Psoriasis is a skin condition in which skin cells develop up to ten times faster than they should. The skin becomes rough red spots covered with white scales as a result of this. They can grow on any part of the body, although the majority of them appear on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be spread from one person to another. It does happen to members of the same family from time to time.
Early adulthood is when psoriasis commonly emerges. It affects only a few locations for most people. Psoriasis can cover vast areas of the body in severe cases. The patches can heal and reappear at any time during a person’s life.
- The signs and symptoms of psoriasis differ depending on the type. The most prevalent type of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis, has a number of symptoms.
- Red skin plaques, often coated in silver-colored scales. These plaques can be irritating and uncomfortable, as well as cracking and bleeding. Plaques can expand and combine in severe situations, covering huge areas.
- Discoloration and pitting of the fingernails and toenails are examples of nail disorders. It’s also possible that the nails will disintegrate or separate from the nail bed.
- Scale or crusty plaques on the scalp.
- Psoriatic arthritis is a kind of arthritis that affects people who have psoriasis. It causes inflammation and pain in the joints.
Pustular psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that develops red, scaly skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, as well as microscopic pustules.
Guttate psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that usually begins in infancy or early adulthood and involves tiny, red spots on the torso and limbs. Respiratory infections, strep throat, stress, skin damage, and antimalarial and beta-blocker medicines are also potential triggers.
Inverse psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that causes bright red, glossy lesions in skin folds like the armpits, groyne, and beneath the breasts.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is a type of psoriasis characterised by a fiery redness of the skin and the loss of scales in sheets. Severe sunlight, infections, some drugs, and quitting some types of psoriasis treatment can all cause it. It must be addressed right away since it can cause serious sickness.
Psoriasis: What Causes It?
Psoriasis has no known aetiology, however doctors believe it is caused by a combination of factors. Inflammation is caused by a problem with the immune system, which causes new skin cells to develop too quickly. Skin cells are normally renewed every 10 to 30 days. New cells appear every 3 to 4 days in psoriasis. The silver scales are formed by the replacement of old cells with new ones.
Psoriasis usually runs in families, however it can also be passed down across generations. A grandfather and his grandchild, for example, may be affected, but not the child’s mother.
Psoriasis flare-ups can be triggered by a variety of factors, including:
- Emotional tension
- Infections caused by streptococci
- Blood pressure meds, anti-malarial treatments, lithium and other mood stabilisers, antibiotics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
- drugs (NSAIDs) are all examples of medications.
Fortunately, there are numerous therapies available. Others reduce irritation and dry skin by slowing the formation of new skin cells. Based on the extent of your rash, where it is on your body, your age, your overall health, and other factors, your doctor will devise a treatment plan that is appropriate for you. Treatments that are commonly used include:
- Creams containing steroids
- Moisturizing lotions for dry skin
- Tar from coal (a common treatment for scalp psoriasis available in lotions, creams, foams, shampoos, and bath solutions)
- A powerful vitamin D-based lotion or ointment (as prescribed by your doctor). Foods and supplements containing vitamin D have no impact.)
- Creams containing retinoids
Methotrexate: This medication has the potential to cause bone marrow and liver illness, as well as lung difficulties, thus it should only be used in extreme instances. Doctors keep a tight eye on their patients. You’ll need lab testing, possibly a chest X-ray, and perhaps a liver biopsy.
Retinoids: A class of medications connected to vitamin A includes pills, creams, foams, lotions, and gels. Because retinoids can have serious side effects, including birth abnormalities, they are not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
Cyclosporine: This immune-suppressing medicine can be used in extreme patients that haven’t responded to other treatments. Because it can harm the kidneys and raise blood pressure, your doctor will monitor your health attentively while you’re on it.
Treatments based on biology – These function by inhibiting the hyperactive portion of the immune system that causes psoriasis. adalimumab (Humira), brodalumab (Siliq), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), etanercept (Enbrel), guselkumab (Tremfya), infliximab (Remicade), ixekizumab (Taltz), risankizumab-rzaa (SKYRIZI), secukinuma (Stelara).
An inhibitor of enzymes – The medicine apremilast (Otezla) is a novel treatment for chronic inflammatory illnesses such as psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It’s a tablet that inhibits a certain enzyme, which helps to slow down other inflammation-causing activities.