Skin: Psoriasis

It is a non contagious inflammatory skin disorder characterized by rapid growing of skin cells and migrating towards the surface resulting in thick, white, silvery or red patches called plaques. The patches range in size from small to large. They most often appear on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet, or lower back. Psoriasis is most common in adults. But children and teens can get it too. Psoriasis most commonly appears on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso. But psoriasis can develop anywhere, including the nails, palms, soles, genitals, and very infrequently on the face. Often the lesions appear symmetrically, which means in the same place on the right and left sides of the body.

In some cases, psoriasis can be hard to treat. You may need to try different combinations of treatments to find what works for you. Treatment for psoriasis may continue for a lifetime.

Types:

  • Plaque - Most common type, appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white scales of dead skin cells. These patches or plaques most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows and lower back. They are often itchy and painful, and they can crack and bleed.
  • Guttate - Guttate [GUH-tate] psoriasis is a form of psoriasis that often starts in childhood or young adulthood. This is the second most common type of psoriasis, after plaque psoriasis. About 10 percent of people who get psoriasis develop guttate psoriasis
  • Inverse - Inverse psoriasis (also known as intertriginous psoriasis) shows up as very red lesions in body folds. It may appear smooth and shiny. Many people have another type of psoriasis elsewhere on the body at the same time.
  • Pustular - Pustular psoriasis in characterized by white pustules (blisters of noninfectious pus) surrounded by red skin. The pus consists of white blood cells. It is not an infection, nor is it contagious.
  • Erythrodermic - Erythrodermic psoriasis is a particularly inflammatory form of psoriasis that often affects most of the body surface. It is a rare type of psoriasis, occurring once or more during the lifetime of 3 percent of people who have psoriasis. It generally appears on people who have unstable plaque psoriasis. This means the lesions are not clearly defined. Widespread, fiery redness and exfoliation of the skin characterize this form. Severe itching and pain often accompanies it.

Causes:

While the exact causes of psoriasis have yet to be discovered, we know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development. Most researchers agree that the immune system is somehow mistakenly triggered, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells among other immune reactions. But there may be various triggerring factors for psoriasis.

Such as - Changes of weather, an injury to your skin such as a cut, scrape, insect bite or sunburn, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, smoking, stress, hormonal changes, particularly in women (for example during puberty and the menopause), certain medicines such as lithium, some antimalarial medicines, anti-inflammatory medicines including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure) and beta blockers (used to treat congestive heart failure, other immune disorders, such as HIV, which cause psoriasis to flare up or to appear for the first time.


Note: We are giving only a brief description of each disease for your quick reference with some best related photographs where needed.