Occurring on account of faulty signal sent by the immune system; psoriasis is a dermatological disorder whereby the growth of the epidermal layer is speeded up. While in normal occurrence growing skin cells are exposed to the outer surface on a monthly basis; by way of the diseased condition of psoriasis, the process of growth is speeded up leading to the exposition of dead skin cells.
Causes of Psoriasis
- Being an immune mediated skin disorder; psoriasis takes place when immune system of the human body mistakes healthy cells for unhealthy ones.
- According to another viewpoint, psoriasis marked by excessive growth of skin cells is caused owing to the faulty epidermal layer and its associated keratinocytes.
- Much of its cause and incidence lies in hereditary or genetic traits.
- In general people with weakened immunity are more vulnerable to severe attacks of psoriasis.
- People suffering from AIDS and other forms of auto immune disorders are more likely to be hit by it.
- Various injuries, cuts and burns suffered by the skin may cause the occurrence of psoriasis.
- Factors such as stress, exposure to the harmful ultra violet rays of sun are also responsible for causing psoriasis.
- People suffering from chronic ailments such as pressure, blood sugar, depression and congestive cardiac ailments are more prone to developing psoriasis.
Types of Psoriasis
- Psoriasis may be categorized into five different types.
- Plaque psoriasis which is more frequent than other forms of psoriasis is marked by the patchy appearance of skin cells whitish silver in appearance.
- Psoriasis vulgaris is marked by the appearance of raised patches of inflammation
- Psoriatic erythroderma which is widespread in appearance is marked by exfoliating inflammation.
- Pustular psoriasis is marked by the appearance of raised bump like inflammation filled with pus like fluid.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
- Psoriasis which generally tends to affect people belonging to the younger age group is non infectious or non contagious in nature.
- Usually slow and gradual in development; psoriasis may be recurrently frequent in its occurrence.
- It is marked by the appearance of irritating patches on skin. Patches which predominantly exist on joints of elbows, knees and those of the fingers’ can also occur in other parts of body.
- Patchy areas which are bright red in color are usually covered by scaly flakes.
- Patches which may partially or completely cover the body can also take on a thickly raised appearance.
- The dots or patches affecting the body completely or partially may give rise to itchiness and discomfort.
- Occurrence of joint ache along with psoriasis ranks amongst one of the normal symptoms.
- Psoriasis may also give rise to changes in the appearance of nails including separation of nail from its bed.
- Psoriasis may further give way to the occurrence of genital lesions in men.
- A diagnosis of this immune mediated disease involves an overall examination of the skin.
- By looking at the apparent condition of the skin physicians are able to assess its nature and degree.
- Biopsy of the skin is also conducted to establish and confirm the existence of psoriasis.
- Usually a scraping of the skin is taken for the purpose of biopsy.
- Associated joint pains in addition to psoriasis may involve the use of x rays.
Treatment for Psoriasis
- Initially the treatment of psoriasis is usually done with the purpose of controlling the symptoms so that complicated infections are avoided.
- Treatment of the concerned disease is managed with topical application of ointments and creams.
- Ointments based on cortisone are frequently prescribed other than those containing coal tar and lactic acid so that the scaly condition of the epidermis can be overcome. Ointment based on the analogue of Vitamin D has also been found to be an effective remedial option.
- Moisturizers containing salicylic acid are also recommended in addition to the oral supplements of Vitamin A and D.
- In the event of a partial affliction with psoriasis; injection of steroid may prove to be effective.
- Phototherapy which makes use of light rays is also used to control the growth and exposition of dead skin cells.
- Generally sessions at phototherapy follows the administration of medication aimed at sensitizing the skin to the effects of benevolent ultraviolet rays. Ultraviolet A radiation in addition to that of Psoralen has been found to be an effective remedial option.
- In extreme cases of psoriasis medications in forms of ‘methotrexate’ and ‘acitretin’ are prescribed in order to hold back the human body’s response to immune system.
Self Care and Psoriasis Home Remedies
- Patients manifesting the symptoms of psoriasis are advised to have their affected parts regularly cleaned.
- They should resist from scrubbing the body hard.
- Warm dip in water enriched with Epsom or other forms of bath salts may prove to be soothingly effective. Warm soaks in water containing oatmeal may turn out to be similarly relieving.
- Besides adopting the natural remedial options, one should make it a point to go ahead with the course of treatment recommended by physicians.