What is Psoriasis
It is most common in adults but children and teens may also suffer.
- Causes of Psoriasis
- Symptoms of Psoriasis
- Types of Psoriasis
- Diagnosis of Psoriasis
- Treatment of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an auto-immune condition in which the immune cells of body attack the body’s own skin cells.It causes abnormally fast growth of cells leading to thick skin and excessive shedding of cells.
There are some triggering factors:
•Bacterial infection,viral infection
•Any cut, snake bite,injury to the skin
•Environmental factors- sunburn,chemical burns
Psoriasis signs and symptoms can vary from person to person but may include one or more of the following:
•Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
•Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
•Dry, cracked skin that may bleed Itching,
•burning or soreness
•Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
•Swollen and stiff joints
Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas.
Most types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time or even going into complete remission
1.Mucous membrane Psoriasis- This occurs in children and often follows an upper respiratory infection.Many pinhead to pea-sized papules erupt abruptly over the trunk and limbs sparing the palms and soles.
2.Chronic plaque Psoriasis- Coin to palm-sized ,large,well defined,erythematous ,scaly plaques are distributed bilaterally on the elbows,knees,scalp and lumbosacral areas.
3.Exfoliative Psoriasis- In this type generalized erythema and scaling affecting more than 90%of body surface.It is precipitated by sudden withdrawl of corticosteroids.
4.Pustular Psoriasis- Superficial pustules instead of papules and scales are developed.May be localized on palms and soles or may be generalized.
5.Guttatte Psoriasis- Occasionally some patients ,usually children suddenly develop numerous,erythematous,scaly papules 0.5-1cm in size resembling Psoriasis.
6.Psoriasis Unguis- Characterstic changes in nails are seen in few patients such as multiple pin poin pits on the nail plate, separation of the nail plate from the nail bed called Onycholysis ,and brownish discolouration,thickening and irregularity of nail plate called Onychodystrophy.
7.Psoriatic Arthritis- It is a condition where there is psoriasis with joint affection.Symptoms include swelling,stiffness and pain in the affected joint.
Diagnosis of Psoriasis is typically made by a physician examination,medical history and relevant family history.
Sometimes lab tests including microscopic examination of a skin biopsy and X-Rays may be necessary.
Topical Treatments: Topical corticosteroids, Vitamine D analogues, Anthralin.Topical Retinoids,Salicylic acids.Light Therapy,Oral injections like Retinoids,Methotrexate,Cyclosporine.Topical corticosteroids are the mainstay of psoriasis treatment in the world.
These drugs work for most patients because they:
Block cell production
But they don’t & cure permanently and completely.
The more powerful the corticosteroid, the more effective it is. But more powerful steroid drugs also have a higher risk for severe side effects, which may include:
• Dilated (widened) blood vessels
• Loss of skin color
Loss of Effectiveness. In most cases, patients become tolerant to the effects of the drugs, and the drugs no longer work as well as they should. Some experts recommend using intermittent therapy (also called weekend or pulse therapy). This type of treatment involves applying a high-potency topical medication for 3 full days each week.
Calcipotriene may cause the following side effects: A possible lowering of vitamin D levels, which may affect bone growth in some children
A possible increase in blood calcium levels (seen in some people who apply calcipotriene to large areas)Skin irritation in about 20% of patients, particularly on the face and in skin folds
Calcipotriene appears to cause greater skin irritation than potent corticosteroids. Diluting the drug with petrolatum or applying topical corticosteroids to sensitive areas may prevent this problem.
Homeopathic medicines for Psoriasis act on the body at the level of immunity and restore the deviated function. They also help to control the symptoms of Psoriasis without any side effects.