How to deal with Psoriasis? Causes, Types and Treatment of Psoriasis.
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What is Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a non-contiguous skin ailment where skin cells develop into dry and itchy patches and form scales. These skin cells are many a times painful as they compile, resulting into the formation of a thick dry ad silvery scales as well as red patches. In some circumstances, the appearance of pus filled blisters takes place. As the psoriasis patches are versatile in nature, they may diverge from some minimal spots to large scale eruptions covering extensive areas.
It is noted that out of 100 at least 1-2 people have psoriasis. This means out of 1.35 billion people in India at least 1-2 crore people may have psoriasis.
General causes of Psoriasis
With the advent of technology and years of research work, experts have found out the two major causes by which psoriasis takes place.
Genes can be one of the primary reasons backing psoriasis, as many humans tend to develop this disorder due to their inheritance of genes from their immediate family members. With this, if any close blood relation carries this skin condition, it is liable for the other individual in that family to attain psoriasis.
Human body consists of various kinds of cells. Amongst which, White blood cells strive to protect the body from numerous infections by attacking and destroying the invading bacteria’s. While doing so, these cells mistakenly cause the production process of skin cells to go into an overdrive mode. This results into piling up of new skin cells on the skin surface which are called plaques.
As human bodies vary in nature, the impact of any kind of disease and it’s symptoms differ from person to person. Also, the type of psoriasis is an influential factor for the symptoms to show up. With this, the most prevailing symptoms of psoriasis comprises of:
- Whitish-silver scales
- Inflamed patches of skin which are reddish in color
- Patches which gives a sense of itching and burning
- Some soreness around the patches etc.
It is also evident that the symptoms of psoriasis has a recurrent nature. This means for a certain period of time (usually few days or weeks) these symptoms reaches it’s peak and then after diminishes to get completely unnoticeable.
Types of Psoriasis
As mentioned earlier, Psoriasis possesses a versatile kind of nature for which it is classified into eight main categories.
Psoriasis Vulgaris (where Vulgaris means common) is basically the medical term for the most common form of psoriasis. It is estimated that amongst all the psoriasis affected patients, 80% of them have Psoriasis Vulgaris. Commonly termed as “plaque psoriasis”, it reflects well defined patches of red raised skin as well as silvery white build up on the top of plaques which is known as scale. The areas affected can be elbows, knees, trunk, scalp etc.
As the name suggests, scalp psoriasis takes place on the scalp of human body. It is non-contiguous, thus the possible causes are due to immune system which many a times sends faulty signals as to which the skin cells grow too quickly. These skin cells pile up to form red patches which are also visible on forehead, down the back of neck and behind the ears along with the scalp. Itchiness, dry flaky scalp, red and white patches are some of the symptoms of scalp psoriasis.
In this type of psoriasis, the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are affected. Palmoplantar psoriasis may occur at any age. The symptoms can be redness and scaling in the palms, itching and burning sensation and bleeding. Also, the environmental factors and lifestyle choices can elevate the chances of establishing palmoplantar psoriasis.
Formation of psoriasis beneath the cuticle from the nail root leads to nail psoriasis. Change in the color, appearance of the surface, thickening, separation and building up pf debris are some of the symptoms related to nail psoriasis.
Also known as hidden or intertriginous psoriasis, Inverse psoriasis usually affects skin folds. The areas of body where skin rubs against the skin is where this psoriasis is found. It does not happen in general and mainly occurs in the groin area, inner thighs or under the armpits.
Psoriatic arthritis takes place in the bones of a human body. It is a condition in which the patients fingers and toes get swollen. Also, various joints in the body are affected resulting into stiffness and tiredness, scaly skin, fatigue and less range of motion.
Oligoarticular and Polyarticular are the major types of psoriatic arthritis. They are differed by the number of joints which are affected as well as the type of pain occurred.
Psoriatic Erythroderma is a rare as well as life-threatening type of psoriasis. It covers almost all parts of the body from head to toe. The characteristics of psoriatic erythroderma are inflammatory and aggressive in nature and thus the skin appears to be completely red as sunburned.
Commonly seen in the adults, pustular psoriasis leads to whitish, pus-filled blisters on various parts of the body. They form near or inside the red skin blotches and are termed as pustules. Pustular psoriasis generally form on the palms, soles, fingers etc.
Let’s keep it clear, Psoriasis in incurable. This means it can be controlled but cannot be cured completely. Thus the treatment mainly focuses on the reduction of scales, inflammation and elimination of plaques.
Several types of treatments have come to life after decades of research and experiments.
In order to reduce mild to moderate type of psoriasis, application of ointments and creams directly on the skin can prove to be advantageous. Topical treatments such as Topical steroid cream, Calciborite (Non-steroid cream), Acitretin capsules which helps to remove dead skin, moisturizers are most commonly used for psoriasis.
It is advised to consult a doctor every time before indulging into any kind of treatment.
Patients who have failed to respond well with other basic treatments and who fall under moderate to severe psoriasis may require oral medications. As these medications are heavy doses and may lead to severe side effects, experts tend to prescribe them for a shorter time duration.
One such medicine is Methotrexate. It is being considered as a world class oral medication for psoriasis which has been preferred by the doctor’s since decades. Along with this, Cyclosporine, Biologics and Retinoids also hold a firm place in oral medications for psoriasis.
Certain blood tests as well as Liver Sonography is a prerequisite for such kind of medications.
As the world visualizes advancement in technology, various tech savvy treatments for psoriasis have also introduced. One of these treatments is the Ultraviolet (UVA/UVB) light which is utilized for reducing psoriasis of mild to moderate level. The UVB light is taken into consideration for cases such as Psoriatic Erythroderma and Pustular Psoriasis in which the degree of ailment is elevated. Moreover, utilization of “Excimer Light” is executed in cases of mild to moderate psoriasis such as the Scalp, Palmoplantar and Nail psoriasis.
Other treatments include biological injections. These kind of injections are very much in trend nowadays as they are very much effective and safe. The only drawback is the hefty price of these doses as on an average a single injection can cost you anywhere between 1 to 4 Lakh rupees.
Living up with Psoriasis
It is very much obvious that keeping up with your day to day activities with psoriasis can be challenging but as the quote goes “Where there is a will, there is a way”, a healthy and fulfilling life can be achieved whilst reduction of flare-ups with the right approach.
Following are some tips to cope up with psoriasis.
Although dieting and keeping a watch on food intake has nothing much to do with psoriasis, but obesity is one of the key body condition which effects psoriasis. Maintaining a healthy weight can prove to be a helping hand in easing and reducing the symptoms of psoriasis.
One of the key provoking factors of psoriasis is stress. Management of stress and easiness in life helps one in diminishing the break outs and ease symptoms.
Yoga and meditation are some of the prominent methods to reduce stress.
Keeping a check on the consumption of alcohol is imperative as the medication of psoriasis impacts the liver which is already being affected by the alcoholic beverages.
Environmental conditions, volume of sleep as well as positive and healthy lifestyle can prove to be a propitious factors for coping up with psoriasis.