Psoriasis is primarily a skin condition which is often characterized by skin lesions covered with silvery white scales or plaques, widespread redness of the skin with shedding scales and non-infectious blisters with pus. They are found on elbows, knees, scalp, base of the hairline, neck, hand feet etc. Some can also appear in the fold of the skin like genitals, buttocks, armpits. They appear as patches and falling flakes makes it highly embarrassing for the person having it.
The skin cells rapidly multiply and when they reach the surface of the skin, they cause inflammation and lesions which when dry cause placques and leave flaky scales. They often start as small scaly popule which multiply and then coalesce to form scaly plaques. They cause itching, burning or soreness and bleeding points if the scales are forcibly peeled.
Psoriasis is NOT contagious and cannot be passed on by touching, kissing or having sex with somebody afflicted with psoriasis. It is genetic and not caused by external environment like lifestyle, diet, hygiene etc.
Psoriasis is NOT eczema but could resemble it so it should be diagnosed by pathologist.
- Psoriasis is also genetic and could flare up and can be triggered due to
- Sore throat that persists for more than 2 weeks
- Skin cuts, scrape, skin infection, bug bite or sunburn
- Certain drugs like lithium, heart medications, beta blockers, antimalarial, indomethacin
- High blood pressure
- Topical use of lotions, foam cream, ointment etc. are relatively safe and useful like steroids, tar preparations, and calcium- modulating drugs which should be taken under physician’s guide.
- UV light is a good option and can treat large areas covered by psoriasis. It should be under the direction of physicians. Though extensive exposure to UV light could cause cancer of the skin, narrow band UVB is used for Psoriasis treatment which is quite effective and less carciginous.
- Laser treatment is also popular as it helps to destroy the bacteria that multiply and cause psoriasis.
- Oral medication is not much preferred as it affects kidney, liver and bone marrow. They broadly target parts of immune system and therefore likely to affect the immunity of the person.
- Biologics treatment describes new types of drugs where living cells synthesize psoriasis bacterial cells. It must be taken under physician guide. They are administered through injections and basically target immune system response which cause multiplication of psoriasis cells. They are expensive so not yet popular.
Home remedies for psoriasis
- The pain and itching could be eased through the application of olive oil or petroleum jelly to keep the skin moist.
- Graded solar exposure at dead sea also helps to control psoriasis. At dead sea, harmful rays are filtered out due to haze and the fact that it is nearly 400 feet below sea level. The remaining rays are very effective for psoriasis treatment.
- Application of aloevera gel on the skin also helps to prevent further inflammation of the skin.