Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition though not fatal can be extremely irritating and traumatic. Although the disease is of a non-contagious nature, it can remain affecting a patient in cycles where there may be signs of remission only to resurface after a few weeks. Psoriasis results in thickening and scaling of the skin surface. The skin becomes dehydrated, dry and produces the condition of flaking of the skin with constant itching.
In some cases the psoriasis can be mild but in others it can be extremely severe. The most common affected parts are the extremities such as ankles, knees elbows and the scalp. Psoriasis begins with typical reddening of the skin where patches soon start appearing. The biggest problem faced by psoriasis is continued friction between extremities especially in overweight patients. The condition then worsens and mobility becomes painful.
The severity of the condition differs from patient to patient. While some have mild forms of psoriasis usually affecting one part of the body, others are covered in the condition. It is then when the disease takes a huge emotional toll on the quality of daily life as patients become extremely subconscious of their appearance.
Causes of Psoriasis
Psoriasis as per medical research has shown to have hereditary tendencies. Sometimes skin conditions can also be caused by weakened immunity. Genetic factors are also taken into account as the cause of psoriasis. Environmental influences and unhygienic conditions can play a role in severe bouts of the disease. However till date there has been no specific discovery on the root cause of psoriasis and the disease is still under extensive research. There is no documented age for people to develop psoriasis however the disease attacks people more in the 50s.
Possible Factors Known To Cause Skin Conditions Leading To Psoriasis or Worsen the Condition
- Mental stress, anxiety and tension: aggravates conditions of psoriasis
- Superficial skin injuries: causes mild to severe conditions of psoriasis if allowed to get infected
- Streptococcal infection: strep throat can cause skin rashes and psoriasis in youngsters
- NSAIDS: Prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication can worsen psoriasis conditions.
- Sun exposure: being exposed to too much sunlight can worsen his condition of psoriasis.
- Alcohol. And smoking: both are known to aggravate psoriasis and skin conditions.
How Psoriasis Occurs and Types of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a condition resulting from the excessive activity of white blood cells or lymphocytes to produce inflammatory substances and chemicals which then attack skin cells making them grow too fast. Psoriasis affects people in different conditions of the disease of which there are 5 distinct types.
Identified by red inflamed and raised skin lesions and silver type scales. It is found mainly on elbows knees and lower back.
Attacks young children and appears as pinkish spots on the body mainly on the arms and legs
Usually occurs under armpits, groins, beneath the breasts and within the genital folds as well as anal area. This kind is seen as shiny red lesions bright in appearance.
Occurs mainly in adulthood. It appears as white pus filled blisters with the surrounding skin red and inflamed. Its area of infection could be localized or in various parts of the body.
Attacks the entire body surface, it is characterized by typical deep red scaly skin that continues to shed and flake.
Diagnosis and Risk Factors of Psoriasis
Diagnosis of psoriasis is not a complicated process as the disease is a visible condition of the skin, in stubborn conditions it would need a skin biopsy and X-rays to determine the extent of the disease. Patients with prolonged and severe psoriasis are at risk of contracting related diseases such as the ones mentioned below
- High lipid count
- Heart disease
- Non-melanoma cancer
- Psoriasis arthritis
Diabetes is related to the disease in such ways that both conditions cause symptoms of each other. Most psoriasis patients it was found had a 50% risk potential to contract diabetes.
Treatment of Psoriasis and Home Remedies
Psoriasis as research proved was more of a skin condition that if treated could be reduced to negligible threat of the disease. Treatments include using plenty of moisturizers and skin creams. For scalp conditions herbal and medical shampoos are used with conditioners for reducing the dryness of scalp. As psoriasis is caused by excessive dry skin, keeping skin permanently moist is necessary. In sever conditions a combination of oral and external medication is necessary:
Medication for Psoriasis
- UVB light therapy: Ultraviolet-B light therapy is well known to help reduce psoriasis conditions.
- Topical lotions and steroidal creams: both are effective in skin inflammation as well as control of itching.
- Cyclosporine: used effectively for psoriasis inflammation
- Calcipotriene: a topical cream prescribed in psoriasis and skin conditions
- Salicylic acid: helps in smoothening the rough skin condition and increases scale shedding to remove the inflamed skin.
- Otezla: the latest oral medication for Psoriasis.
Time tested home remedies for skin care and psoriasis
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera creams are widely used in skin conditions where aloe vera contains popular skin rejuvenation and moisturizing properties
- Fish oil: Using fish oil on the affected areas can work wonders for psoriasis.
- Avoid use of perfumed soaps: perfumed soaps and shampoos can worsen the condition. It would best to use an herbal soap.
- Avoid red meat. Soy, chocolate, cranberries and nuts are food to be good for psoriasis conditions.
- Oatmeal, Dead Sea salts and Epsom salts: these are home based remedies which when mixed in lukewarm water can soothe and reduce the irritation caused by psoriasis.
- Neem: Bathing in Neem water is beneficial for soothing skin problems and relieving itching
Apart from most remedies, the most important factor in controlling skin problems is a healthy diet, free from substances that can increase symptoms of itching and inflammation. Foods that do have a potential to cause skin allergies should be completely avoided.