What Is Psoriasis?

What Is Psoriasis

Many people would not have knowledge on what is psoriasis and what it does to the skin. The following article is about the psoriasis and what it does to the affected person’s skin.

Psoriasis is a type of chronic disease of the immune system that can affect the skin of a person. This infection on the skin occurs when the skin cells tend to have a exceed growth when compared to the normal growth rate.

The growth is said to happen at a fast rate. Due to this, the skin cells experience a death resulting in scaly patches on the skin part of a person. The colour of the skin can change from red or white and even in silver colour. The colour change of the skin is the first symptom that can make a person to conclude that their skin has been affected by psoriasis.

This skin disorder is fairly common, particularly in Western, European, and Scandinavian populations. The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that in the United States alone about 7.5 million people have some form of psoriasis.

Worldwide, about 125 million are afflicted. While many people experience extremely mild forms of the disease, the majority of sufferers (about 60 percent) consider their condition to be a major problem in their lives.

Psoriasis typically shows up for the first time between the ages of 15 and 25. Psoriatic arthritis develops in 10 to 30 percent of cases and usually onsets between the ages of 30 and 50.

What Are The Different Types Of Psoriasis?

There are five different types of psoriasis, and the symptoms vary depending on which one you have.

Plaque psoriasis: This type of psoriasis causes red raised rashes to break out on the surface of the skin. Typically, the rash is topped with silver-coloured scales. The rashes are round or oval and itch.

Guttate psoriasis: The rashes appear as small teardrops that are salmon pink or red. They may be topped with a fine silver-coloured scale. Typically, this type of psoriasis spreads out over the affected area.

Pustular psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is characterized by the appearance of fiery-red skin on top of which small pus-filled bumps erupt. Approximately, 24 to 48 hours after eruption, the bumps merge together to form pus-filled lakes on the skin that eventually dry and peel. A fresh batch of bumps may erupt soon after.

Inverse psoriasis: The rash forms inward creating a smooth expanse of inflamed skin on the body. Inverse psoriasis usually forms under the armpits, around the genitals, and beneath the breasts.

Erythrodermic psoriasis: A red, peeling rash covers the whole body. It is accompanied by severe itching and burning sensations.

Psoriasis Triggers

Though psoriasis is likely caused by an autoimmune disorder, it goes through periods of activity and remission. However, there are several things that can trigger psoriasis outbreaks. The biggest offender is stress. Not only can it cause psoriasis to flare up, but it can worsen an existing outbreak. Another common cause of outbreaks is damage to the skin. This includes cuts, bruises, and sunburns.

Certain medications have been linked to psoriasis flare ups including lithium, antimalarials, ideral, quinidine, and indomethacin. If you experience outbreaks while using these medications, talk to your doctor about alternatives. Other triggers include diet, allergens, cold weather, and bacterial and viral infections.

Symptoms

Psoriasis is not a contagious disease. As a matter of fact, the dead cells that are present in the body will be removed on a regular basis. The cell replacement is very quick in people suffering with psoriasis. This will attribute to the mix up of both dead cells and healthy cells. The result is the formation of skin in the form of flakes. The skin will not appear in its actual form. It will be red and it is full of flakes and crusts.

Even though it can affect any part of the body, it is witnessed more significantly in the elbow, knee, scalp and lower back region. Patients might go through severe itching and burning. Psoriasis might affect the nails as well. There will be changes in colour of nails and cuts and ridges might be witnessed.

Causes

Researchers are still finding it difficult to find the original origin of psoriasis in a person. They have indeed found that people who have been affected in the past generation can easily make their family get affected in their future. Many environmental factors play a key role in developing the disease in different parts of a human body.

When the skin has an extra stress with an acute injury, then the skin is said to have the disease in the near future. Infection in the genital parts can lead to the disease if the genital parts were found to be untidy for a longer period of time. There are many possible treatments to get rid of psoriasis and consult your nearby doctor when you do see a scaly patch or rash on your skin.

Where Does It Occur?

Psoriasis can be mostly found on the joins of places in a human body like the elbow and the knee parts. Although these two are the most common areas that psoriasis attack, it can also be found in any other parts of the body. Some people might have it on their scalp area or under their palms and some experience the attack on their genital parts.

Finger nails and the toe nails get infected with psoriasis at times. This occurs when the nail parts are not cleaned and the nail has been experiencing a higher growth level than the normal nails. The nail can be found in a mild discoloration and the nails can separate from one another. This happens according to the degree in which the disease has infected the leg part of a person.

Treating Psoriasis

The most common way psoriasis is treated is with topical medications, especially if the person only has a mild case. There are a variety of topical creams and lotions that are created with ingredients such as salicylic acid, retinoid, or corticosteroids.

However, some of the treatments can cause side effects such as nausea and may lose their effectiveness over time. Other treatments include phototherapy using PUVA or UVB light, systemic drugs, and biologic drugs.