Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that speeds up the lifecycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, forming scales and red patches that are sometimes itchy and painful.
Psoriasis is a persistent, long-lasting disease. There may be times when your psoriasis symptoms get better alternating with times your psoriasis worsens.
The primary goal of treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly. There isn’t a cure for psoriasis, but a range of treatments can improve symptoms and the appearance of the affected skin patches.
There are several types of psoriasis, including Plaque Psoriasis, Guttate Psoriasis, Inverse Psoriasis, Pustular Psoriasis, Erythrodermic Psoriasis, and Psoriatic Arthritis. Each has its own set of symptoms and can appear on the skin in a variety of ways.
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is believed to related to an immune system issue with T cells and other white blood cells, called neutrophils, in your body.
Psoriasis is not contagious and can’t be spread by touch or any other means, from person to person. It’s a condition that runs in families, so genetics may play a role, but environmental factors also contribute to its development.
Causes of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells, causing them to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are sometimes painful or itchy.
The exact cause of psoriasis is unclear, but it’s thought to be related to an immune system problem with T cells and other white blood cells, called neutrophils, in your body.
Below are some factors believed to cause psoriasis:
1. Immune System: It’s believed that in individuals with psoriasis, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells as if it were fighting an infection or healing a wound.
2. Genetics: People with a family history of psoriasis are more likely to develop the condition. However, the percentage of people who have psoriasis and a genetic predisposition is small; therefore, not everyone with the genetic predisposition will develop the disease.
3. Triggers: Certain factors may trigger psoriasis, these can vary for different individuals. Triggers may include infections (like strep throat or skin infections), skin injury (a cut or scrape, bug bite), stress, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, vitamin D deficiency, and certain medications (including lithium, which is prescribed for bipolar disorder, and high blood pressure or heart medications).
It is important to remember that while scientists understand some of the biology of psoriasis, there is still much to learn about this complex disease. Different people may experience different triggers and symptoms. If you suspect you may have psoriasis, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Risk Factors of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that is caused by an overactive immune system. It can occur at any age, but often appears between ages 15 and 25. Major risk factors associated with psoriasis include:
1. Genetics: Genetics plays a vital role in the likelihood of developing psoriasis. Having one or both parents with psoriasis increases the risk significantly.
2. Infections: Certain infections, particularly strep throat, are known to trigger the onset of psoriasis or cause flare-ups in individuals already diagnosed.
3. Stress: High stress levels can increase the likelihood of a psoriasis outbreak. Managing stress through relaxation and stress reduction techniques can be beneficial.
4. Obesity: Excess weight is considered a risk factor. Fat cells release cytokines, which are proteins that promote inflammation, and thus, psoriasis.
5. Smoking: Smoking tobacco not only increases your risk of psoriasis but also may increase the severity of the disease.
6. Immunosuppressive Medications: Certain medications, like those used to treat autoimmune diseases, can trigger psoriasis.
7. HIV: People with HIV are more likely to develop psoriasis than those with healthy immune systems are.
8. Alcohol Consumption: Heavy drinking can trigger psoriasis and make treatment less effective.
These risk factors don’t guarantee that you’ll develop psoriasis, but they do increase the likelihood of it. If you have any concerns about your risk, it’s best to discuss them with your healthcare provider.
Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells, leading to the development of scales and red patches that are sometimes itchy and painful. Here are the signs and symptoms of psoriasis:
1. Red Patches and Plaques: The most noticeable symptom for many people is red patches of skin covered with thick, silver or white scales. These often occur on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet, or back, but can appear anywhere on the body.
2. Dry, Cracked Skin: The skin may crack and bleed in severe cases of psoriasis. It may also be prone to itchiness, burning, and soreness.
3. Itching and Burning: Psoriasis can cause severe itching and burning sensations around the patches or plaques.
4. Thickened, Pitted, or Ridged Nails: Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting (small depressions in the nail surface), abnormal nail growth, discoloration, and the nail may loosen and separate from the nail bed.
5. Joint Pain: In some cases, psoriasis can also be associated with psoriatic arthritis, which leads to pain and swelling in the joints.
6. Different types of psoriasis may have different presentations and can manifest as small scaling spots (commonly seen in children), lesions in genital areas or skin folds, and severe eruptions over large areas of the body.
Symptoms can vary from person to person and can also come and go, with periods of more severe symptoms known as “flares” being interspersed with periods of remission with few or no symptoms.
It’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you experience persistent skin discomfort, as early detection and treatment can help manage the symptoms of psoriasis effectively.
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, resulting in thick, red, silvery, or scaly patches that are sometimes itchy or painful.
While the exact cause is unknown, it’s generally accepted that it happens due to an overactive immune system, triggering skin inflammation and causing skin cells to be produced more quickly than normal.
There are several types of psoriasis, including plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis. Each type of psoriasis has specific symptoms and can appear on different areas of the body.
