What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that often appears then disappears. Skin cells reproduce too quickly and accumulate and form silvery patches on the surface of the skin. This disease varies from mild to severe.
The trigger can start with minor injuries, stress, infection, a cold and dry climate, obesity, and other autoimmune diseases. Psoriasis can also occur for no apparent reason.
Signs & Symptoms
What are the signs and symptoms of psoriasis?
Signs and symptoms of psoriasis can vary by person, but generally include the following.
Red spots on the skin are accompanied by silvery scales
Small spots (often seen in children)
Dry, cracked skin that can bleed
Itching, burning or pain
The skin thickens, the nails become rough
Swollen and stiff joints
The scalp, face, elbows, hands, knees, legs, chest, lower back, and folds between the buttocks are usually the most vulnerable. Hand nails and toenails are equally vulnerable.
Approximately, a quarter of psoriasis sufferers experience symptoms of arthritis that worsen as psoriasis worsens.
There may be other symptoms and signs not mentioned above. If you have concerns about the symptoms of this disease, please consult with your doctor.
What causes psoriasis ?
The cause is unknown, but psoriasis may be caused by an autoimmune disease, a type of white blood cell called T lymphocytes or T cells. Usually, T cells reach the whole body to detect and fight foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria. If you have psoriasis, these T cells attack healthy skin cells as if they were injured or infected. This is due to errors in Psorias T cells that are not contagious or cancerous.
What increases my risk for psoriasis ?
Certain factors can increase the risk of developing psoriasis:
- Skin injuries such as wounds, abrasions, insect bites and sun exposure
- Drink too much alcohol
- Hormonal changes, especially in women (for example during puberty and menopause)
- Consuming several types of drugs such as lithium, antimalarial drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure) and beta blockers (used to treat congestive heart failure)
- Sore throat
- Other immune disorders, such as HIV, will make psoriasis easily triggered
If you do not have the above risk factors, it does not mean you will not experience psoriasis. These factors are for reference only. You must discuss with your doctor for more details.