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Psoriasis

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What is Psoriasis?

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Psoriasis meaning can be understood with the knowledge of the layers of cellular tissues that forms the skin. The entire external surface of the body is covered by the skin, it is considered the largest organ of the body. The layers of cells that form skin from outside in are the epidermis, the outermost layer, the dermis which is the second layer just below the epidermis and the hypodermis which is the bottom fat layer providing the structural support. Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects the outer layer epidermis. Psoriasis disease is mainly due to the turning and growing too rapidly of the keratinocytes becoming scaly and these usually form on the lower portion of the epidermis layer. 


What is Psoriasis of the Skin?

Psoriasis definition-  Psoriasis disease can be defined as a non-contagious and long-lasting skin condition that constitutes because of the skin cells build-up that results in the formation of dry, itchy and scaly skin patches. It is an autoimmune disease. These are severe when spread through the entire body from scalp to navel area and toes and they can be localized patches affecting only some areas of the skin. Now that we are aware of the meaning of Psoriasis, let’s understand the reason for psoriasis.


What is the Main Cause of Psoriasis? 

The reason for Psoriasis and why Psoriasis occurs is still unknown and clear. It is understood that it is an autoimmune disease and due to an unknown reason for the condition of the immune system in the body there is inflammation caused to the skin. And due to this the new skin scales usually takes 10 to 30 days to form and develop the inflammation-causing it to form within 3 to 10 days. 

This rapid growth of skin when it is multiplying at a 10 times faster rate on top of one another appears scaly and the skin is dry and patchy. It is safe to say that Psoriasis is triggered by environmental factors along with a weak immune system. 

Psoriasis is also considered to be a genetic disease, it has been observed so through many pieces of research. And when there is a family history of Psoriasis disease the chances of getting it is very high. There have been some exceptions to this case as well that even when there is no family history of Psoriasis the next generation have a 10 per cent chance of being affected by it. In other cases, it has also been observed that Psoriasis can even skip a generation. 

It is observed that the T cells of the immune system start attacking the healthy skin cells in people with Psoriasis. And T cells that function by fighting invaders start harming the internal system itself that results in stimulation of white cells which causes more rapid new skin cells production. 


The Other Triggering Causes of Psoriasis Disease are:

  • The symptoms become more severe in cold temperatures.

  • When one smokes and consumes a lot of alcohol it leads to worsened symptoms of the disease.

  • A skin injury, such as a cut, bug bite, or even sunburn by spending a lot of time under the sun results in triggering the effects of Psoriasis. 

  • When one is affected with other diseases like HIV/AIDS that weakens the immune system the cells are no longer capable of resisting the effects of Psoriasis.

  • Excessive stress and tension can also hamper the healing process and increase the severity of symptoms. 

  • Allergies and diet are other triggers of Psoriasis. 

Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis is a skin condition that could affect every part of the skin layer or occur in limited areas as patchy, dry and scaly raised skin. For people with lighter skin tone, this condition appears pink to red and for people with deep skin tone, it can appear red, green or even purple. The extra skin layer formed due to Psoriasis is called Plaques so it is commonly referred to as Plaque Psoriasis as well. Psoriasis is quite common and mostly seen in northern parts of Europe and even in America. The population that is least affected by Psoriasis are in Central Asia and East Asia. 

Psoriasis Types  

Along with learning What is the main cause of Psoriasis, it is important to have an idea about Psoriasis types. Based on the type of Psoriasis Cure is recommended by the physician. The areas affected along with types, symptoms and trigger is mentioned in the tabular form below for easier understanding. 

Psoriasis Types

Areas Affected

Symptoms

Triggers

1. Plaque Psoriasis

This can be seen in elbows, lower back, scalp, knees, palms of the hand and soles of feet. 



Covered with silvery and white scales the raised skin is inflamed and red. It itches and burns. 

Skin injury and any infection due to it. 

2. Guttate Psoriasis

The areas affected are the trunk, upper arms, thighs

and scalp.

Less than 2% of people are affected by this mainly children and young adults. Small pink-red spots appear on the skin. 

Goes away without any treatment. Severity may increase when exposed to unfavourable weather conditions. 


3. Inverse Psoriasis

Seen in armpits, skin folds around buttocks and genitals, under the breasts and groin.

This type is not scaly rather it is bright red, shiny and smooth. 

Worsens with sweating, friction due to rubbing and fungal infections. 

4. Pustular Psoriasis

Mostly occurs in palms and feet. In the case of generalized pustular psoriasis affects the entire body.

Pus-filled bumps (pustules) surrounded by red skin affects adults mostly. Other symptoms include fever, chills, fast heart rate, nausea and muscle weakness.

Exposure to steroids, UV rays, stress, infection and pregnant women are more vulnerable to be affected by this psoriasis type.  

5. Erythrodermic Psoriasis

The least common and extremely severe affects the entire body.

A fiery skin that appears to be burned, Severe itching, burning or peeling. A faster heart rate and rapid changes in body temperature

Infection, allergic drug reaction to anti-malarial drugs, lithium and cortisol and severe sunburn.

