All you need to know about Psoriasis.
Know your ailment well, so you can manage it better!!
Here we come with Psoriasis today!
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes skin cells to multiply faster than average by up to 10 times. This makes the skin build up into white scales filled with bumpy red patches. They may develop anywhere, but on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back, most appear. You can’t spread psoriasis from person to person. It happens to members of the same family often.
In early adulthood, psoriasis typically occurs. It affects only a handful of places for most individuals. Psoriasis can cover large portions of the body in extreme cases. During a person’s life, the patches will heal and then come back.
Who gets the disease?
Psoriasis can be acquired by anyone, but it is more common in adults. Some genes have been related to the disorder, so if one of your family members has it, you are more likely to get psoriasis.
What are the types of Psoriasis?
Other types of psoriasis include:
- Plaque Psoriasis: Plaque psoriasis causes dry, elevated, red skin patches (lesions) covered with silvery scales, which are the most common type. The plaques may be itchy or tender, and little or many may be present. Typically they appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.
- Nail Psoriasis: Fingernails and toenails may be affected by psoriasis, which causes pitting, irregular growth of nails, and discolouration. Psoriatic nails (onycholysis) can loosen and break from the nail bed. Severe cases can lead to nail crumbling.
- Guttate Psoriasis: This form affects young adults and kids mainly. A bacterial infection such as strep throat normally triggers it. It is marked on the trunk, arms or legs by thin, drop-shaped, scaling lesions.
- Inverse Psoriasis: The skin folds of the groin, buttocks, and breasts are predominantly affected by this. Smooth patches of red skin that worsen with friction and sweating are caused by inverse psoriasis. This form of psoriasis can cause fungal infections.
- Pustular Psoriasis: This unusual type of psoriasis produces distinctly defined pus-filled lesions that occur on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet in widespread patches (generalized pustular psoriasis) or in smaller areas.
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis: Erythrodermic psoriasis, the least prevalent form of psoriasis, will cover your entire body with a red, peeling rash that can deeply itch or burn.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Swollen, sore joints that are common for arthritis are caused by psoriatic arthritis. The first or only symptom or sign of psoriasis is also the joint symptoms. And there are also just nail changes that are used. Symptoms vary from mild to extreme, and any joint can be affected by psoriatic arthritis. It may cause stiffness and progressive joint damage that can lead to permanent joint damage in the most extreme cases.
What are the symptoms of Psoriasis?
Depending upon the condition you have, the symptoms of psoriasis differ. Some common plaque psoriasis symptoms, the most common variety of the disorder, include:
Plaques of red flesh, sometimes surrounded by scales of silver. These plaques can be painful and itchy, and often they break and bleed. The plaques will expand and merge in extreme cases, covering large areas.
- Fingernail problems and toenails, including discolouration and nail pitting. The nails can even crumble from the nail bed or detach from it.
- Plaques on the scalp with scales or a crust.
- A type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis may also be offered to people with psoriasis. In the joints, it induces discomfort and swelling.
The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that psoriatic arthritis is also present in between 10 percent and 30 percent of people with psoriasis.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system of your body begins to over-act and cause problems. If you have psoriasis, the T cells, a type of white blood cell, become so active that they trigger other immune system responses, including swelling and rapid skin cell turnover.
Deep in the skin, your skin cells grow and slowly rise to the surface. This is called the turnover of cells, and it generally takes about a month. However, if you have psoriasis, cell turnover can only take a couple of days. Your skin cells rise too fast and pile up on the surface, causing the red and scaly appearance of your skin.
Many individuals with psoriasis have a family history of the disease, and some genes linked to psoriasis have been discovered by researchers.
Some items that may trigger a flare include:
- Changes in the weather that dry out your skin.
- Certain medicines.
- Trauma to the skin, such as cuts, scratches, or sunburns.
What are the risk factors of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis can be produced by anyone. In the pediatric years, approximately a third of instances begin. Your risk can be increased by these variables:
- Family history. The condition runs in families. Having one parent with psoriasis increases your risk of getting the disease, and having two parents with psoriasis increases your risk even more.
- Stress. Because stress can impact your immune system, high-stress levels may increase your risk of psoriasis.
- Smoking. Smoking tobacco not only increases your risk of psoriasis but also may increase the severity of the disease. Smoking may also play a role in the initial development of the disease
What are the complications of Psoriasis?
If you have psoriasis, you’re at greater risk of developing other conditions, including:
- Psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in and around the joints
- Eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and uveitis
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Other autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease, sclerosis, and the inflammatory bowel disease called Crohn’s disease
- Mental health conditions, such as low self-esteem and depression
How is Psoriasis diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask your health questions and have your skin, scalp, and nails checked. A small sample of skin (biopsy) might be taken by your doctor for analysis under a microscope. This helps to assess the psoriasis form and to rule out other conditions.
What is the treatment for Psoriasis?
- Several different forms of psoriasis treatment are available. Your doctor will consult with you to determine the right prescription for you, taking into account the type of psoriasis that you have, where the prescription is most beneficial for your body, and the potential side effects of the drug.
- People respond to treatment differently, so before finding one that benefits you, you may have to try a few different forms of treatment. Over time, your skin can also become resistant to treatment, especially if you are using corticosteroids, so after a while, you may have to switch treatments.
It could be advised by your doctor that you try one or a combination of these:
- Creams or ointments such as corticosteroids, vitamin D3, retinoids, coal tar, or anthralin are used as a topical therapy.
- Light therapy, or phototherapy, means making a doctor shine or have more sunshine on the skin with ultraviolet light. As too much ultraviolet light can cause skin damage, increase your risk of skin cancer and make your symptoms worse, it is vital for a doctor to prescribe the therapy.
- Systemic therapy, which may involve taking prescription drugs or having drug injections. These procedures may have significant side effects, so it’s important to speak to your doctor and keep track of your condition with your appointments. Here are a few drugs that are used for psoriasis treatment.
- Compounds with properties similar to vitamin A are retinoids. Some individuals with serious psoriasis who do not respond to other therapies may be helped by them. However, they may also cause birth defects.
- Cyclosporine, in order to slow down cell turnover, suppresses the immune system. It may also affect the function of the kidney or cause high blood pressure, so a doctor can track patients.
- In order to slow down cell turnover, methotrexate also suppresses the immune system. It can be taken by injection as a pill or. It can also cause liver damage and decrease blood cell and platelet output, so a doctor should control patients.
- The Inhibitors of PDE4. Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors, taken orally, target molecules within immune cells to suppress rapid skin cell turnover, and inflammation.
- Injections made from proteins formed by living cells are biologic-response modifiers. They inhibit the processes of the immune system that cause skin cell overproduction and inflammation. They raise the risk of infection as they weaken the immune system and can interfere with patients taking vaccines. Some other diseases have also been identified with them, so it is necessary for a doctor to monitor patients who are taking biologics.
How to cope up:
Psoriasis can cause significant discomfort and interfere with basic functions, including work and sleep. Medical care can be expensive. Also, the scaly patches of skin can make some people feel self-conscious about their appearance, which can lead to depression.
Treatment can help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, however. Besides going to your doctor regularly, here are some things you can try to help manage your symptoms:
- Keeping your skin well moisturized. Some bath solutions and lubricants may help soothe your skin.
- Staying healthy overall.
- Joining support groups or counseling to help you realize you are not alone in dealing with psoriasis and to share ideas for coping with the disease.
Gopala Krishna Varshith,
Content Developer & Editor,