Psoriasis is a skin condition which results in redness of skin and also causes irritation. People who are diagnosed with Psoriasis usually have silver flaky white patches known as scales and thick red skin. It happens when faulty signals are sent out by the immune system of the body which results in rapid growth of skin cells. Psoriasis is non-contagious. The disease is classified in five different types: guttate, pustular, erythrodermic, inverse and plaque.
The plaque Psoriasis causes the skin to accumulate at localized spots due to which its appearance is more like silvery white scales. Plaque can affect any area of the body like scalp, genitals, soles of the feet, palms of hands, etc. but is prominently seen on elbows and knees. The seriousness of the disease varies from patient to patient as sometimes the severity varies from localized small patches to complete body cover by the redness. Toenails and fingernails get affected by this disease and can be treated as an isolated symptom. It is also responsible for inflammation of joints which causes psoriatic arthritis. A number of patients who suffer from Psoriasis also suffer from psoriatic arthritis.
The root cause of psoriasis is still not completely understood but according to doctors a genetic component is responsible in addition to local psoriatic changes which can be triggered by an injury to the skin. This phenomenon is known as Koebner phenomenon. Since the disorder is genetic, so it gets passed on to younger generations. In a normal person skin cells grow inside the skin and surface once a month but with people suffering from psoriasis this process is very rapid and hence a number of dead cells get accumulated on top of the skin. Stress, withdrawal of systemic corticosteroid, and many other environmental factors have shown statistical significance as factors which are responsible in aggravating psoriasis. A number of treatments are available in the market for this condition, but since the disease is recurring in nature, psoriasis becomes a challenge to treat.
This disorder is mostly common in the ages of 15 and 35, but can affect people of any age. This condition can appear at a very rapid rate and sometimes can affect a person at a very slow rate. In a number of patients, psoriasis comes and goes away at very short intervals and this process gets repeated over time and can cause a lot of discomfort to the patient. The various reasons that may trigger a psoriasis attack and make the treatment even more difficult are: Dry air or Dry skin, Stress, Too much or too little sunlight, large quantity of intake of alcohol and sometimes even medicines.
A number of people opt for phototherapy which is a very tested and affective treatment to the disorder. It is a medical procedure in which the patient’s skin is exposed to ultraviolet light. The patient is given medicine beforehand to make his skin sensitive to the light. Ultraviolet A or Ultraviolet B, both can be used for phototherapy for psoriasis patients. Patients who are suffering with this disease can also be treated with drugs in addition to the phototherapy. These drugs are responsible for suppressing the immune response of the body. Methotrexate or cyclosporine is usually the drug used for such patients.