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Psoriasis Condition - A Brief Encounter

Psoriasis, a condition previously regarded as a type of leprosy and only reclassified in the 19th century can be a cause of low self-esteem and depression. And it isn’t difficult to see why as this condition leaves its traces in the forms of scaly patches of skin called psoriatic plaques which is the result of rapid skin-cell division and shedding. Ironically psoriasis is one of the longest known disorders to affect man, yet it’s exact cause remains a mystery.

All that we know thus far is that psoriatic plaques are areas of inflammation and excessive skin production and can be further aggravated by things like smoking (tobacco products), alcohol and stress. The nails of the toes and the fingers can also be affected by this condition and is known as psoriatic nail dystrophy. Psoriasis can also be a cause of joint inflammation called psoriatic arthritis.

There are a number of different types of psoriasis, each classified according to its location as well as its appearance and intensity.

  1. Psoriasis Vulgaris is the most common form and is found on the elbows, knees, scalp, fingernails and toenails. It appears in the form of silver patches of skin which can be attributed to a build-up of dead skin.
  2. Pustular Psoriasis is identified by raised pustules found on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet or spread over the surface of the body. The skin beneath these pustules will appear red and tender.
  3. Guttate Psoriasis is most commonly found in children and appears to resemble small pink drop-shaped elevations on the skin. Scales may also appear on guttate psoriasis but will be much finer than those of plaque psoriasis.
  4. Inverse Psoriasis appears as pink irritated patches of skin and is found in the more intimate areas of the body such as the armpits, around the groin, under the breasts or between the buttocks. This form of psoriasis does not have the same amount of scaling as seen with the other forms.
  5. Erythrodermic Psoriasis can be fatal and is recognized as a more wide-spread aggressive form of psoriasis vulgaris resulting in extreme swelling, itching and pain.

To date there is no permanent cure for psoriasis. Patients affected with this condition are usually treated with medication that can clear the skin, but spontaneous remission is usually expected when the treatment is stopped. There are however a couple of pre-cautionary steps to be taken to at least alleviate the effects of psoriasis:

  1. Keep the skin moisturized and lubricated at all times.
  2. In homes or in rooms the use of a humidifier is recommended to keep the humidity in the room at a sufficient level.
  3. Cut down on alcohol, smoking (tobacco products) and stress.
  4. Sun exposure in this case might be beneficial, however care needs to be taken to protect against sunburn.
  5. Keep the skin clean at all times and avoid any possible injuries.

Aside from the mentioned self-remedy tips, it would be best to consult your dermatologist as he or she might be able to give your more detailed advice to alleviate the resulting effects of psoriasis.