Psoriasis: Know Causes, Symptoms And Treatment For This Skin Condition
Psoriasis: This conditions generally attacks the skin of hands, feet, neck, scalp, face, and even, nails, and the area of genitals in rare cases. Read here to know about this skin condition.
Psoriasis: Family history of the condition can increase the risk of this condition
- Psoriasis generally develops between 15 to 35 years of age
- Psoriasis usually affects scalp or skin of the joints
- There are five types of psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that leads to a rapid build-up of skin cells triggered by the over-production of skin cells in merely a few days rather than a month. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (USA), nearly 125 million people suffer from psoriasis globally. In India, 2 to 4 percent of people suffer from psoriasis. People in the 20-30 age groups are more likely to suffer from psoriasis with men being at a higher risk than women in India. However, children are less likely to suffer from it unless there is a family history of the disease. In 2014, the World Health Organization took cognizance of psoriasis as a non-communicable disease (NCD) in the World Health Assembly resolution WHA67.9. The resolution highlighted incorrect or delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment options, insufficient access to care, and social stigmatization as key challenges to tackling psoriasis.
Psoriasis: Causes, symptoms and treatment
Psoriasis generally attacks the skin of hands, feet, neck, scalp, face, and even, nails, and the area of genitals in rare cases. The common symptoms are plaques, scaling, flaking, itching, bleeding, irritation, and cracking of the skin. Psoriasis can be associated with other disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, metabolic syndrome and depression.
However, even after the various researches, the actual cause of the disease is still unclear but it is generally attributed to interplay between auto-immunity and genetic susceptibility. In psoriasis, the white blood cells known as T-cells attack the skin cells and lead to production of pro inflammatory cytokines or chemical signals, which speed up its production leading to cause plaques and reddish inflamed spots on the skin that are commonly associated with this disease. The chance gets higher if you have had a family history of this disease. It can be aggravated by certain external triggers such as alcohol, stress, injury, medications especially those used in the treatment of malaria or high blood pressure.
Also read: Psoriasis And Skin Cancer: What Are The Symptoms And How They Are Different From Each Other
Treatment for Psoriasis
Psoriasis is not completely curable although it can surely be managed through the combination of medical treatment, dietary regime, and lifestyle changes. Its treatment is generally based on the stage of the advancement of the disease. Systemic medications also play an important role. At times, ultra-violet A and B light is also suggested to reduce inflammation. Moreover, lifestyle changes such as elimination of stress, weight loss, a healthy and balanced diet with less consumption of saturated fats, reduction of alcohol intake, may also improve the condition of the patient. There is no 'one size- fits- all' solution for psoriasis and patients should work out on treatment in consultation with experienced dermatologists.
Also read: Living With Psoriasis: The Top 5 Steps To Follow
Psoriasis impairs the quality of life of patients and their families and leads to emotional and mental distress. They lose self-esteem and may slip into depression. The 'Clear About Psoriasis' global survey conducted in 2017 highlights that 48% of patients conceded that the disease impacted their professional life and 30% agreed that it affected their relationships.
There is a need to disseminate awareness on this disease, especially on its causes and symptoms so that it can be tackled promptly. Empathy and support systems for psoriasis patients can play a pivotal role in ensuring their mental and emotional well-being. Contrary to the popular perception, psoriasis is non-communicable and does not spread through physical contact with the patient.
(Dr. Monica Bambroo, Head - Dermatology & Cosmetology, Artemis Hospitals)
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