Have you encountered any red, itchy and scaly patches on your Skin? Then don’t waste your time by applying unnecessary ointments that may not even work. It might be Psoriasis Disease, a genetic disease; and sometimes occur due to Environmental Conditions. It is a common, inflammatory skin diseases that affect about 3 percent of the total population. It is an unpredictable, persistent, irritating and most baffling skin disorders. Several myths relate to it such as this Skin Disease is highly contagious and is untreatable. Also, there are social ramifications and self-esteem issues that make the sufferer feel ashamed and embarrassed.
All these makes the life of the patient miserable. Also, he/she suffers from social withdrawal too. Thus, there is a need for creating awareness and understanding about this disease. We have written this article with the intention to provide you with the complete knowledge and facts related to this Skin Disease. It will also provide a mental support to the patients and will teach them, how to take care of themselves? Therefore, study the info carefully and also learn how to manage this Skin disease.
What is Psoriasis?
It is a chronic skin disease. The leading causes of this Skin Disease are due to the changes in the life cycle of skin cells. This condition causes the skin cells to proliferate rapidly and excessively on the skin surface. This proliferation is due to lymphocytes, which are specialized white blood cells. The growth of the skin cells is so fast that our body is unable to remove or shed them. The Worst part is Psoriasis on face. The other underlying cells die on reaching the skin’s surface. It may lead to the formation of thick, raised, red plaques covered with silvery white scales. So, you may get the Answer for the Question is Psoriasis is Contagious? Also, check the Pictures of Psoriasis.
Thus, Psoriasis definition is long term and non-contagious skin inflammatory disease that is characterized by thick, dry, silvery scaled and red plaques on the skin surface. The most common parts to be affected by this disease are knees, Psoriasis of the scalp, and elbows. But this condition may also affect the palms, soles of the feet and torso. Also, there is Psoriasis of the Liver
Psoriasis vs. Eczema or Eczema vs. Psoriasis:
Soriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that results in the overproduction of skin cells. The dead cells build up into silvery-white scales. The skin becomes inflamed and red, causing serious itching.
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, may also be a long-term condition affecting the skin. It occurs because of a hypersensitivity reaction. It causes the skin to overreact to certain triggers, such as dyes, fabrics, soaps, animals, and other irritants.
What are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?
As discussed above, this is a chronic disease that has periods of remission and flare-ups of the symptoms over the lifetime. The Psoriasis Symptoms depend on the type of Psoriasis you have and also varies with person to person. Some of the common symptoms are as follows:
- Red patches on the skin surface with silvery scales
- Small scaling spots
- Dry and cracked skin
- The skin may bleed
- Itching, soreness, and burning
- Pitted, ridged or thickened nails in Nail Psoriasis.
- Stiff and swollen joints
The range of the patches of psorasis may vary from a few spots to major eruptions covering large areas. The look of the psoriasis greatly depends on its type. There are eight types of Psoriasis. Let us get into the details about them.
Types of Psoriasis
The following are the eight Psoriasis Types:
1. Plaque Psoriasis:
What is Plaque Psoriasis? The most common type of soriasis is Plaque Psoriasis. It is characterized by Patches of red, raised skin that has silvery-white flakes known as scales. The most common parts of the body where they appear are scalp, knees, lower back, and elbows. Many times they crack, bleed and become itchy and sore. The worse part is that the itching is intense, but scratching makes your condition more miserable and plagues to get thicker. Usually, the patch can be 4 inches wide. This condition is more common in adults but may occur at any age.
2. Scalp Psoriasis:
We need to study this type of soriasis separately because this type affects half of the population who become the victim of psorisis. In the beginning, many people confuse them with dandruff. The difference is that the flakes of dandruff are greasy and yellow. But the flakes of Scalp psoriasis are silver or white and powdery. Many times the scalp skin becomes little flaky or crusty. Psoriasis on Scalp may cover the whole head including the forehead, around your ears and back of the neck.
