What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition. There are around five different types, each with different signs and symptoms. People who suffer from Psoriasis get a related form of arthritis called – psoriatic arthritis, which causes inflammation of the joints. Plaque Psoriasis is the most common type of Psoriasis. Most of the people who develop Psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, which appears as patches of raised red skin covered by silvery-white scale. They frequently form on elbows, knees, lower back and scalp. However, plaque can occur anywhere on the body.
What causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is the oldest skin condition; scientist still feels that there are no known what causes Psoriasis; research has significantly advanced our understanding. The one important breakthrough began with the discovery that kidney-transplant recipients who had psoriasis experienced clearing when taking cyclosporine. Since cyclosporine is a potent immunosuppressive medication, this indicates that the immune system is involved.
The fact that Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease is based on the fact that scientists have found many abnormally enormous numbers of T cells (white cells) in the red and flaky skin patches of people suffering from Psoriasis.
Types of Psoriasis?
- Plaque psoriasis – The most common type of psoriasis it usually appears as thick, flaky patches of skin on one or more parts of the body. Sometimes the patches affected the skin are large. It can occur anywhere on the body. Common body parts affected sites are elbows, knees, scalp, arms and legs. They usually do not itch, but when scratched they become inflamed.
- Guttate psoriasis – This psoriasis usually or often affects children and young adults. It appears as small, red bumps-the size of drops of water on the skin. It tends to appear suddenly, often after several weeks after an infection such as step throat.
- Inverse psoriasis – Inverse psoriasis is also called skin-fold, flexural or genital psoriasis, because smooth, red and dry patches usually occur in the folds of the skin. Inverse psoriasis may concentrate on the genital area as well could be under the breasts and in the armpits and is common in people who are overweight. Symptoms include sweating and friction and the skin affected could cause discomfort and this can make sexual relations very difficult.
Psoriasis initially starts as one type and evolves into another.
Unfortunately, none of the available treatments for psoriasis is a cure. Treatment may often help to control the disease for long periods, and disease can come back when treatment stops.
- The type of psoriasis
- The extent and severity of psoriasis
- The age, sex and lifestyle of the person affected
- How the person has responded to the treatment for psoriasis in the past
In common, treatment could be as:
- Medications applied to the skin
- Treatments that use light
- Medications given as a pill or injection
These treatments can be combined together in various different ways to get the best results.
All of the treatments used for widespread, severe psoriasis have side effects when used for a long time. One way to reduce side effects is to use one treatment (or combination of treatments) for one to two years, then switch to another treatment, and continue in this fashion through a series of different treatments. This is called rotational therapy.
If the skin clears up, treatment is stopped until psoriasis reappears. Then the cycle of rotating treatments begins again.