Psoriasis: causes, symptoms, types & skin treatments
A chronic inflammatory skin condition where skin patches are often dry, thick, and raised. A silvery-white coating called scale covers these patches, and they tend to itch. In addition, it speeds up the life cycle of skin cells, causing them to accumulate at the surface.
What are the symptoms of Psoriasis?
You can observe raised, red plaques covered in silvery scales found on body parts such as the elbows, abdomen, knees, lower back, and scalp.
Is Psoriasis treatable?
Psoriasis is still a puzzle to doctors and scientists. However, many treatments and therapies can help you in your healing process.
Where does Psoriasis occur?
Psoriasis can occur in different regions like elbows and knees, scalp, face, inside the mouth, fingernails, toenails, genitals, lower back, palms and feet.
Is Psoriasis a common condition?
Yes! 1 in 50 people have Psoriasis. So, you are not alone! However, there's nothing to worry about. The common type of Psoriasis is plaque (pronounced plack). There can be more than one type of Psoriasis. The appearance of Psoriasis depends on the type of Psoriasis you have and where it appears on your body and the amount of Psoriasis you have on your body.
What are the different types of Psoriasis?
- Plaque (plack) psoriasis
- Guttate (gut-tate) psoriasis
- Inverse psoriasis
- Pustular Psoriasis
- Generalized pustular Psoriasis
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis
- Nail psoriasis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Is Psoriasis contagious?
No, there's a certain amount of social stigma when it comes to Psoriasis. As a result, people have a misconception about Psoriasis. However, Psoriasis is not contagious.
Is Psoriasis hereditary?
Psoriasis tends to run in families. Genetics may contribute to the condition. A strong genetic predisposition is seen in Type 1 psoriasis, which also presents at an earlier age.
What are the triggers for Psoriasis?
- Skin injuries like cuts, and scrapes.
- Physical and emotional stress.
- Streptococcal infection.
- Medications like NSAIDs, Beta Blockers, ACEI.
- Cold weather
- Prolonged sun exposure
- Excessive alcohol
How to identify Psoriasis?
You can visit your healthcare provider or dermatologist for a skin review. Your doctor might take a biopsy to confirm it. Regular skin self-exams can help you identify the problem at the earliest.
What are the treatment options available for Psoriasis?
Psoriasis cannot be treated in a single session. Sometimes, a person can live with that condition throughout his/her lifetime. There's nothing to panic or worry about that. A wide range of medications and treatments are available on the market.
Treatment is usually carried out in different forms like:
Topicals: Steroids, Vitamin D Analogue, Salicylic acid, Coal tar, Dithranol, retinoids, tacrolimus.
Oral: acitretin, Methotrexate, Cyclosporine, Apremilast.
Biologicals: etanercept, Adalimumab, Infliximab, ustekinumab, Secukinumab.
Phototherapy: NBUVB, PUVA.
What are the at-home measures to treat Psoriasis?
The American Academy of Dermatology Association has eight ways to care for your Psoriasis:
- Early intervention is the key: The best way to treat Psoriasis is to identify the condition at the earliest.
- Professional help: Visit your dermatologist or healthcare provider for treatment or assistance.
- Scale removal: Itching is often aggravated by scales. Timely removal of scales helps you to reduce irritation.
- Spending less time in the shower: Prolonged exposure to water can aggravate your skin condition. So, try to limit your shower time—ideally 5 minutes or not more than 15 minutes.
Moisturizer cream is the key: The redness and itchiness of the skin can be soothed by moisturizing. It is important to moisturize your skin and hands thoroughly.
- Do not scratch: People who have Psoriasis often tend to remove their scales. It worsens the condition. Use an itch-relieving medication instead.
- No to hot showers: Heat is the biggest culprit in aggravating Psoriasis. Please stay clear of hot showers.
- Cool compress to the rescue: Using a cool compress can reduce the itchiness and help you feel relaxed.
Things to remember
Always remember that Psoriasis is not linked to poor hygiene. Often, people who have Psoriasis are shamed for their lack of personal hygiene, which is wrong. It is important to remember that daily intervention and timely medication is the key.
How should my skincare routine be?
Cleanser + Moisturiser + Sunscreen.
Choose a mild cleanser suitable for your skin:
Using harsh cleansers can aggravate your Psoriasis. Use a cleanser at the beginning of the day and at night time.
Sunscreen is the key:
Never step outside the house without sun protection. Always use sunscreen when you are indoors. Use sunscreen with 30 SPF.
Wear loose-fitting clothes:
It is essential to wear loose-fitting clothes that will help your skin breathe and not aggravate psoriasis.
Stress is one of the common triggering factors for Psoriasis. Avoid situations that will lead you to stress.
Food rich in Antioxidants:
As this is an inflammatory condition, consuming food rich in antioxidants can help you tackle this issue.
Psoriasis cannot be treated with a single dose of medication. Hence, it is important to have a good lifestyle. Exercise regularly quit smoking and cut down on sugar.
Remember! You are not alone on this journey!