3. Guttate Psoriasis:
This type mostly affects Kids and young adults. They are red colored small dots along with raised edges that appear suddenly, the most common site of their appearance is in the middle of the body. But they may also appear on arms, scalp, ears, face and legs. This kind of this disease is triggered by the flu, a cold, strep throat, upper respiratory tract infection, stress, skin injury, and tonsillitis. It may also follow the treatment of malaria due to antimalarial drugs and use of beta- blockers. This type affects about 10 in every 100 individual suffering with Psoriasis.
4. Inverse Psoriasis:
Inverse Psoriasis usually occurs along with some other type of Psoriasis. It is characterized by bright red and bright lesions that do not have silvery scales but do cause soreness. The most common places of their appearance are skin folds, for example, the armpits, under the breasts, buttocks, genitals, behind the knees and the groin area. If you have this type of Psoriasis refrain yourself from rubbing it as rubbing and sweating aggravates it.
5. Pustular Psoriasis:
It is a rare kind of Psoriasis and is characterized by swollen and red patches that have bumps filled with pus. With time these pustules dry up and become yellow- brown and scaly. In the case, these blisters open they cause the skin to break and sore. Usually, they follow any infection, stress, certain Psoriasis Medication or certain chemicals. Standard body parts where they show up are palms or bottom of feet.
There is also a life-threatening emergency condition that may follow this type of disease which is characterized by fever, muscle weakness, chills, and rapid pulse along with severe itching. So, if you find the bumps spreading quickly all over the body, then the Person should immediately get hospitalized.
6. Erythrodermic Psoriasis:
It is again a rare and a life-threatening condition where the patient is needed to be hospitalized immediately. The characteristics symptoms of this type are periodic, fiery redness of the skin along with the shedding of scales in sheets. It is triggered by withdrawal from a systemic Psoriasis treatment, infection, severe sunburn, and certain medications such as corticosteroids. This condition may result in severe itching along with other symptoms like painful skin, feeling very hot or cold, and rapid heart beat.
7. Psoriatic Nail Disease:
About half of the population suffering from Psoriasis suffers from it. There are skin cells that are built up under the nails and become thick. Underneath the nail, there may be yellow or brownish red spot. Often the nails split or forms crack. If the condition is severe, they could crumble may fall off. Also, sometimes there may be tiny dents present on the surface. If the skin underneath the nail is lifted off the condition is known as onycholysis.
8. Psoriatic Arthritis:
One-third of people suffering from psoriasis have pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. The showing up of both these problems together causes psoriatic arthritis. Usually, the red and dry skin patches along with silvery scales are first to come, but not necessarily always. There may also be crumbling and color changes of the nails.
What Causes Psoriasis?
The exact Psoriasis Causes are not familiar, but the scientist believes that it is an autoimmune disease. Our body has an immune system, and its duty is to protect the body from the invaders. But in psoriasis, the genes controlling the signals of the body’s immune system get mixed up. It causes the immune system to attack the cells of the body considering them invaders. It, in turn, causes inflammation.To be specific, there is a type of white blood cell known as T-cells or T-lymphocytes that travel throughout the body. Whenever these T-cells detect any foreign substances like bacteria or virus, they attack them and invade them.
Usually, T-cells protect our body, but in the case, you have psoriasis, the T cells by mistake starts attacking the healthy skin cells considering them infection causing invaders.Thus, T-cells get overactive and trigger other body immune responses resulting in the dilation of skin blood vessels around the plaques. Also, there is an increase in other white blood cells, and they enter the outer layer of the skin.
Due to these changes, there is an increase in the production of healthy skin cells and white blood cells. Thus an ongoing cycle forms where the new skin cells rapidly move to the skin’s outermost layer in just a few days. As dead skin and white blood cells are unable to slough off quickly thick and scaly patches are formed on the surface of the skin.The cause of the malfunction of T cells is not clear, but genes have been found that can be linked to psoriasis development. But besides genes, environmental factors are also considered to play a triggering role. Below are the triggers for this disease.
What are the triggers of psoriasis?
Psoriasis starts or is worsened by some triggering factors. It is better to identify and avoid them. They are as follows:
- Infections- for example, skin infections or strep throat.
- Skin injury- for example, cut, bug bite, severe sunburn or scrape.
- Cold weather
- Excess of alcohol
- Certain medications such as medication for high blood pressure medications, beta blockers; antimalarial drugs, drugs containing
- lithium and iodides.
