Skin Disease

Psoriasis – Tried and tested tips to overcome this frustrating health condition

Healthy body and mind are the keys to success. Even the health problem that may not be life threatening would hinder your routine lifestyle substantially due to psychological impact of the same. Psoriasis, a chronic skin problem that makes your skin patchy due to overgrowth of skin cells is also one such disease where people suffering from it would also suffer from low self-esteem and other psychological issues.


What is Psoriasis?

The normal skin formation cycle is of 4 weeks where the new skin cells are formed to replace the existing skin cells which grow old and shed off. While in case of Psoriasis, the new skin cells grow very rapidly and come on the surface in just some days instead of weeks. The old skin cells won’t shed out in days and hence there would be accumulated overgrowth of new cells on the skin which would give patchy appearance. These patches are silver, white or red in color and their size may differ from person to person. The patches can be small or big but they tend to reoccur from time to time.

Causes for Psoriasis

The causes for Psoriasis are many and the exact cause of this disease is still unknown. Some of the causes may be genetic while some others may be environmental.

Another cause for Psoriasis is considered to be overreaction of immune system. When the immune system becomes hyperactive, it causes inflammation of the skin by interfering with the normal functioning of body. The genetically triggered Psoriasis would run in families. The research on the probable causes is carried out since three decades now but the exact reason for its occurrence is still unknown.

Different types of Psoriasis

The patches formed in Psoriasis, popularly called Plaque are mainly used to distinguish between the various types of Psoriasis.

Vulgaris Psoriasis: This is amongst the common types of psoriasis. The plaque caused in this type of psoriasis is usually the common type of plaque.

Inverse Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis usually occurs in the folded areas of the body. These folded areas include navel, buttocks, groin and underarms.

Guttate Psoriasis: Guttate psoriasis can be distinguished from other types of psoriasis by the type of plaque which usually appears as cluster of small drops.

Palmoplantar Psoriasis: In this type of psoriasis, the plaque usually occurs on the sole and palm area.

Pustular Psoriasis: The pus-filled blisters that are yellow in color may indicate the pustular psoriasis.

Nail Psoriasis: Nail psoriasis is mainly found in the nails. The color of the nail turns yellowish and looks just like the fungal infection of nail.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This psoriasis will involve the entire skin surface. It can be harmful for those suffering from heart ailments as the patients of erythrodermic psoriasis may also face the risk of heart failure followed by cold.

Scalp Psoriasis: It may have visible effect on the scalp and hair. The patient will face visible hair loss in the process and would also come across issues like itching and dandruff.

When to see a doctor?

If you come across any of the symptoms related to psoriasis, it is strongly recommended that you see a dermatologist. These symptoms may include pink or red colored patches with scaly skin. You will find these patches on any part of your body and most commonly on the areas that experience more friction and sweating.

Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis cannot be completely cured but it can be kept under control by administering proper treatment methods. The line of treatment is usually decided by the dermatologist based on the severity of the disease, areas of skin involved and also the form of psoriasis.

If only 10% of the skin is involved, the treatment would mostly be topical and the local application of ointments would suffice.

In cases where 20% of the skin is affected, entire body treatment consisting of medicines and injections would be adequate.

None of these medicines used to treat psoriasis are 100% safe and none of them would cure this skin issue to the fullest. Hence, it is recommended that you opt for preventive diet plans more to prevent this condition from occurring again and again. Also, your physician may keep on rotating your medication every six month to avoid the side effects caused by one type of medication. This will keep the toxicity of the medication in check to great extent.

Summing up, those at the higher risk of psoriasis due to the genetic effect or those who have suffered from psoriasis anytime during the lifetime may avoid harsh sunlight and keep the affected area dry. Applying moisturizer and lotion to keep the affected area moist would also be helpful. Keeping yourself clean and dry would help you significantly in keeping this skin problem at bay. You can also check with your nutritionist to get the list of foods to be included or avoided to prevent psoriasis.

Image source by flickr