Psoriasis: Symptoms & Treatment
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that promotes fast cell growth on the skin. This proliferation may result in thick, scaly plaques that irritate or cause discomfort.
Psoriasis comes in a variety of forms. These differ according to the scales’ appearance and location on the body. Over 8 million people in the United States suffer from some kind of psoriasis.
Environmental causes can cause psoriasis symptoms to flare. While it is not yet possible to cure these symptoms, recent advancements in psoriasis treatment have made it possible to minimize the frequency and severity of flares.
Psoriasis is characterized by an accumulation of skin cells on the skin’s surface, resulting in scaly areas of skin.
Typically, it manifests as pink or red areas with silvery white scales on light skin tones. It is more likely to manifest as purple or dark brown areas with gray scales on dark skin.
Psoriasis symptoms can oscillate between flares, which are more severe, and remissions, which are less severe. Remission periods often range between 1 and 12 months.
However, the duration of flares and remissions might be difficult to anticipate. The symptoms of psoriasis can range from moderate to severe, and they may manifest differently depending on the type.
The National Psoriasis Foundation states:
- Mild psoriasis affects fewer than 3% of the population.
- Moderate psoriasis affects between 3% and 10% of the body.
- Psoriasis is considered severe when it affects more than 10% of the body.
- Plaques can grow in any location, but they most frequently manifest as tiny patches on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp.
Psoriasis comes in a variety of types. The parts that follow will delve deeper into several of these.
Around 80–90% of persons with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis. This typically manifests as elevated, inflammatory, red lesions coated in silvery-white scales on light skin. It appears as purple or dark brown spots with gray scales on dark skin.
Psoriasis plaque is most frequently found on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.
Inverse psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that manifests itself in the skin folds. It is most frequently found in the armpits, groin, and areas beneath the breasts, as well as other skin folds, such as those around the genitals and buttocks.
Inverse psoriasis often manifests as lesions devoid of the scales characteristic of plaque psoriasis. Lesions may be smooth and glossy.
Due to its position in skin creases and fragile places, irritation from rubbing and sweating can aggravate this type of psoriasis. It is more prevalent in obese individuals and those with deep skin folds.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is a kind of psoriasis that can affect significant portions of the body. The disorder is uncommon, affecting approximately 1% to 2.5% of patients with psoriasis.
Along with extreme inflammation, erythrodermic psoriasis patients may endure intense itching, discomfort, and extensive skin shedding.
Additionally, erythrodermic psoriasis upsets the body’s chemical balance. This interfering factor may result in protein and fluid loss, which may result in serious problems such as pneumonia and congestive heart failure.
Additionally, edema, or swelling caused by fluid retention, may occur, particularly around the ankles. Additionally, the body may have problems controlling its temperature, resulting in shivering.
Psoriasis with erythrodermic psoriasis might have serious implications. Anyone experiencing any of the signs of this illness should seek medical attention immediately. If the symptoms of erythrodermic psoriasis are severe, the patient may require hospitalization.
Children and teenagers are more likely to develop guttate psoriasis than adults. It accounts for less than 30% of all psoriasis cases.
It manifests itself as little, isolated patches on the skin. Spots are typically not as dense or crusty as plaque psoriasis lesions.
Guttate psoriasis can be triggered by a variety of factors, including the following:
infections of the upper respiratory tract
Infections with streptococcal bacteria
tonsillitis can cause skin irritation when some drugs, such as antimalarials, lithium, and beta-blockers, are used.
Without therapy, guttate psoriasis may heal and never recur. However, it may resolve and recur later as plaque psoriasis patches.
Pustular psoriasis is an uncommon type of psoriasis that manifests itself as white pustules or pus blisters surrounded by irritated skin. It may manifest itself in specific parts of the body, such as the hands and feet, or more broadly. It is not infectious or contagious.
Pustular psoriasis often follows a cycle in which pustules and scaling develop in response to skin discolouration.
Although psoriasis can manifest itself everywhere on the body, the following are some of the most typical locations.
Additional health complications may occur as a result of psoriasis. Although many people associate psoriasis with the skin, it can also damage the bones, muscles, and metabolic system.
The sections following will discuss some of the most serious consequences of psoriasis in further detail.
Around 20%-30% of persons with psoriasis experience joint inflammation with arthritis-like symptoms. This condition is collectively referred to as psoriatic arthritis.
This kind of psoriasis causes increasing joint deterioration. It is particularly prevalent in adults between the ages of 30 and 50.
Additionally, psoriasis may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Causes and precipitating events
Although the cause of psoriasis is still unclear, scientists believe that it is an autoimmune condition. Autoimmune conditions affect the immune system, which produces T cells to protect the body against infectious agents.
In people with psoriasis, triggers can lead to their genes instructing the immune system to target the wrong cells. T cells respond to a trigger as if they are fighting an infection or healing a wound. They produce chemicals that cause inflammation.
In psoriasis, this autoimmune activity leads to the excessive growth of skin cells. Typically, skin cells take about 1 month to replace themselves. However, in people with psoriasis, they take around 3-4 days to do this.