- Cold or dry weather
- Puberty and menopause also may trigger Psoriasis
Diagnosis of Psoriasis
Usually, the diagnosis of this skin Disease is straightforward. The examination of your skin, nails and scalp are enough for the dermatologist or your doctor to identify this. Sometimes diagnosing of this Skin Disease becomes severe due to its resemblance to eczema and other skin illness. In the case of confusion, your doctor may ask you to have a biopsy. For this, a small sample of your skin is removed and is examined under a microscope. In the case of psoriatic arthritis, need blood tests and X-rays to rule out other types of arthritis. Beside this doctor may ask you certain questions regarding your habits, lifestyle, and medical history.
Delayed medical intervention and carelessness in avoiding the triggers of Psoriasis may lead to following complications:
1. Psoriatic arthritis- Which may even result in joint damage and loss of joint functions.
2. Eye conditions- such as conjunctivitis, uveitis, and blepharitis.
3. Obesity and weight gain.
4. Type 2 diabetes.
5. High blood pressure.
6. Cardiovascular disease and stroke.
7. Metabolic syndromes.
8. Other autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, sclerosis, and the Crohn’s disease.
9. Parkinson’s diseases.
10. Kidney disease.
Besides, the above complications, it also affects the quality of life. Due to its appearance and the fear that it is contagious, the patient may suffer from social isolation that leads to low self-esteem and depression.
What is the treatment? Or How to Treat Psoriasis?
The aim of this treatment is to remove the scales, reduce the inflammation, to smoothen the skin, control the growth of the skin cells and prevent the complication. There are useful Scalp Psoriasis Treatment choices that are available depending upon the type of disease, areas affected and the severity of the disease. In the case of Mild Psoriasis, we only see a small body part gets affecting. For that, the patients go for topical creams, lotions, and sprays. In the case of hardened plague, doctors may give local steroid in the form of injection. Topical Psoriasis Cure includes:
- Topical corticosteroids.
- Vitamin D analogs.
- Topical retinoids.
- Calcineurin inhibitors.
- Salicylic acid.
- Coal tar and
- Skin Moisturizers.
For a moderate and severe form of this disease, ultraviolet light treatments or systemic medications are necessary. Light therapy includes:
- UVB phototherapy
- Narrow band UVB therapy
- Goeckerman therapy
- Photochemotherapy or psoralen plus ultraviolet
- Excimer laser
- Oral and injected medicines include:
- Cyclosporine etc..
*Keep in mind, no medication guarantees 100 percent effectiveness and may also carry possible side effects.
Things to remember or Home Remedies for Psoriasis:
The Treatment for Psoriasis Skin disease is challenging, so talk to your doctor about a better treatment option. National Psoriasis Foundation had kept some Guidelines to Manage this Skin Disease. Also, even after the Treatment, if the condition does not improve, or you suffer from any side effects consult your doctor. And, get some assistance for the possible treatment plan modification. Besides medical intervention to prevent these flare up, you also need to make following changes in your lifestyle and eating habits.
- Avoid alcohol, junk foods, and smoking.
- Psoriasis Diet: Add carrots, fish egg, squash, garlic, apple cider vinegar, salmon. Also, include Seafood and blueberries in your diet as they prevent skin infection and inflammation.
- Limit the intake of dairy products. Eggs, red meat, gluten containing foods and nightshade vegetables such as tomato, pepper, and potato will flare up this Disease.
- Use moisturizers.
- Essential oils for Psoriasis.
- Keep care of skin hygiene. Take a bath daily by adding bath oil, oatmeal or Epsom salt to the bath water.
- Protect your skin from direct sunlight. Wear sunscreens, hat, scarf and full sleeve dress.
- Also, use Psoriasis Shampoo and Psoriasis Cream. They are available in the Market.
It is not just Preventing or Diagnosing, there is a long way to Manage the Disease. So, better follow the tips and healthy Lifestyle to avoid escalation of the infection. Hygiene and Protection from Sun is a must. Therefore, note all these points and try to make use of this information for better results. This disease is not all of You; it’s just a part of you like everything else. Treat your skin properly, so that you can keep the disease under control.