What is psoriasis ?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that causes areas of thickened, inflamed, red skin, often covered with silvery white scales, associated with mild to severe itching.
The exact cause of psoriasis is not known, but it is thought to be related to the immune system. In people with psoriasis, the immune system sends signals to the body to produce new skin cells more quickly than normal. This rapid production of skin cells leads to the buildup of thick, scaly patches on the skin.
What are the predisposing factors ?
There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing psoriasis. These include:
- A family history of psoriasis
- Being overweight or obese
- Drinking alcohol
- Having a weakened immune system
- Certain medications, such as beta blockers and lithium
- Infections, such as streptococcus throat infection.
Types of Psoriasis ?
There are several different types of psoriasis, including:
Plaque psoriasis: This is the most common type of psoriasis, and it is characterized by raised, red patches of skin covered with silvery scales. These patches, or plaques, can be itchy and painful.
Guttate psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is characterized by small, red spots on the skin that are not covered with scales. Guttate psoriasis often occurs after an infection, such as strep throat.
Inverse psoriasis: This type of psoriasis affects the skin in folds and creases, such as the armpits, groin, and under the breasts. It appears as smooth, red patches of skin that may be sore and sensitive.
Pustular psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is characterized by white, pus-filled blisters surrounded by red skin. Pustular psoriasis can be limited to a small area of the body, or it can cover a large area.
Erythrodermic psoriasis: This is a rare and severe type of psoriasis that affects most of the body. It is characterized by red, peeling skin that may be itchy and painful.
Psoriatic arthritis: This type of psoriasis affects the joints, causing inflammation and pain. It can lead to permanent joint damage if not treated properly.
How does Psoriasis manifest ?
The clinical features of psoriasis can vary depending on the type of psoriasis a person has.
Plaque Psoriasis typically appears as red, scaly patches on the skin. These patches, or plaques, are typically found on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but they can appear anywhere on the body. In some cases, the plaques may be itchy or painful. In severe cases, the plaques can crack and bleed.
However, some common clinical features of other forms of psoriasis include
- Small, red spots on the skin that are not covered with scales (guttate psoriasis)
- Smooth, red patches of skin in folds and creases (inverse psoriasis)
- White, pus-filled blisters surrounded by red skin (pustular psoriasis)
- Red, peeling skin that covers most of the body (erythrodermic psoriasis)
- Inflammation and pain in the joints (psoriatic arthritis)
Treatment of Psoriasis ?
There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are many treatments that can help to manage the symptoms and improve the appearance of the skin. The most effective treatment for psoriasis will depend on the type and severity of the condition, as well as the person’s individual circumstances. Some common treatments for psoriasis include:
Topical medications: These are creams, ointments, or gels that are applied directly to the skin. They can help to reduce inflammation and slow the production of skin cells.
Phototherapy: This treatment involves exposing the skin to controlled amounts of natural or artificial sunlight. It can help to slow the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation.
Oral or injected medications: These are medications that are taken by mouth or injected into the body. They can help to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system.
Biologics: These are medications that are made from proteins produced by living cells. They work by targeting specific parts of the immune system to reduce inflammation.
Here are some dos and don’ts for managing psoriasis:
- Take your medications as prescribed
- Use moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated on daily basis even in summers.
- Avoid scratching or picking at the plaques on your skin
- Use a soft towel to pat your skin dry after bathing
- Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing
- Avoid triggers that can worsen your symptoms, such as stress, alcohol, and smoking
- Don’t Use hot water when bathing, as it can dry out your skin
- Don’t Use harsh soaps or cleansers that can irritate your skin
- Don’t Use lotions or creams that contain alcohol or fragrances, as these can irritate your skin
- Don’t Scratch or pick at the plaques on your skin, as this can lead to infection and scarring
- Don’t Ignore your symptoms or try to treat them on your own.
Dietary Guidelines for Psoriasis
- Eat unlimited amount of alkaline diet, high in fruits & vegetables, while on this diet go with regular exercise as being overweight can worse the psoriasis condition.
- Legumes such as beans & lentils as well as carrots are good sources of antioxidants & fiber, so include them in your diet for better result.
- Have a diet low in fats and sweets.
- Strictly avoid too much of salty, sour or acidic foods & too much alcohol.
- Avoid intake of spicy foods & consume food that is easily digestible.
- Vegetables should be taken broccoli, cucumber, carrot, sweet potatoes, spinach and green leafy vegetables, beans, cabbage, Brussels, sprouts, beetroot, bell pepper & peas.
- Vegetables should avoid tomatoes, potatoes, brinjal.
- Fruits should be taken avocado, blueberries, mangoes, figs, apples, pears, peaches, pineapple, coconut, small banana.
- Fruits should avoid oranges, lemons, strawberries, grapes.
- Food rich in omega 3-fatty acids like FISH, FLAX SEEDS should be taken
- Spices should be taken like turmeric, cloves, coriander, and cumin.
- Spices should be avoided like mustard, pimento and nutmeg.
- Avoid dairy products like milk & butter, refined sugars, fast foods.
- Drink plenty of water.