Psoriasis is a skin condition in which skin cells multiply up to ten times faster than they should. The skin becomes bumpy red patches covered in white scales as a result of this. They can develop on any part of the body, but the majority of them appear on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another. It does happen to members of the same family from time to time.
Early adulthood is when psoriasis usually appears. It affects only a few areas for most people. Psoriasis can cover large areas of the body in extreme cases. The patches will regenerate and reappear at any time during a person’s life.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of psoriasis differ depending on the type. Plaque psoriasis, the most common type of disease, has a variety of symptoms.
Red skin plaques, often covered in silver-colored scales. These plaques can be itchy and painful, as well as cracking and bleeding. Plaques can expand and merge in extreme cases, covering vast areas.
Problems with the fingernails and toenails, such as discoloration and pitting. It’s also possible that the nails can crumble or separate from the nail bed.
Scale or crusty plaques on the scalp
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects people who have psoriasis. It results in joint inflammation and swelling. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, between 10% and 30% of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis.
Types of psoriasis
Other types of psoriasis include:
Pustular psoriasis, which causes red, scaly skin with tiny pustules on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet; and
Guttate psoriasis, which causes small, red spots primarily on the torso and limbs and often begins in childhood or young adulthood. Respiratory infections, strep throat, tonsillitis, stress, skin injury, and antimalarial and beta-blocker medications are all potential triggers.
Inverse psoriasis, which causes bright red, shiny lesions in skin folds like the armpits, groin, and beneath the breasts.
Erythrodermic psoriasis usually causes a fiery redness of the skin as well as scale shedding in sheets. Severe sunburn, infections, some medications, and stopping certain types of psoriasis treatment can all cause it. It must be treated right away because it can cause serious illness.
Psoriasis: What Causes It?
Psoriasis has no known cause, but experts think it is caused by a combination of factors. Inflammation is caused by a problem with the immune system, which causes new skin cells to form too quickly. Skin cells are normally replaced every 10 to 30 days. New cells appear every 3 to 4 days in psoriasis. The silver scales are formed by the replacement of old cells with new ones.
Psoriasis usually runs in families, but it can also be passed down through generations. A grandfather and his grandson, for example, maybe affected, but not the child’s mother.
Psoriasis flare-ups can be triggered by a variety of factors, including:
Cuts, scrapes, or surgery
Medications, such as blood pressure medications (like beta-blockers) and antimalarial medication hydroxychloroquine.
Examination of the body.
Psoriasis is usually easy to diagnose for your doctor, particularly if you have plaques on areas like your:
Your doctor will examine you thoroughly and ask if anyone in your family has psoriasis.
Tests in the lab The doctor may perform a biopsy, which involves removing a small piece of skin and testing it to see if you have a skin infection. Psoriasis can’t be confirmed or ruled out with any other test.
Fortunately, there are numerous treatments available. Others relieve itching and dry skin by slowing the growth of new skin cells. Based on the size of your rash, where it is on your body, your age, your overall health, and other factors, your doctor will devise a treatment plan that is appropriate for you.
Steroid creams are one of the most common treatments.
Coal tar (a common treatment for scalp psoriasis available in lotions, creams, foams, shampoos, and bath solutions).
Moisturizers for dry skin.
A strong cream or ointment (as prescribed by your doctor). Foods and supplements containing vitamin D have no effect.)
Creams containing retinoids
Treatments for moderate to severe psoriasis.
Light therapy: slows the growth of skin cells, a doctor uses ultraviolet light to shine on your skin. PUVA is a therapy that combines a psoralen-based medicine with a specific type of ultraviolet light.
Methotrexate is a drug that is used to treat cancer.
This medication has the potential to cause bone marrow and liver disease, as well as lung problems, so it should only be used in extreme cases. Doctors keep a close eye on their patients. You’ll need lab tests, probably a chest X-ray, and maybe a liver biopsy.
A class of medications related to vitamin A includes tablets, creams, foams, lotions, and gels. Because retinoids can cause serious side effects, including birth defects, they are not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
This immune-suppressing drug can be used in serious cases that haven’t responded to other treatments. Because it can harm the kidneys and raise blood pressure, your doctor will monitor your health closely while you’re on it.
Biologic Treatment. These work by inhibiting the body’s immune system (which is overactive in psoriasis) in order to reduce psoriasis inflammation.
An inhibitor of enzymes. The drug apremilast (Otezla) is a novel treatment for chronic inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It’s a pill that inhibits a particular enzyme, which helps to slow down other inflammation-causing reactions.
Is There a Treatment?
Although there is no cure, therapy can significantly reduce symptoms, even in severe cases. Recent research suggests that if you better control psoriasis inflammation, your risk of heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and other inflammatory diseases decreases.
Statistics on Psoriasis
2 to 3 percent of the world’s population
2 percent of the population in the United States
Some cultures more than others. Psoriasis is most common in northern Europe and least common in eastern Asia around the world.