The term Psoriasis originated from the Greek word "Psora" (spelled sora) that means, "itch". Thus, the true definition of Psoriasis means a chronic, non-contagious disease that shows symptoms of inflamed lesions with silvery-white scabs of the dead skin. The incidences of this disease are more in people of fair skin and are rarely seen in dark colored individuals. This disease can occur in any age group but ten to fifteen percent of all cases are diagnosed in children who are aged fewer than ten.
Causes of Psoriasis
The exact cause of Psoriasis is unknown but research studies suggest that any malfunction in the immune system of the human body may result in triggering of this disease. The following factors are known to be responsible for the causes of Psoriasis
- Stress factors,
- Family history of the disease,
- Use of certain medications, drugs, steroids etc,
- Wide or extreme exposure to cold temperatures,
- Any injury, infection or illnesses
- Koebner phenomenon in which the skin gets injured or traumatized,
- Genetic factors may also trigger Psoriasis.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
The following are the major symptoms of psoriasis even though symptoms of each type may change in severity and may appear in different combinations
- There occur raised patches or plaques on the skin that are bright red in color on the skin and usually covered with loose and silvery scales. These patches may be seen on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet or lower back. In majority of cases, psoriasis consists of plaque type.
- Itching is the common feature that is observed in the patients of psoriasis during sudden onset of irruptions or in case the psoriasis patches are under breast folds or buttocks.
- Nail disorders are common in people suffering from severe psoriasis, symptoms of nail disorders include building up of skin debris under the nails, yellowish discoloration of toenails, and fingernails, nails have tiny pits etc.
- Patches in the shape of raindrops may occur in case of guttate psoriasis that is often followed by strep infection.
- Individuals infected with psoriasis must avoid injuring themselves on the areas of the skin in the form of sunburns, cuts, wounds etc to avoid Koebner's phenomenon.