Psoriasis is not contagious and can be genetic, meaning it can run in families. Factors that may trigger psoriasis include infections, stress, cold weather, certain medications, alcohol, smoking, and injuries to the skin.
Treatment for psoriasis aims to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly and to remove scales. Options can include topical treatments, light therapy, and systemic medications. The choice of treatment depends on the type and severity of the psoriasis and the area of skin affected. It’s also important to lead a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, to help manage the condition.
Treatment of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes rapid skin cell growth resulting in large, red, dry, and itchy patches of skin.
The treatment for psoriasis can vary depending on the severity of the condition and person’s individual needs. However, the main goals of treatment are to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly and to reduce inflammation. Here are some common treatment approaches:
1. Topical Treatments: Depending on the severity, a first line of treatment often involves creams and ointments applied directly to the skin. These may include corticosteroids, vitamin D analogs, topical retinoids, and coal tar among others. These help to slow cell growth and reduce inflammation.
2. Light Therapy: This involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV) light which helps to slow down the excessive skin cell growth. UV light may be from natural sunlight, or artificially generated in a controlled environment.
3. Oral or Injected Medications: If topical treatments and light therapy are not effective, medicines taken orally or by injection may be considered. This is usually for severe cases of psoriasis or those that are resistant to other therapies. This includes drugs like methotrexate, cyclosporin and biologic drugs.
4. Lifestyle Changes: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also influence the intensification and duration of psoriasis outbreaks. This includes a balanced, healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding alcohol, tobacco and managing stress levels.
5. Over-the-counter Drugs: Nonprescription creams and ointments that contain active ingredients, such as salicylic acid, may be used to help minimize the scaling and redness from psoriasis.
Remember that treatments should always be prescribed by a healthcare provider. Before starting any treatment, it is important to discuss potential benefits and side effects with a healthcare provider.
Medications commonly used for Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can be managed with several types of medications. Here are some of the most commonly used:
1. Topical Treatments: Most people often start with topical treatments. These are ointments and creams applied to the skin.
Topical corticosteroids: These are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that can quickly reduce inflammation and itching. They are available in different strengths and are best for mild to moderate psoriasis.
Vitamin D analogues: These are compounds that contain synthetic forms of vitamin D to slow skin cell growth, e.g., Calcipotriene (Dovonex) and Calcitrol (Rocaltrol).
Retinoids: These are derived from vitamin A and can decrease inflammation. E.g., Tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac).
2. Light Therapy (Phototherapy): This involves exposing the skin to either natural or artificial ultraviolet light under medical supervision.
3. Oral Medications and Injectables:
Methotrexate: This drug can reduce the production of skin cells and suppress inflammation. It might also slow the progression of psoriatic arthritis.
Cyclosporine: This acts on the immune system to slow the growth of skin cells.
Retinoids: These can be taken orally if other treatments are not effective.
4. Biologic drugs: These are drugs that alter the immune system are also called biologics. They’re taken by injection or by IV infusion. Examples include Adalimumab (Humira), Infliximab (Remicade), Etanercept (Enbrel), and Ustekinumab (Stelara).
Please note that each of these medications has potential side effects and risks that must be discussed with a healthcare provider. Also, not all treatments are suitable for everyone, and sometimes a combination of treatments may be necessary.
It’s important to continue consulting with your doctor to find the best solution for managing your psoriasis.
Prevention of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that’s currently incurable but can be managed with appropriate lifestyle changes and treatment. Here are some strategies that might help prevent psoriasis flare-ups:
1. Moisturize your skin: Keep your skin moist to prevent dryness and cracking as these can trigger psoriasis. Use fragrance-free moisturizers to avoid irritating your skin.
2. Healthy Diet: Maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Certain foods can trigger psoriasis in some people. Pay attention to what you eat and avoid foods that seem to worsen your condition.
3. Avoid alcohol and tobacco: Both alcohol and tobacco can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms. Try to limit your alcohol intake and quit smoking if you are a smoker.
4. Stress Management: Stress is a significant trigger for psoriasis. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga, or pay attention to your mental health by seeing a therapist or counselor.
5. Exercise Regularly & Maintain a Healthy Weight: Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight may help prevent psoriasis flare-ups. Obesity can make symptoms worse and increase the risk of developing psoriasis.
6. Sun Exposure: While moderate sun exposure may help improve symptoms, too much can trigger a flare-up and increase the risk of skin cancer. Always use sunscreen when you’re outside.
7. Avoid Infections: Respiratory infections, strep throat, tonsillitis, and other illnesses or infections can trigger psoriasis in some people. Therefore, you should take care to avoid contagious people and treat infections promptly.
Remember to always consult with a healthcare professional or a dermatologist for personalized advice and treatment options as each individual’s condition can vary significantly.
FAQ’s about Psoriasis
Sure, here are some frequently asked questions about psoriasis:
1. What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition where skin cells multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. This results in bumpy red patches covered with white scales, frequently on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet, or back.
