What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic and inflammatory dermatological disease. Although its main symptoms may appear on elbows, knees and leather hair, it can appear on any part of the body.
Like many dermatological diseases, it is not spread or inherited, but there may be a slight genetic predisposition factor.
It is an autoimmune disease, that is, it occurs due to a malfunction of the immune system. It is a disease of recurrent onset with periods of improvement and disappearance of the signs until times when the lesions can get worse.
Psoriasis has no cure and can relatively affect the patient’s quality of life. But it is important to know that medical treatment can control the disease and relieve symptoms for long periods.
Why does psoriasis appear?
To understand psoriasis and its symptoms, it is necessary to clarify a little more what this disease is and how it works.
T lymphocytes, normally responsible for destroying harmful cells to the body, begin to fail, causing chronic inflammation in the skin. What happens is that the epidermis is usually replaced over 30 days in normal cases.
In psoriasis the replacement occurs in four days, causing the skin cells responsible for creating tissue to pile up and form a thick, dry layer of skin with scales. These scales can cause itching or in other cases pain, although this varies depending on the type of psoriasis.
Causes of psoriasis
The real cause of psoriasis is difficult to determine, and it is not yet known exactly what causes it. However, it is known that there is some influence on the genetic factor.
Although the genetic factor is not the only determinant. Several factors can also affect the onset of this disease, such as:
- Hormonal changes.
- Seasonal influence with improvement in summer and worsening in spring and autumn.
- Alcohol consumption.
Types of Psoriasis
Clinically, several types of psoriasis are distinguished:
- Vulgaris psoriasis: It is the most frequent type of psoriasis, and it is characterized because the scales form symmetrical figures on the body. The places most affected by Vulgaris psoriasis lesions are usually the elbows, knees and the sacral area.
Sometimes they don’t produce much pain just itching. They can affect the genitals and sometimes the lesion can expand through the body, causing union with other lesions to form a single one in a large area.
- Guttate psoriasis: It is the most common type in children and adolescents. It is characterized by small plates and spontaneous recovery after weeks, something that does not usually occur in adults.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is characterized by the appearance of erythema. This causes redness in the patient’s skin in 90% of cases.
- Pustular psoriasis: Pustular variants are cases of psoriasis in which the appearance of pustules on the skin can be seen.
Symptoms of psoriasis
The symptoms of psoriasis may manifest suddenly and progressively, and may even be in a state of remission (disappear for a while) and then reappear.
The main sign of this disease is the appearance of skin lesions in the form of very dry plaques, formed by stacked skin cells, variable in size and shape. On the surface of the plates, you can see white or pearly scales.
Commonly whitish scales can be confused with severe dandruff. However, the difference is that psoriasis mix squamous areas with normal areas. These plaques can manifest on any part of the body, even on or under the nails.
Other symptoms characteristic of psoriasis would be discomfort or pain and fissures that are usually accompanied by bleeding that corresponds to dry skin. In men, certain genital lesions occur in addition to pain.
Who suffers it?
As for the condition, psoriasis is a universally widespread disease, and between 1-3% of the population suffers from it.
There is no predominant sex in terms of the appearance of psoriasis. Although it can affect children and the elderly, it usually manifests between 15 years and 35 years.
- There is no guaranteed preventive method to prevent suffering from psoriasis since it is not yet known what causes it.
- The treatment should be followed as directed by the attending physician.
- The skin moisturizes and protects causes a decrease in the annoying symptoms of psoriasis and any dermatological disease.
There are various treatments for this disease, the dermatologist is the specialist doctor in charge of indicating the appropriate treatment for the disease according to the conditions and severity of each patient. The way to treat psoriasis is very varied, it differs in each particular case adapting to the patient’s condition.
- Prepare a natural lotion: You can prepare a natural lotion made with aloe vera, chamomile, almond oil, and cucumber.
Apply this natural lotion to the affected areas by gently massaging until absorbed.
- Chamomile and oatmeal: Chamomile and oats have qualities that help mitigate the irritation and itching caused by psoriasis. For this to take effect, you can take baths with infusions of oatmeal and chamomile.
It can also be applied as an emollient in the affected areas.
Topical and systemic treatments are found in the clinical treatment area for the patient with psoriasis. In consultation with your doctor, you can expect me to recommend some of these treatments.
- Creams: For all patients, it is recommended to apply lotions or creams with vitamin B5 or panthenol that confer protection and deep hydration to the skin.
- Topical corticosteroids: The application of steroid creams is indicated, which will mimic the functions of the organism that have become dysfunctional. Topical corticosteroids act by clearing the plaques and reducing inflammation.
The effect of the corticosteroid is observed rapidly, in 3 to 7 days the scales flattened and cleared, however, their effect diminishes after 1-2 months of starting their application.
- Salicylic acid: It works by softening and eliminating squamous plaques, favoring skin renewal and enhancing the effectiveness of other topical medications that are applied to the skin.
- Vitamin D analogs: Calcitriol derived from vitamin D or synthetic analogs (calcipotriol and tacalcitol) are known to have a slower effect than corticosteroids but are very useful for long-term treatment because it is a safe treatment. They contribute favorably to the treatment of mild or moderate psoriasis. They can cause irritation and sun exposure should be avoided after application.
The doctor will prescribe the best option for the patient’s skin, taking into account the plaques and symptoms.
- Phototherapy: Another proven method is that of phototherapy. A general improvement has been noted in patients who are exposed to the sun. In some cases, some patients deserve a boost with artificial ultraviolet lights.
It may also happen that a combination is made between ultraviolet light and some medication, orally or injected. Which enhances the effect of light.