Given that psoriasis is a complicated disease and most people likely to confuse it with another skin disease, it is essential to know the things about psoriasis and associated effects and medication.
Psoriasis is a skin disease that can be easily confused with other skin diseases like eczema and scabies. This is because of its signs like red patches, bumps, silvery scales, dry skin, and intense itching.
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Most people are not aware of the right treatments for psoriasis.
That’s why we have come up with this brief guide on everything, whether its psoriasis types, medication or signs.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disorder which develops underneath the skin when immune system kills healthy cells mistakenly. This “self-damaging” action by immune system leads to red, itch and scaly patches on the skin. It is a chronic skin disorder which can be linked to heart diseases, diabetes (type 2), and psoriatic arthritis.
What are the Types of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is categorized according to the size and spot they occur at.
- Psoriasis Vulgaris ( a common type of psoriasis)
- Guttate psoriasis (looks like a small drop)
- Inverse psoriasis (occurs on underarms, navel, groin, and buttocks)
- Pustular psoriasis (fluid-filled yellowish blisters)
- Palmoplantar psoriasis (occurs on the palms and the soles)
- Erythrodermic psoriasis (occurs on the entire skin surface)
What are the Signs of Psoriasis?
- Red patches, bumps, plaques and silvery scales
- It generally occurs as small scaling spots among kids
- Dry and cracked skin
- Intense Itching and burning sensation
- Yellowish brown separations of the nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
What Causes Psoriasis?
What causes psoriasis is still unknown and medical experts have different views on it. However, it has been found that several genetic and environmental factor may be the key triggers. For example, stress, skin injury, infection, and certain medications are reported to cause psoriasis.
Apart from that, health conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression and psoriatic arthritis may lead to psoriasis.
Is Psoriasis Infectious or Contagious?
Contrary to the popular belief, psoriasis is not infectious. This is because it is an immune system disease, not a skin condition like scabies which is caused by mites.
How Doctor Diagnoses Psoriasis?
First of all, dermatologists examine the part of your skin, nails, and scalp to figure out if you have psoriasis or other similar looking skin diseases. If they are not sure, they may perform a biopsy in which they observe your skin sample under a microscope. Share your medical history with your doctor. You can also tell them about the physical and mental impact of psoriasis on your life. Inform the physician about the other diseases or medications you have.
Psoriasis is still incurable. However, the treatment aims to prevent the skin cells growing, lower the inflammation and patches formation. Apart from that, the scales from the skin are also treated. While mild psoriasis is managed with ointment and gels, the severe form requires oral medication along with the topical ointments. Common medications for psoriasis are moisturizers, topical retinoids, Vitamin D, Anthralin and calcineurin inhibitors.
How to Manage Psoriasis?
Besides taking medications, you are required to adopt a lifestyle to manage the symptoms of psoriasis. Here’s how…
- Avoid Taking Stress
Stress is a key trigger of psoriasis which leads to flares and inflammation. To perform the exercise, breathing, and medication to control your stress.
- Keep Your Skin Moist
Dry skin leads to itching and redness. So apply a thick ointment to your skin, especially after taking bath or shower within 3 minutes.
- Take Warm Baths to Soothe Itch
Soak yourself for 15 minutes in a bathtub filled with warm water. Don’t rub your skin with a towel to dry off, instead pat dry.
- Take Sunlight
Sunlight slows down the skin cell growth. The ideal time to get it is two to three times a week. Make sure to apply sunscreen as the excessive sun can burn your skin.
- Use Gentle and Non-Scented Skincare Lotions/Creams
Products that contain alcohol, fragrances and chemical may aggravate your psoriasis signs. Therefore, use gentle and non-scented skincare lotions/creams.
- Don’t scratch or pick your skin
Scratching breaks your skin and lets the germs get in. Apply moisturizer instead of “cooling” the itch down with scratching.