Psoriasis is a contagious, autoimmune skin disorder that causes cells to develop rapidly on the skin. It causes inflammation in the body and some visible signs of inflammation such as bumpy red patches covered with white scales on the scalp, elbows, knees and lower back are noticed. This overgrowth can lead to thick, scaly plaques that may itch or cause discomfort. People who have light skin tone, psoriasis usually appears as pink or red patches with silvery white scales, while those with dark skin, it is more likely to appear as purple or dark brown patches with grey scales. Common areas where psoriasis is observed are hands, feet, neck, scalp and face while less common areas are the nails, mouth and the area around genitals.
Types of Psoriasis
There are different types of psoriasis, which vary depending on the appearance of the scales and the location on the body.
A) Plaque Psoriasis
It’s the most common type and causes red, inflamed patches on the elbows, knees and scalp. These patches are covered with whitish-silver scales or plaques.
B) Guttate Psoriasis
It’s most commonly noticed in children and adolescents than adults. Here small pink spots start starts emerging on arms and legs. These spots are not usually as thick or as crusty as in plaque psoriasis.
C) Pustular Psoriasis
It’s most common in adults, wherein white, pus-filled blisters and red inflamed skin start appearing on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
D) Inverse Psoriasis
It causes red, shiny, inflamed skin patches under skin folds, such as armpits, breast area, groin and around the genitals.
E) Erythrodermic Psoriasis
It’s a very severe and a rare type which covers a large section of the body at once. It can lead to severe illness, thus requires immediate treatment. It causes fiery redness of the skin and shedding of scales in sheets. It's triggered by severe sunburn, infections, certain medications and sudden halting psoriasis treatment.
Causes of Psoriasis
Doctors are unclear as to what causes psoriasis; however, researchers have come up with two key factors;
i) Immune system
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, wherein during an bacteria attack the body starts attacking itself. In our body, white blood cells are deployed to attack and destroy invading bacteria and fight infections. This mistaken attack causes the skin cell production process to speed up which causes new skin cells to develop too quickly. This results in the plaques and pile up of skin which are most commonly associated with psoriasis.
If any immediate family member has some symptoms of psoriasis, then there is higher risk of developing the disease.
iii) Stress and Alcohol
Excessive stress and heavy alcohol consumption can trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
iv) Injury and Infection
If a person is sick or is battling against an infection, his/her poor immune system can trigger up a psoriasis attack. Sometimes an accident, cut, scrape, a vaccination shot and sunburns can also act as a trigger.
Some medications like anti-malarial and high blood pressure medications are strong triggers of psoriasis.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Symptoms differ from person to person and depend on the type of psoriasis a person is suffering.
Common symptoms include:
Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales.
Itchy, dry painful skin that may crack and bleed.
Itching, burning and soreness sensations around patches
Painful, swollen and stiff joints.
Thickened, pitted or ridged nails.
Plaques of scales or crust on the scalp.
Preventive Measures for Psoriasis
Some of the tips to prevent and manage psoriasis are
1. Always keep the skin and scalp moisturized.
2. Get regular exposure to sunlight.
3. Prevent skin injuries.
4. Use a Humidifier.
5. Exercise regularly, maintain a balanced diet and monitor body weight.
6. Avoid dry and cold weather conditions.
7. Avoid medications that cause flare-ups
8. Reduce stress and alcohol
Psoriasis is a lifelong disease with periods of spontaneous improvement and worsening. A patient requires lot of positivity while fighting against it, even components like counselling, support group therapy, exercise, yoga, relaxation and meditation all help in reducing stress and help in managing the intensity of the condition. Plus adding a small amount of dietary supplement in the schedule will help us receive the essential nutrients which our body is currently lacking.
One such health supplement is ‘Sanchosis Capsules’, a purely herbal product specifically designed for skin care (psoriasis and eczema). The capsules hold the power to improve and maintain the elasticity of the skin, reduces wrinkles and fine lines. Ultimately the skin looks rejuvenated, youthful and keeps the skin diseases at bay. With best quality standardized extracts of plants like Turmeric, Daruhalad, Manjistha, Neem, Shallaki and Guduchi the capsules help soothe the skin, promotes a clear, healthy complexion and helps treat psoriasis.