Psoriasis is a skin disease that is chronic inflammatory but non contagious disease. Thick scaly plaques are formed on the skin that is itchy. They can be formed all over the body but mostly they are found on scalp, knees and elbows. It is a autoimmune disease causing rapid growth of skin cells. This rapid buildup of cells multiply up to 10 times and develop bumpy red patches that are covered with white scale around it. This happens when you are susceptible to any infection and your immune system attacks the healthy skin cells. Psoriasis scales are red thick patches and sometimes these patches crack and starts bleeding. Psoriasis can also develop on neck, feet, hands and face. It is very less common when people get affected area with psoriasis around their genitals, mouth and nails. Psoriasis is a non contagious disease so it can’t be transfer from one person to another person but it is most commonly found among family members. Usually psoriasis starts in early adulthood and continues throughout life. These patches heal through medicine but do come again and again. Some people get affected for some parts of their body but in severe cases it covers the large parts of body. Psoriasis has no cure but medications suggested by doctors can help a patient with this disease to manage their symptoms to improve the quality of life.
Sign and Symptoms of Psoriasis:
Sign and symptoms of psoriasis vary from person to person because it depends on the type of psoriasis a person is suffering from. Affected areas of psoriasis can be very small when is developed on elbow or knees but some are affected with large areas of body. Some common symptoms of psoriasis are as follows:
- Skin is covered with red thick patches that have white or silver scales around it.
- Children are commonly seen with small scaling spots.
- When the skin is dry and itchy it may bleed.
- Soreness or burning is associated with the symptoms of psoriasis.
- Itching of the patches.
- Joints get stiffed or swollen
- When psoriasis is found in nails they become thick, pitted or very rigid.
As we know symptoms vary from one to another person. Some people experience less common symptoms depending upon the type of psoriasis they have. While some experience severe symptoms due their chronic condition. Symptoms appear in cycles in some people such as they have severe condition but within weeks symptoms might disappear and you will feel psoriasis free. But again it will appear with noticeable symptoms and trigger the severe condition. Remission term is used when a patient is experiencing no sign and symptoms. But psoriasis won’t go away it come back again and again throughout life.
Causes of Psoriasis:
Cause of psoriasis was unknown for the decades. But due to new era researchers have come across two major causes of psoriasis that are Immune system and Genetics.
It is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disorder results when the immune system attacks the healthy cells. Psoriasis result when the T cells known as white blood cells attacks the healthy skim cells mistakenly. This attack results in overdrive of cell production of skin. Function of white blood cell is to destroy the bacteria that invading and fight with the infections in our body. But this mistake of attacking leads to psoriasis. This speedy production of skin cells pushed the skin surface and they pile up to form patch. Plaque is formed that is the result of this attack and cause the inflamed red scaly skin.
According to research inherited genes from parents having psoriasis is also the cause of developing psoriasis. If you are living with a family member suffering from this condition then you are at high risk of having psoriasis. But there is very small percentage of patients having psoriasis with this genetic cause. Researchers of national psoriasis foundation says that about only 2 to 3 people are developing gene oriented psoriasis.
Types of Psoriasis:
Five types of psoriasis are:
This is the most common form of psoriasis and about 80% of patients are having plaque condition according to American Academy of Dermatology. Red and inflamed patched are formed that cover the skin and these patches are usually surrounded by whitish or silver scales or plaques. Plaque psoriasis usually develops on knees, elbows and scalp.
They are small spots of pink color. Guttate is very common in children. They are found on arms and legs of children appearing like plaque.
Inflamed skin with blisters that are pus filled appears on the skin in pustular psoriasis. This is common in adulthood. Small areas of hand and feet are affected with pustular psoriasis.
This is most commonly found in skinfolds of genitals or under the breast. Inflame skin with red shiny patches are formed in inverse psoriasis.
This is very severe and rare type of condition. Skin appears as if it is sunburned. It covers large areas of body and fever or illness is not uncommon in this type. Erythrodermic psoriasis might be life threatening and one with this type should immediately visit the doctor.
Diagnosis of Psoriasis:
Diagnosis of psoriasis is done by two ways that are Physical examination and Biopsy.
Treatment for psoriasis:
As discussed earlier psoriasis has no permanent cure. Treatments are given just to slow the rapid growth of cells and reduce inflammation somehow. Psoriasis treatment can be done by three ways:
For mild to moderate type of psoriasis ointment and creams are suggested by the doctors that arr directly applied to are that is infected. Topical medications are:
- Vitamin D
- Salicylic acid
They are suggested to patients who don’t respond well to topical treatment. Patient with severe psoriasis are given oral or injected medicines that include:
Sunlight and UV light is used to kill white blood cells that are overactive and attack the healthy cells. This is suggested to severe type psoriasis with combination of other treatments.