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All you need to know about Psoriasis

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Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes patches on the skin that become inflamed, itchy, scalp, sore, and very dry. As per several types of research, there are more than 125 million people worldwide with psoriasis. Dr. Seema Oberoi, explains what exactly is psoriasis, its symptoms, risks and complications associated with psoriasis, and the treatment plan for psoriasis.

Overview : What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common autoimmune disease with no cure. It is a condition in which the skin cells build up and start to form scales and itchy dry patches which leave the skin inflamed. There are visible signs of inflammation in the body such as raised plaques and scales on the skin. People suffering from psoriasis tend to go through cycles, experience flaring for a few weeks, and then it subsides for a while. The flaring up of skin is because of the overactive immune system that speeds up the growth of skin cells. On one hand, where the normal skin cells completely grow and shed off in a month, with psoriasis, on the other hand, the skin cells do this in a span of 3-4 days, and so instead of shedding, the skin cells start to pile up on the surface of the skin.

Types of Psoriasis and their Symptoms

There are several types of psoriasis, each of which varies in its signs and symptoms. Let us discuss the signs and symptoms based on the type of psoriasis.

Plaque Psoriasis

This is the most common type of psoriasis. Below are some of the signs to look for a better diagnosis.

  • Dry& itchy skin
  • Raised skin patches
  • Inflamed skin
  • Silvery scales
  • Redness on skin

Nail Psoriasis

As the name suggests, this type of psoriasis mostly affects fingernails and toenails. Below are some signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Abnormal nail growth
  • Nail discoloration
  • Pitting on nails
  • Loosen and separate
  • Nail crumbling

Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate psoriasis is usually found in young adults and children. The trigger point of Guttate psoriasis is strep throat due to bacterial infection. Below are some of the symptoms of guttate psoriasis.

  • Scaling spots on arms and legs
  • Teardrop-shaped bumps

Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis affects skin of the groin, armpits, breasts and hips. Below are some of the symptoms of inverse psoriasis.

  • Shiny, smooth, discolored rash
  • Cracks in your skin creases
  • Moist patch of skin
  • Itchiness
  • Inflamed skin

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis is one of the least common type of psoriasis. Below are some signs and symptoms of erythrodermic.

  • Red, itchy skin
  • scaly skin plaques
  • Skin rashes
  • Shedding of the skin

What Triggers Psoriasis : Causes

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. The exact cause of psoriasis is still unknown. Let is discuss some of the most common and known causes of psoriasis.

  • Infections, such as strep throat or skin infections
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Weather, especially extremely cold, dry conditions
  • Injury to the skin, such as a cut or scrape
  • Severe sunburn
  • Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoking
  • Certain medications

Diagnosis

Your healthcare expert will ask you questions with respect to your symptoms. After understanding your signs he will further examine your skin and suggest you to undergo a biopsy. He/She will take a small sample of your skin to examine under the microscope. This diagnosis will help determine the type of psoriasis and help plan the next course of action.

Treatment

The treatment of psoriasis helps to stop the abnormal growth of skill cells that are growing way too quickly than they should. Treatment options include –

  • Creams & ointments
  • Light therapy
  • Oral or injected medications

The treatment plan of psoriasis depends on the severity of the condition and how well the body is responding to the the type of treatment.

Diet Recommendations for people with Psoriasis

Diet plays an important role in triggering and combating the inflammation caused by psoriasis. Follow the below diet to keep the psoriasis in control:-

  • Mediterranean diet can help reduce chronic inflammation
  • If non vegetarian, fish can be consumed
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Olive oil
  • Legumes (beans and lentils)
  • Whole grains

Your doctor will be the best person to suggest you the right diet plan or ask you to consult a registered dietitian to understand which food items are good and which are bad for your health.

To Conclude

Psoriasis can be difficult to manage, particularly if the diseased skin is visible to others or covers a significant portion of your body. But this shouldn’t be the case, it should not make the individual uncomfortable or anything to be ashamed of. Visit CK Birla Hospital to know more about Psoriasis and consult with our expert Dr Seema Lall.

FAQ’s

Ques 1. What clears psoriasis fast?

Following are some of the topical items that can help calm psoriasis.

  • Vitamin D 
  • Retinoids
  • Salicylic acid
  • Coal tar

Ques 2. Is psoriasis caused by stress?

Psoriasis is not caused by stress but it can surely trigger psoriasis. Stress can make psoriasis flares worse. 

Ques 3. Can psoriasis be cured?

Psoriasis is a condition with no known cure. It can be painful and may interfere with your day-to-day activities but there is no cure found till now. There are certain medications that may help relieve the discomfort and inflammation.

Ques 4. Is psoriasis a fungus?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that lasts for a lifetime, but proper treatment can help control its symptoms. Fungal infections can trigger psoriasis.