2. What causes psoriasis?
The exact cause of psoriasis isn’t known, but it’s related to an immune system problem with T cells and other white blood cells, called neutrophils, in your body. Triggers can include infections, stress, cold, and certain medications.
3. Is psoriasis contagious?
Psoriasis is not contagious. You can’t get psoriasis from touching someone who has it, or by sharing personal items.
4. How is psoriasis diagnosed?
Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis by performing a physical exam of the skin. In some cases, a biopsy may be taken.
5. What is the treatment for psoriasis?
Psoriasis treatment varies depending on the severity and location of the patches, amongst other factors. It can include topical treatments, light therapy, systemic medications and biologic drugs.
6. Can psoriasis be cured?
There’s currently no cure for psoriasis, but treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups.
7. Is psoriasis hereditary?
Yes, genetics can play a role in developing psoriasis, although environmental factors are also important.
8. Does diet affect psoriasis?
Certain foods can trigger psoriasis flare-ups. Alcohol, junk foods, red meat, dairy products, and gluten can potentially exacerbate psoriasis symptoms.
9. Is psoriasis related to other health conditions?
Yes, psoriasis is associated with other serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
10. Are certain people more susceptible to psoriasis?
Psoriasis can develop at any age, but it most commonly begins between ages 15 and 35. It affects men and women equally. People with a family history of psoriasis and those with a weakened immune system, like those with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy, may be more at risk.
Always remember to reach out to a healthcare provider for more detailed individual information and recommendations.
Psoriasis is a common, chronic, genetic, systemic inflammatory disease that is characterized by symptoms and signs such as elevated itchy plaques of raised red skin covered with thick silver scales. Psoriasis is usually found on the elbows, knees, and scalp but can often affect the legs, trunk, and nails. Psoriasis may be found on any part of the skin.
The exact cause of psoriasis remains unknown, although it is reasonable to assume that the condition is related to an unregulated immune response. Other contributing factors may include the environment, genetics, and immune system.
Below are some useful journal links for Psoriasis:
Please consult with a healthcare provider for more detailed and personalized information.
Complications of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth of skin cells. This build-up of cells causes scaling on the skin’s surface.
Various complications can be associated with psoriasis:
1. Psoriatic Arthritis: This medical condition causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. It can affect any part of your body, including your spine. A percentage of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis.
2. Cardiovascular Diseases: Psoriasis, especially if severe, may increase risk for a number of cardiovascular conditions including heart disease and strokes.
3. Mental Health Issues: The visible symptoms of psoriasis can lead to emotional distress and can contribute to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.
4. Kidney Disease: Moderate to severe psoriasis can increase the risk of kidney disease.
5. Eye Disorders: Certain eye disorders are more common in people with psoriasis, including conjunctivitis, uveitis and blepharitis.
6. Type 2 Diabetes: The risk of type 2 diabetes rises in people with psoriasis.
7. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: More likely to occur in people with psoriasis, this condition generally poses no symptoms but can lead to liver damage.
8. Other Autoimmune Diseases: Celiac disease, sclerosis and the inflammatory bowel disease called Crohn’s disease are more likely to strike people with psoriasis.
9. Obesity: People with psoriasis, especially those with severe disease, are more likely to be obese. It’s not clear how these diseases are linked, however.
10. Cancer: Certain cancers, including squamous cell and lymphoma, are more likely to occur in people with psoriasis.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and working with doctors to keep the disease under control can help to prevent these complications from developing.
Home remedies of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes discomfort and inflammation of the skin. While there’s no cure, some home remedies may provide some relief and improve skin appearance. Always remember to speak with your doctor before starting any new treatments to understand possible interactions or side effects. Here are some potential home remedies to treat symptoms of psoriasis:
1. Daily Baths: Regular baths can help remove scales and calm inflamed skin. Use lukewarm water and mild soap. Epsom salts or colloidal oatmeal may also be beneficial.
2. Moisturize: Dry skin can worsen psoriasis symptoms. Keep your skin moisturized, particularly right after bathing when your skin is soft and most readily absorbs lotion.
3. Sunlight: Small amounts of sunlight can improve psoriasis symptoms. Be careful, though, as too much can lead to skin damage and worsen psoriasis.
4. Aloe Vera: Some studies have shown that aloe vera could reduce redness and scaling associated with psoriasis.
5. Fish Oil: It has omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation in the body, including skin inflammation.
6. Turmeric: Turmeric, particularly its active compound curcumin, has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits which can help in managing psoriasis.
7. Maintain a Healthy Diet: Foods that are anti-inflammatory can be beneficial. This includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
8. Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco: Consuming alcohol or tobacco can worsen psoriasis symptoms.
9. Meditation and Stress Reduction: High stress levels can trigger flare-ups. Try relaxation techniques like yoga or deep breathing.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar: It can help soothe itchy scalp due to psoriasis.
Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or regimen.