Psoriasis: A General Overview of the Condition, Its Causes, and Treatment
Across the country, there are millions of people every year who are suffering from numerous medical conditions. Some of them are more serious than others. Even the ones that many of us may not know of as being incredibly serious are still a significant factor in many people’s lives. A great example would be the disease psoriasis. There are millions of people in our country and across the planet who have this condition and struggle with it every day. While it is not necessarily debilitating it does have a serious impact on their lives and it does deserve its own mention. Let’s take a closer look at exactly how this syndrome functions.
Psoriasis: A Genetic Dermatological Condition
Psoriasis is a long-lasting autoimmune disease. It is typically characterized by the appearance of patches of abnormal skin. This skin abnormality typically presents as areas of red or purple skin on people that are dry itchy and scaly. The extent to which the body is covered in these abnormalities depends on the severity of psoriasis. It could vary from involving incredibly small localized and compartmentalized areas of the body all the way to the entire body being covered. It is also possible for an individual that has psoriasis to be injured and have skin that was previously not prone to psoriasis to then exhibit the condition in the future.
There are several different types of psoriasis overall, in total there are five of them. Those would be the plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic. Almost 90% of cases are made up of what is known as plaque psoriasis. This form typically presents as white scales on the top of red patches of skin. These areas of the skin most commonly appear on the forearms, shins, navel area, and scalp. Guttate psoriasis has drop-shaped lesions. Pustular psoriasis appears with small noninfectious blisters that are filled with pus. Inverse psoriasis forms red patches where the skin folds, such as the arm pit or groin. Pustular psoriasis is distinguished by white pus filled blisters which are the white blood cells, this is not a contagious condition. Erythrodermic psoriasis is very rare but serious and requires medical attention. It can stem from other forms of psoriasis and can have serious implications involving the heart or lungs.
What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Psoriasis?
The symptoms of psoriasis are going to depend on which type of psoriasis you have and how severe it is. The most common symptoms are going to include plaques of redskin with silver-colored scales. Sometimes these plaques can cause pain, itching, cracking or bleeding. In the most severe cases, they can even merge with other patches and grow to cover large areas of the body. Another incredibly common symptom is disorders of both the fingernails and toenails. These can include discoloration and issues within the pits of the nails. The nails could end up crumbling or detaching from the nail beds. It is thought of as a disease that is either entirely genetic in nature or is genetic in nature and triggered by environmental stimuli. There are however various things that can affect exactly how severe it is presenting at the moment. People can have flareups with different types of conditions. These factors will vary depending on the individual so that means one person may exhibit some of traits and others will experience fewer or all of those traits.
Some of the factors that have been found to trigger the autoimmune response are cold-weather, stress, certain medications, infections, injury to the skin, alcohol, and smoking. If we take a step back and look at all of these things together you will be able to see that whenever the body is put into a stressful situation or is consuming things that are toxic this condition worsens.
How Do You Treat Psoriasis?
Since we can see how the condition worsens whenever you are in different circumstances we can take the knowledge and apply it to our treatment of psoriasis. Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis as it is a genetic condition. However, there are many therapies that allow us to live with the condition and keep it manageable in a way that allows us to live our lives as if the condition didn’t exist at all. Topical treatments are going to be the most direct way to approach this condition. These will include various ointments that you will apply directly to the skin.
There is also phototherapy for psoriasis. In many individuals who suffer from this condition, they have found that by exposing their bodies to the benefits of sunlight they are able to severely decrease the number of lesions that they are experiencing. For many cases of very difficult to control psoriasis doctors will resort to light therapy. The most effective treatment is a combination therapy. This therapy is referred to as PUVA which stands for the drug psoralen combined with ultraviolet A. It can lead to an increased risk of cancer but it is incredibly effective at treating psoriasis.
Anything Else You Should Know About Psoriasis
Psoriasis is generally thought of to be a genetic disease however there is also a general recognition that it is triggered by environmental factors. In studies with twins, it has been shown that if one twin has psoriasis the other twin is over three times more likely to be affected if the twins are identical versus non-identical twins. There have been many links with other factors that could potentially make the condition worse such as the time of year, certain medications such as beta-blockers, as well as stress. Psoriasis is not a contagious condition so you do not need to worry about it spreading to other people but if you are suffering from it or if someone that you care about is suffering from it there are many things that you can do in order to help alleviate the condition. Even though there is no cure for this type of condition that does not mean it is impossible to manage.