Psoriasis is a common skin disease which fastens the life cycle of skin cells. It causes the buildup of cells fast on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form red patches and scales which are itchy and they are sometimes painful.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease thus the main goal of treatment is to prevent the skin cells from growing fast. There is no cure for psoriasis however its symptoms can be managed. Lifestyle measures as moisturizing, managing stress and quitting smoking can be helpful.
Following are different types of psoriasis:
- Plaque psoriasis: Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis which causes raised, dry, red skin lesions that are covered with silvery scales. The plaques can be itchy or painful. They can develop anywhere on the body, including genitals.
- Nail psoriasis: Psoriasis can develop on the toenails and fingernails leading to pitting, discolouration and abnormal nail growth. Psoriatic nails can separate and loosen from the nail bed. In worse cases, nails can crumble.
- Guttate psoriasis: This form of psoriasis attacks young adults and children. It is generally triggered by a bacterial infection as strep throat. It is marked by small, scaling lesions on your legs, trunk, arms and scalp. The lesions are covered with fine scale and they are not thick as plaques.
- Inverse psoriasis: This usually affects the skin of the armpits, under the breasts, in the groin and around the genitals. It causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin which can become worse with sweating and friction. Fungal infections can stimulate this form of psoriasis.
- Pustular psoriasis: This is the uncommon type of psoriasis which can develop in widespread patches or in smaller areas on feet, hands or fingertips. It usually occurs fast, with pus-filled blisters visible just hours after redness and tenderness of the skin. The blisters can come and go regularly.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: The least common form of psoriasis. It can cover your whole body with a red, peeling rash which causes itching or burning severely.
- Psoriatic arthritis: Psoriatic arthritis can cause inflamed, scaly skin along with swollen, painful joints. In some cases, the joint symptoms and sometimes nail changes are the first sign of psoriasis. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and any joint can be affected. This condition is not usually crippling but it can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage which in severe cases results as permanent deformity.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
The common signs and symptoms of psoriasis are:
- Dry, cracked skin which may bleed
- Thickened, pitted nails
- Stiff and Swollen Joints
- Itching, soreness or burning
- Small scaling spots
- Red patches on skin covered with thick, silvery scales
Causes of Psoriasis
The causes of psoriasis are not fully known but it is believed to be relevant to immune system problem with T cells and neutrophils in the body. T cells usually travel in the body to defend against foreign substances. But in psoriasis patient, the T cells attack healthy skin cells mistakenly to fight an infection.
Overactive T cells stimulate the increased formation of healthy skin cells. This leads to redness and in some cases pus in Pustular lesions. According to researchers both genetics and environmental factors also play a role.
Risk Factors for Psoriasis
Following are the risk factors for psoriasis:
- Family history: This is the major risk factor. If you have one parent with psoriasis then risk to you increases and if you have two parents with psoriasis then the risk increases even more.
- Viral and bacterial infections: Patients with AIDS are more susceptible to develop psoriasis. Children and young adults with frequently occurring infections have increased the risk of developing psoriasis.
- Stress: High-stress levels can elevate the risk of psoriasis.
- Obesity: Excess body weight can increase the risk of psoriasis. Lesions of psoriasis usually occur in skin folds and creases.
- Smoking: Smoking tobacco increases the risk of psoriasis and in patients with psoriasis it increases the severity of the disease.
COMPLICATIONS OF PSORIASIS:
Following are the complications associated with psoriasis:
- Psoriatic arthritis: Psoriasis can cause joint damage in some joints that can be debilitating.
- Eye conditions: Certain eye disorders as conjunctivitis and blepharitis are common in patients of psoriasis.
- Obesity: Patients with psoriasis that have the more severe disease are more susceptible to obese.
- Type 2 diabetes: The risk of type 2 diabetes increases in patients with psoriasis.
- High blood pressure: High blood pressure condition is higher for the patients with psoriasis.
- Cardiovascular disease: The risk of cardiovascular disease is twice higher for the patients with psoriasis.
- Metabolic syndrome: Conditions as high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels and elevated insulin levels increase the risk of heart disease.
- Parkinson & prime;s disease: This chronic condition is more susceptible to develop in the patients with psoriasis.
- Kidney disease: Moderate to severe psoriasis increases the risk of kidney disease.
- Emotional problems: Psoriasis can also cause low self-esteem and depression.
DIAGNOSIS OF PSORIASIS:
Diagnosis of psoriasis is usually easy. Following are the various ways to diagnose psoriasis:
- Physical exam and medical history: Generally psoriasis is diagnosed by examining skin, scalp and nail.
- Medical history also helps to diagnose the condition.
- Skin biopsy: Doctor can take a small sample of skin in rare cases to determine the exact form of psoriasis.