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Perennial Psoriasis

"Psora+sis" in Greek means "itch+condition"


What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is not just a skin disease, but an inflammatory disease of the immune system that is chronic in nature and remains throughout ones lifetime. It is marked by red, itchy, scaly patches with pain, swelling, and heat. Many times this goes away only to come back again.

How psoriasis happens?

Skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface. This process is called cell turnover, and old skin cells ultimately slough off. This cycle normally takes about a month, but with psoriasis, this can happen in just a few days, say even in about four days since the cells rise too fast and pile up on the surface causing patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales; these patches can itch and/or feel sore. This happens because of the protective T-cells (white cells) of the immune system becoming overactive by mistake. Commonly, the patches occur on the elbows, knees, legs, scalp, lower back, palms, feet soles or face. Anyway, patches can show up elsewhere too, like the fingernails, toenails, genitals, or inside the mouth.

What induces psoriasis?

It is believed that heredity, environment as well as immune system can be the causative agents. Researches say that for a person to become psoriatic, genetic predisposition as well as exposure to external triggers such as stress, injury to skin, weather change or certain medications probably play a combined role. Anyone can get psoriasis, but it is mostly seen in adults between ages 15 and 35. Psoriasis is not contagious.

Types of psoriasis

There are mainly 5 types.
Erythrodermic -- The skin redness is very intense and covers a large area. This type is quite rare. This needs immediate attention and can be life-threatening.
Guttate -- Small, pink-red spots appear on the skin. This starts in childhood or young adulthood.
Inverse or (intertriginous psoriasis)--Skin redness and irritation occurs in the skin folds, in the armpits, groin. Individuals may have another type of psoriasis going on at the same time.
Plaque -- Thick, red patches of skin are covered by flaky, silver-white scales. This is the most common type of psoriasis. The patches of plaques are itchy and painful and may crack and bleed.
Pustular -- White blisters are surrounded by red, irritated skin. The white pustules are made of non-infectious pus.

Treatment Options

Normally a doctor can identify the condition by looking at the skin or a skin biopsy may be advised. Mainly the treatment options are directed towards control of the symptoms and prevention of infection.

Topical treatments like skin lotions, ointments, creams, moisturizers that can be applied on the skin. Creams containing coal tar, salicylic acid, lactic acid or cortisone creams are the common ones.

Systemic treatment like the pills or injections suppress the body's immune response, not just the skin. Medicines like methotrexate, cyclosporine and Retinoids such as acitretin are used. Certain biologics like Humira, Amevive, Enbrel, Remicade, Stelara are also approved for treatment.

Phototherapy, which uses light to treat psoriasis, where skin is carefully treated with ultraviolet light either UVA or UVB.

Any infection will be treated with appropriate antibiotics.

People with psoriasis often develop psoriatic arthritis with symptoms of joint pain, stiffness and swelling affecting any part of the body from fingertips to spine, and can be mild to severe. Proper treatment can prevent disability. In both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, disease flares may alternate with periods of remission.

Prevention Options

There is no known way to prevent psoriasis. It is a life-long condition that can be controlled with treatment. It may go away for a long time and then return. With proper treatment it is possible to keep up ones overall good health. Keeping the skin clean and moist and avoiding the triggers may help reduce the number of flare-ups for an individual. Doctors do recommend daily baths or showers without hard scrubbing for persons with psoriasis.

Watch the Video: Psoriasis Triggers and Management

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Psoriasis is not contagious you CAN use that shopping trolley after me.
Your hands will not fall off I promise!

- Fred, France

Disclaimer: The above content is provided for information and awareness purpose only. It is not prescriptive or suggestive or meant to replaces your qualified physician's advice or consultation.