Psoriasis : World’s Common But Dangerous Skin Disease

Introduction

Psoriasis the name is enough to describe it. It is a not fatal but it may be life threatening if it left untreated. Approximately 2% of world population is affected by psoriasis every year. It affects people age between 25-35 years. It is a long lasting inflammatory autoimmune disease characterized by patches of abnormal skin. The patches are generally itchy, red and scaly. In the initial stage it is slow but if left untreated it may worse the life of patient and may lead to death of patient. So never ignore it.

What is Psoriasis ?

It is a common skin disease in which life cycle of skin cells becomes fast. Generally new cells take at least one month to come on top from bottom layer of the skin to make epidermis layer and then these cells fade away. But in psoriasis new formed cells grow very fast and comes on top layer within 5-10 days and accumulated forming thick silvery scales ( crust ) and itchy red patches. It can be painful. These red patches are known as psoriatic plaques. It is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system which is a defence system becomes against your body. This disease doesn’t spread through contact so it not contagious. It comes under controllable diseases not in curable disease because the permanent cure for it is not known yet.

psoriasis on both elbow

Causes

According to medical sciences it is an autoimmune disease which is related to a type of white blood cells called T- Lymphocytes or T-cells ( T helper cells ). You know very well the main function of T-cells is to detect the viruses, bacteria and other foreign substances and kill them. But in case of psoriasis T-cells get confused and start killing own healthy skin cells which leads to a increase production of healthy skin cells and T-cells and it becomes a vicious cycle ( bad behaviour of T-cells ). Now this production of new cells leads to accumulation of dead skin cells and WBC on the skin which builds up in thick, scaly patches. So in a nutshell I want to make you understand that actual cause of psoriasis is not known so far but it occurs because of over production of keratin. Stress, Local trauma, Infection, Alcohol consumption, Drugs also trigger it.

palm psoriasis

Symptoms

Symptoms may vary person to person. The major symptoms includes :

  • Red patches on skin covered with silver scales.
  • Small scaling spots ( in children )
  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
  • Blisters with pus
  • Fever in pustular psoriasis
  • Itching, burning, soreness (pain)
  • Discomfort & sleeplessness due to itching
  • Thickened, pitted and ridged nails (pointed nails)
  • Swollen, painful, stiff joints ( hard joints)
  • Low self esteem (reputation) and embarassment because of one’s looks.
  • Social isolation
  • Suicidal thoughts

Types of Psoriasis

On the basis of region and affect :

1. Plaque psoriasis

It is most common and it is also known as psoriasis vulgaris and it may occur in any part of the body.

2. Nail psoriasis

Almost in 50% of psoriasis patients, nails also get affected. Nails become pitted, discoloration ( mostly pale yellow ) and nails start to break.

3. Scalp psoriasis

In scalp psoriasis hair fall in spots and pad patches are seen.

4. Guttate psoriasis

It is generally seen in children and young adults. In this strep throat infection also occurs. Chest, arms and legs have found with small spots

5. Inverse psoriasis

It affects your armpits, genitals ( sexual organs ), groins ( area between abdomen and thigh ) and under the breast. It is most common in overweight people and becomes worse by friction and sweating.

6. Pustular psoriasis

This type of psoriasis generally occurs on palms and soles. In this red and white pus filled blisters form. It causes severe itching, fever, weight loss and fatigue.

7. Erythrodermic psoriasis

It affects the entire body with a red peeling rash, intense itching and burning. It is a life threatening condition because the defensive mechanism of skin get finishes in this. The patient gets affected with heat, fluid loss and harmful bacteria.

pitted nails

On the basis of body percentage covered :

1. Mild psoriasis- If 2% of total body area is affected.
2. Moderate psoriasis- If 2-10% of body surface area is affected.
3. Severe psoriasis- If more than 10% of body surface area is affected.

Most common sites of psoriasis

  • Extensor of elbow ( external elbow joint )
  • Knees
  • Scalp ( Hairs )

Diagnosis

Actually there are no blood tests for diagnosis of disease similar to other autoimmune diseases. A dermatologist will examine the body of patients very carefully and he confirms the psoriasis if finds Auspitz signs ( small bleeding points after removing scale from the skin ). The doctor also examines the Koebnar phenomenon ( newly produced skin lesions ). For more accurate diagnosis the skin biopsy is the preferred criteria for confirmation of psoriasis. The small scale or skin tissue is taken from the skin and observe it under the electron microscope.

allergic elbow

Some facts about this disease

If anybody has psoriasis disease then the chances of getting BP problem, Diabetes and Obesity are more for that person. It also follows genetics. If mother or father or both had psoriasis in their life then the chances of developing this disease in their child is very high.

Prevention

  • Lose your weight. Don’t let it increase. Keep it in balance.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Quit smoking
  • Doing regular exercise
  • Make ideal diet. Avoid oily food and junk food and take omega fatty acids items ( nuts ).
  • Keep away mental and physical stress.
  • Don’t take medicines that triggers psoriasis such as pain killers, anti-malarial drugs, beta blockers and some psychotic drugs.
  • Don’t take bath with warm water. After taking bath apply mosturizers or lotions.
plaque psoriasis

Treatment of psoriasis

Home remedies

1. Roast the wheat in the griddle over the fire till it becomes ash. Now add pure mustard oil and prepare the paste and apply over the affected area.
2. Boil the pure mustard ( 375 gm ) oil with red dried chilli ( 125 gm ) for 5 minutes over the fire. Now filter the oil and keep it in a bottle. Apply it over the affected area continuously for some days.

Homeopathy treatment

1. Sulphur – 1 M – take 2 drops in empty stomach every sunday.
2. Hydrocotyl – Q – take 10 drops in one cup of normal water in morning & evening everyday.
3. R – 65 – take 10 drops in one cup of normal water in morning & evening everyday.

Precautions

Never try to discontinue the medication that your doctor has suggested for you for psoriasis. Otherwise it may become worst and it is a life threatening condition. It may flare up whole body and chronic infection may occur that may leads to death of the person.

1. Don’t take steroids injections and tablets such as Dexona, Betnesol, Wysolone, Prednisolone, Tricort, Decadron etc. Steroids supress the psoriasis for 1st two weeks but after that the psoriatic symptoms becomes 2 times dangerous and worsen the condition.

2. If you are taking following medicines, please avoid them such as Chloroquine, Alcohol, Lithium, B-blockers, ACE Inhibitors etc. All of them increase the risk factors in psoriasis and cause liver damage. In presence of all of these drugs we can’t use methotrexate medicine which is the best medicine for treatment of psoriasis.

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