6. Nail Psoriasis

As the name suggests the nails are affected. 

Separation of the nail from the bed, tender painful nails, pitting of nails, nail colour changes to yellow-brown and chalk-like material forms under the nails. 

Fungal infections are the main triggers of nail psoriasis. 

7. Psoriatic Arthritis

Nail psoriasis when combined with joints being affected by it leads to psoriatic arthritis. 

Painful, stiff joints, sausage-like swelling of the fingers and toes and warm joints that may be discoloured.  

When one has Psoriasis for more than 10 years especially nail psoriasis it leads to psoriatic arthritis. The main trigger here is unattended and untended psoriasis. When not treated for so long they have severe effects. 


Psoriasis Treatment and Cure

The types of treatments depend on whether it is mildly dry, itchy and scaly or moderate and severe. However may be the case, it is important to see a doctor. 

  1. For milder and less harsh symptoms the doctor often recommends moisturizers for dry skin, vitamin D in foods, steroid creams, retinoid creams and for plaques psoriasis on scalp coal tar containing lotions, creams, foams, shampoos, and bath solutions.

  2. More harsh symptoms require more tending and care and various ways it is done by UV (ultraviolet) phototherapy, systemic treatments which include methotrexate, ciclosporin and hydroxycarbamide and certain surgeries like removal of tonsils could benefit people with guttate psoriasis.

  3. For long term psoriasis disease like psoriatic arthritis, a certain kind of enzyme-inhibitor like apremilast (Otezla) is recommended as a medication. This drug helps slow other triggers which lead to inflammation.   

  4. The other way to keep this skin condition not be fierier and burning the skin is one must be well-rested and one should not engage in stressful activities. 

  5. One can reduce stress through exercising in any form yoga, pilates and even meditate this will truly help one to remain calm.

  6. It is important to take care of your skin, wear sunscreen whenever stepping out and immediately disinfect skin injuries to avoid any triggers.

  7. Maintaining a healthy diet and being careful of any intake of food one is allergic to. If possible when you are already dealing with psoriasis disease one must consult a nutritionist which will help a great deal in aiding the care routine in such cases.

  8. Practising good hygiene anyway is very helpful either way and in such skin condition, it will help reduce flare-ups and infections. 

Since Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease it can never be completely cured. However, certain treatments can reduce the symptoms and help the affected person gain some relief. There are certain types of psoriasis that when not very severe can be gone without any form of treatment. 

While some might be so severe that even after treatments they may still appear as another form due to triggered reactions. It is completely dependent on the type of treatment and the severity of the condition to which degree the symptoms will reduce.


Conclusion

Psoriasis unlike other autoimmune diseases even if not completely cured can be controlled. This is dependent on one’s accountability to take care of themselves and their skin starting from an early age. Avoiding exposure to ultraviolet or UV rays for a long time as this along with being a trigger for psoriasis can also lead to skin cancer. Everyone must have sunscreen with a greater sun protection factor value cream or lotion for both face and body. The type of skin whether it is susceptible to any diseases or not also depends on the intake of diet so it is important to have healthy and oil-free and sugar-free food. Being obese and overweight becomes an even big burden and a problem for a condition like inverse psoriasis which worsens even when one is merely sweating. We are responsible for our health and we should do our best to keep it in the best of condition free of diseases.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q.1) What is the Main Cause That Contributes to Psoriasis?

Ans.) The important thing to remember here is the fact the psoriasis is the unnatural development of skin cells at a faster than usual rate due to the T-cells in the immune system attacking healthy cells. It is since an autoimmune disease the causes are not very specific, it can be genetic too. However, even if this can be a genetic condition the symptoms and the degree of severity can depend on the immunity or immune system strength. It is also observed that this skips a generation, even if your mother or father has psoriasis disease there is an equal possibility of you not being affected as there is of you also suffering from this disease. 

Q.2) Can Psoriasis Completely Go Away?

Ans.) The symptoms might become milder even and in some cases completely reduce but they will often reoccur due to a weakened immune system. And when one is suffering from such an autoimmune disease the immune system that is supposed to protect our body acts against it and causes even severe effects. So one must be healthy and take care of your skin and healthy to keep the symptoms less inflamed and itchy. Even when dealing with this skin condition within a family one must not take anything for granted and take all the necessary precautions and measures.

Q.3) How to Heal from Psoriasis at Home?

Ans.) When one has a psoriasis skin condition you might likely feel embarrassed to step out and look for help. This is the case because children and young adults are the most affected groups and are not even mature enough to deal with it by themselves. And the elders must be responsible for them and take them to the physician. Having professional help and getting an expert opinion in any case even if it is not severe is helpful. 

Q.4) Why Did I Suddenly Get Psoriasis?

Ans.) When a family member is suffering the often environmental factors that include weather, lifestyle, diet, sleeping habits, stress levels, and skincare routine can be contributing factors for your being privy to this disease. The main triggers for psoriasis are sunburn, skin cut, skin injury, strep throat and any infection and allergies.