Psoriasis is a type of chronic skin condition which causes the cells of the skin to grow abnormally, leading to white, red, silvery, and thick areas of the skin. In normal skin, the cells fall off within 4 weeks of growth with new skin cells taking their place. Individuals with psoriasis, however, experience rapid growth of cells leading to thick plaques.See psoriasis pictures bellow.
The resulting plaques can be quite large or fairly small. They are most common in areas such as elbows, knew, scalp, feet, lower back, and hands. The condition is more common among adults but can also occur in teenagers and children.
Psoriasis symptoms can appear in several different ways. One of the most common of psoriasis signs is a skin rash consisting of itchy skin. When the condition is more severe, the skin may become raised and appear scaly and feel tender to the touch. It is not uncommon for patches to join together to cover a larger area such as the back.
In some individuals, psoriasis leads to the swelling of the joints, which may become quite painful. This is referred to as psoriatic arthritis. This type of arthritis may also affect the toenails and fingernails leading to discoloration.
Symptoms typically enter remission naturally, without treatment, although it is usually only a matter of time before the symptoms come back as before.
Scientists believe that the condition is due to the overreaction of the immune system, leading to flaking and inflammation of the skin.
Psoriasis may be genetic as some families seem to possess the condition more than others. Further research is being conducted to determine whether this is the case and, if so, what makes certain families more susceptible.
Psoriasis often comes in cycles. Some days the condition will be worse, then better, then worse again. Attacks can be caused by a variety of situations such as dry or cold weather, dry skin, and stress. Certain medications such as NSAIDS or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as blood pressure medications have also been linked with the worsening of psoriasis. Smoking has also been identified as a potential issue. Fortunately, the condition is not contagious.
The condition is usually diagnosed by physical examination of the affected areas. Occasionally, the doctor may also perform a skin KOH test in order to ensure that the condition is not a fungal infection.
The majority of psoriasis cases are not severe with simple skin care practices being the answer. This includes the frequent moisturizing of the skin with lotions and creams. Special shampoos, prescription medications, and ultraviolet light are also believed to help with the condition.
Psoriasis is not always easy to treat. It is sometimes necessary for a combination of psoriasis treatments to be used in order to improvement to be seen.
At-home skin care is perhaps one of the most common ways of treating and controlling the psoriasis. The following are a series of tips which will help mitigate its effects:
There are also situations, events, and products which can increase the likelihood of a psoriasis flare-up. These include:
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