often comes and goes. There is no way to cure for Psoriasis, but it can be prevented. The symptoms can be managed, such as moisturising, quitting smoking and managing stress may help. It produces plaques of thickened, scaling skin.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that frequently comes and goes. The main aim of treating Psoriasis is to stop the rapid growth of skin cells. However, there is no way to cure the condition of Psoriasis, but the symptoms can be managed.
The multiplication of skin cells is triggered by inflammatory chemicals produced by specialised white blood cells called lymphocytes. It commonly affects the skin of elbows, knees and scalp. It affects all races and both sexes. Recently, it has been cleared that people with Psoriasis are more likely to have diabetes, high blood lipids, cardiovascular disease, and other inflammatory diseases.
Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis
The symptoms of Psoriasis usually vary from person to person and entirely depends on its type. Some of the most common symptoms of Psoriasis include:
Dry skin that may crack and bleed
Red, raised, and inflamed patches on the skin
Soreness around the raised patches
Thick and pitted nails
Itching and burning sensation on the skin around the patches
Swollen and painful joints
Plaques on the red patches
The condition of Psoriasis may also cause severe symptoms in a few weeks and may clear up. Sometimes, these symptoms can turn worse. If you notice these signs and symptoms of Psoriasis on your skin, make sure that you see your healthcare provider because you may be in remission.
What are the Different Types of Psoriasis?
There are mainly five types of Psoriasis, and these are as follows:
1. Plaque Psoriasis
It causes dry, raised, red skin plaques covered with silvery scales. They can occur anywhere on your body, including your genitals and the soft tissue inside your mouth. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it has been estimated that about 80 per cent of people suffering from the condition of Psoriasis have plaque psoriasis.
2. Guttate Psoriasis
Guttate Psoriasis is a common skin condition in childhood. It usually causes pink spots on the skin and mainly develops on sites like arms, legs, and torso. Small, water-drop-shaped, scaling lesions can identify it on your trunk, arms, legs and scalp.
3. Inverse Psoriasis
Inverse Psoriasis causes bright areas of shiny, red, and inflamed skin. Besides, it creates smooth patches of red, inflamed skin that worsen with friction and sweating. It mainly develops under armpits, in the groin, breasts, or around skinfolds in the genitals.
4. Pustular Psoriasis
Pustular Psoriasis mainly affects adults. It can occur in widespread patches or smaller areas on your hands, feet on fingertips. It causes white blisters on the skin, filled with blisters. Just hours after your skin becomes red and tender. Typically, it is localised to smaller areas of the body like the feet, and hands, but it can be widespread.
5. Erythrodermic Psoriasis
Erythrodermic Psoriasis is a rare and severe type of Psoriasis. It can cover the entire body with a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely. This type of Psoriasis can be life-threatening; thus, an individual must see a doctor immediately.
6. Psoriatic Arthritis
It can cause swollen, painful joints that are typical of arthritis. It can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage that in the most severe cases may lead to permanent deformity.
Diagnosis of Psoriasis
Psoriasis can be diagnosed by performing the physical examination. During the physical examination, make sure that you show all the areas of concern. Besides, let your doctor know about the medical history of your family members. If symptoms are unclear, your doctor may recommend you undergo biopsy. In a biopsy, your doctor may take a sample of your skin, which will be sent to a lab to examine under a microscope. This examination can help in diagnosing the type of Psoriasis you have.
Most Common Psoriasis Triggers
The most common external factors that may trigger Psoriasis include infections, such as strep throat or skin infections, injury to the skin, stress, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, vitamin D deficiency, medications like lithium, high blood pressure medicine, and antimalarial medications. These triggers are not usually the same for everyone and may also change over time.
Psoriasis Treatment Options
Doctors choose treatments based on the type and severity of Psoriasis and the areas of skin affected. For mild disease that involves only small areas of the body, topical treatments (applied on the skin), such as creams, lotions, and sprays, may be very effective and safe to use.
For moderate to severe disease that involves much larger areas of the body, it may require ultraviolet light treatments or systemic medicines. The treatment of Psoriasis mainly fall into three categories, and these are as follows:
1. Topical Treatments
Application of creams and ointments to the skin can help in reducing mild to moderate Psoriasis. These treatment options include topical corticosteroids, anthralin, moisturiser, vitamin D analogues, and salicylic acid etc.
2. Systemic Medications
People suffering from moderate to severe Psoriasis may need to opt for oral or injected medications. Many such drugs have harmful side-effects.
3. Light Therapy
In this treatment option, UV or natural light is used, which kills the overactive white blood cells attacking healthy cells of the skin and resulting in the rapid growth of cells.
Psoriasis Diet Recommendations
Most patients with psoriasis seem to be overweight. Diet whose fat content is composed of polyunsaturated oils like olive oil, and fish oil is beneficial for Psoriasis.
Following are the lifestyle changes that one must inculcate to ease the symptoms of Psoriasis -
If you are overweight, losing weight might prove to be an effective treatment option.
Reducing the intake of saturated fats and eating a heart-healthy diet can help.
Avoiding trigger foods like red meat, refined sugar, dairy products, and processed food might improve symptoms of Psoriasis.
Cut back or quit consuming alcohol.
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