Psoriasis – a common skin disorder. While no one knows the exact causes of the disease, most researchers conclude that it is related to the immune system. It is found that the immune system is somehow triggered which in turn increases the growth cycle of skin cells in psoriasis. While a normal skin cell matures in 28 to 30 days and is shed from the skin's surface unobserved, a psoriatic skin cell takes only 3 to 4 days to mature and move to the surface creating the cells to pile-up and form elevated red lesions.
Who is affected by Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is more likely to occur in women than men. The average age of diagnosis is 28, and psoriasis most commonly appears between the ages of 15 and 35. But the reality is that it can develop at any time. A first-time diagnosis of psoriasis has been seen to occur in ages that vary from new-born babies and small children, to very old people. Psoriasis in infants is rare, but can occur in kids before 10 between 10 and 15 percent. Each year, about 150,000 to 260,000 new cases of psoriasis are diagnosed.
No, psoriasis is not contagious. Lesions of psoriasis may be unattractive, but they should not be regarded as an infection or an open wound. In real, an individual with psoriasis poses no threat to the health or safety of others.
What parts of the body are affected?
Psoriasis most commonly affects the scalp, elbows, knees, and torso. But, psoriasis can develop anywhere which includes the nails, palms, soles, genitals and face. The lesions often appear in a symmetrical fashion, and in the same place on the right and left sides of the body.
Do people die from psoriasis?
Yes. It may lead to death. About 400 people die from complications of psoriasis each year. Generally, such complications occur in relation to a severe, extensive form of psoriasis, where large areas of skin are shed. The skin helps in regulating body temperature and serve as a barrier to infections. When a person's skin is compromised due to such severe affliction, secondary infections are possible. Fluid loss is also a complicating factor in these types of serious psoriasis, and a great strain is placed on the circulatory system.
Can people with psoriasis function normally?
Yes, mostly people with psoriasis function normally. However, sometimes people experience low self-esteem because psoriasis is unappealing. Also, Psoriasis is often misunderstood by the public making awkward social interactions. This may lead to additional emotional problems such as anxiety, anger, embarrassment and depression.
Generally, doctors treat psoriasis in steps based on the harshness of the disease, type of psoriasis, size of the areas involved, where the psoriasis is located, and the patient’s response to initial treatments.
- Medicines applied to the skin (topical treatment)
- Light treatment (phototherapy)
- Medicines by mouth or injection (systemic therapy).
However, all medicines can have side effects. Some side effects may be more severe than others. Reviewing the package that comes with your medicine and asking your health care provider if you have any queries about the possible side effects is a must.
Over time, infected skin can become resilient to cure, especially when topical corticosteroids are used. Also, not necessarily all the treatments work very well for every person. There may be variation. For this reason, doctors often use a trial-and-error approach to find an effective treatment, and may switch treatments periodically if a treatment does not work.