Psoriasis – Symptoms & Treatment

Psoriasis is a condition where there is a sudden increase in the number of skin cells. It is a chronic skin disease that produces scaling on the skin, visible to the normal eye. It is not contagious but the inflammation and redness on the skin surface around the visible scales is very noticeable. A skin cell usually grows deep in the skin, slowly rises to the surface, and eventually falls off in a cycle that is typically for one month, however, Psoriasis is when there is a big increase in the skin cell production process. This disease requires treatment, Psoriasis treatment is quite popular.

This occurs mainly due to white blood cells (T-Cells) around the joints like elbows and knees. The scaling becomes obvious due to rapid cell production while not giving the new cells enough time to fall off. This type of scales also appear on hands, feet, neck, scalp, face as well and usually require the attention of a skin doctor.

Common Causes

There are five main types of Psoriasis including, Plaque, Guttate, Pustluar, Inverse, Erythrodermic. The main causes of Psoriasis are issues with the immune system or genetic. Our immune system kicks in when we get hurt or there is an infection. It tries to deploy white blood cells to attack and destroy any invading bacteria and fight the infection. When these cells attack, the skin cells itself by mistake it causes a speed up in cell production resulting in Psoriasis. The other major reason being inherit genes and can be because one of the immediate family members has this condition.

Symptoms of Psoriasis

The symptoms of Psoriasis can differ from person to person and can appear on the scalp, elbow, or any other major joint of the body like knees. No matter where it is, the symptoms include red and inflamed patches of skin. Other symptoms include whitish-silver scales or plaques on the red patches on the skin, dry skin, cracked skin with bleeding, itching, & burning around the patches. At times, the symptoms are also visible in nails as thick and pitted nails or as painful or swollen joints.

Common Treatment

Although there is no permanent cure for this disease, there are several treatments for people suffering from this disease. One of the popular treatments is a tropical treatment. This involves the use of salicylic acid, tropical steroids, and several other ingredients. There are also some special shampoos that have tar and coconut oil.

List of treatments available:

  • Tropical treatment: This treatment includes the application of creams and ointments directly on the joints where the skin issues persist.
  • Systemic medications: In the case where the problem is moderate to severe, systemic medication treatment is usually advisable. Medication is not always effective and some patients have side effects. Thus, there is the alternative of receiving oral medication or an injection.
  • Light therapy: This type of treatment uses UV light or natural light. Sunlight kills healthy blood cells and this, in turn, causes a rapid increase in cell growth. UVA and UVB light make it possible to reduce these symptoms. Patients with moderate to severe symptoms can benefit from this type of treatment.

For those showing symptoms of Psoriasis and undergoing treatment with a skin doctor, there are few minor adjustments to the diet that can go a long way. For patients who are overweight, it may be a good idea to lose some weight in order to make the treatment more effective. Besides which maintaining an overly healthy diet while under medication is also a good idea.

This includes reducing saturated fats (food like meats & dairy products), increase consumption of lean proteins that contain omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, shrimp walnuts, soybeans). There is also a list of foods one should avoid like red meat, refined sugar, dairy products, processed food, and excessive consumption of alcohol. Instead, consume a vitamin-rich diet or opt for vitamin supplements in the form of pills.

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