The Ins And Outs: World Psoriasis Day
In its very essence, psoriasis is an incurable but manageable skin condition where cells rapidly regenerate on the surface of the epidermis. It can be unattractive and uncomfortable for those who suffer from it, but, luckily, 80 percent of the afflicted will suffer a mild variety thereof. In most cases the itching and, by default, scratching can be controlled with good skin care and an effective treatment plan. Severe, uncontrolled psoriasis can lead to heart complications if not treated.
It is a fairly common disease whereby skin cells experience a rapid cyclical lifespan. This in turn causes said cells to build up on the skin’s surface. This means that skin cells fail to shed at their intended pace. As a result a visible, scale or crust-like thickening, most often red in colour, develops on the skin. Psoriasis is classified as a chronic disease and the best possible treatments aim to stop skin cells from growing too quickly. Here’s how.
Signs, Symptoms And Causes
First, let’s examine the causes and typical symptoms. While there are several types of psoriasis like plaque, nail, guttate and pustular psoriasis no specific cause has been found. Most medical experts agree that problems with a person’s immune system can be the root cause. There are also an assortment of external factors and behaviours that may either trigger or aggravate an individual’s condition. A family history of psoriasis severely increases a child’s risk to contract it.
- Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
- Small scaling spots
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning or soreness
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
- Joint pain
- Strep and skin infections
- Bruises, scrapes, cuts, bites and sunburn
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Certain medications, especially lithium. Consult a doctor for a comprehensive list
If psoriasis is not effectively treated it may lead to the development of other serious medical condition. Arthritis, eye disorders, obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disorders, type 2 diabetes and emotional problems can develop because of it. It can however go into remission, leaving a normal-looking skin surface. The three most common types of treatments are topical, by means of phototherapy or oral or injected medications.
- Topical corticosteroids.
- Mild corticosteroid ointments
- Vitamin D analogues
- Calcineurin inhibitors.
- Salicylic acid
- Coal tar
- UVB phototherapy
- Narrow band UVB phototherapy
- Goeckerman therapy
- Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA
- Excimer laser
Oral And Injected Medications (used in severe cases)
- Medicine that alter the immune system (biologics)