What is psoriasis?
A chronic skin condition caused due to an overactive immune system. Flaking, inflammation and patchy skin (thick, white, silvery or red patches) are some of the most common symptoms of Psoriasis. In most cases, it is either an autoimmune condition or genetic.
Types of Psoriasis:
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis. It is caused by raised, inflamed, red skin covered with silvery, white scales. These itchy and burning patches may appear anywhere on your body and often pop up in these areas including the elbows, knees, scalp and the lower back.
Guttate psoriasis often starts in children or young adults. Typically caused due to small, pink-red spots on your skin which appear on the trunk, upper arms, thighs and the scalp. This type of psoriasis may go away within a few weeks and does not require any treatment.
Inverse psoriasis is the type of psoriasis that shows up as patches that are bright red, smooth, and shiny, but don't have scales. Usually found around armpits, groin, under the breasts and skin folds around the genitals and buttocks. This type of psoriasis can get worsen with sweating and rubbing.
Pustular psoriasis appears mostly on your hands and feet in the form of pus-filled bumps (pustules) surrounded by red skin. This type of psoriasis is uncommon and mostly appears in adults. It may look infectious, but it is not. In case of generalized pustular psoriasis, it may cover most of your body and immediate medical attention would be needed. Generalized pustular psoriasis can also instigate fever, chills, nausea, increase the heart rate and develop weakening of muscles.
The signs and symptoms of psoriasis depend on the type of psoriasis you have. Most common symptoms of plaque psoriasis:
- Red, raised inflamed patches of skin
- Whitish-silver scales over the red patches
- Dry skin that can get cracked or bleed easily
- Soreness around the affected patches along with itching and burning sensations
- Thick, pitted nails
- Swollen joints (painful)
Not all of you will notice all of these symptoms. Some of you will see entirely alien symptoms, which is more likely to happen in cases where you are infected by a less known type of psoriasis.
Psoriasis is not contagious. It is also associated with psoriatic arthritis, which causes achy, swollen joints. The most common triggers include stress, alcohol, injury, medications and infection. The treatments for psoriasis include steroid creams, occlusion, light therapy and oral medications.
Light therapy Light therapy for treating psoriasis utilizes ultraviolet (UV) or natural light. Sunlight eradicates the overactive white blood cells that are attacking healthy skin cells and causing rapid cell growth. Both UVA and UVB light are considered helpful in reducing the symptoms of mild to moderate psoriasis. A combination of treatments is recommended for people with moderate to severe psoriasis. Some patients undergo the same treatment for the rest of their lives and some change the treatments occasionally to suit the skin better.