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Psoriasis

Introduction to Psoriasis

Psoriasis

Psoriasis on right leg

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder characterized by an overproduction of skin cells that result in flaky and patchy raised areas on the skin's surface. The plaques of skin can appear anywhere on the body, but the lesions primarily appear the skin over the elbows, knees and scalp. Psoriasis can cause pain, itching, burning and emotional distress. Between 10% and 30% of people who develop psoriasis get a related form of arthritis called “Psoriatic arthritis,” which causes inflammation of the joints.

Plaque Psoriasis is the most common type of Psoriasis. About 80% of people who develop Psoriasis have plaque Psoriasis, which appears as patches of raised, reddish skin covered by silvery-white scale. These patches, or plaques, frequently form on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. However, the plaques can occur anywhere on the body.

The other types are Guttate Psoriasis (small, red spots on the skin),
Pustular Psoriasis (white pustules surrounded by red skin), Inverse Psoriasis (smooth, red lesions form in skin folds), and Erythrodermic Psoriasis (widespread redness, severe itching, and pain).

Symptoms of Psoriasis

Regardless of type, Psoriasis usually causes discomfort. The skin often itches, and it may crack and bleed. In severe cases, the itching and discomfort may keep a person awake at night, and the pain can make everyday tasks difficult. Research shows that the signs and symptoms of Psoriasis usually appear between 15 and 35 years of age. About 75% develop Psoriasis before age 40. However, it is possible to develop Psoriasis at any age. After age 40, a peak onset period occurs between 50 and 60 years of age. Psoriasis occurs about equally in males and females. Psoriatic arthritis usually first appears between 30 and 50 years of age — often months to years after skin lesions first occur. However, not everyone who develops psoriatic arthritis has Psoriasis. About 30% of people who get psoriatic arthritis never develop the skin condition.

Causes of Psoriasis

Psoriasis may be one of the oldest recorded skin conditions. It was probably first described around 35 AD. Some evidence indicates an even earlier date. Yet, until recently, little was known about Psoriasis. While scientists still do not fully know what causes Psoriasis, research has significantly advanced our understanding. 

Immune Mediated: 

Researchers now believe that Psoriasis is an immune-mediated condition. This means the condition is caused by faulty signals in the body’s immune system. It is believed that Psoriasis develops when the immune system tells the body to over-react and accelerate the growth of skin cells. Normally, skin cells mature and are shed from the skin’s surface every 28 to 30 days. When Psoriasis develops, the skin cells mature in 3 to 6 days and move to the skin surface. Instead of being shed, the skin cells pile up, causing the visible lesions.

Genes:

 Researchers have identified genes that cause Psoriasis. These genes determine how a person’s immune system reacts. These genes can cause Psoriasis or another immune-mediated condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes. The risk of developing Psoriasis or another immune-mediated condition, especially diabetes or Crohn’s disease, increases when a close blood relative has Psoriasis.

Family History: 

Some people who have a family history of Psoriasis never develop this condition. Research indicates that a “trigger” is needed. Stress, skin injuries, certain medications, and sunburn are some of the known potential triggers. There also is a genetic component associated with Psoriasis. Approximately one-third of people who develop Psoriasis have at least one family member with the condition.

Quality of Life:

All types of Psoriasis, ranging from mild to severe, can affect a person’s quality of life. Living with this lifelong condition can be physically and emotionally challenging. Itching, soreness, and cracked and bleeding skin are common. Nail Psoriasis can be painful. 

Several studies have shown that people often feel frustrated. In some cases, Psoriasis limits activities and makes it difficult to perform job responsibilities. Studies also have shown that stress, anxiety, loneliness, and low self-esteem are part of daily life for people living with Psoriasis. One study found that thoughts of suicide are three times higher for Psoriatics than the general population. Embarrassment is another common feeling. 

Treatment of Psoriasis

Homeopathy has gained a good reputation for curing Psoriasis and other chronic skin diseases. No sticky applications and no steroids are used in the homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy cures it naturally by increasing ones immunity and hence can cure it permanently. Homeopathic medicines are completely harmless and when required can be taken for a longer duration very safely. After starting the treatment the itching, burning pain gets reduced, eruptions disappear gradually and patient feel good in a general way.

 

 

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