Psoriasis - A serious problem?

Psoriasis is a chronic disease which occurs worldwide and people of all ages and gender can be affected by this disease. Psoriasis is basically a skin condition which is considered to be an autoimmune disease in which genetic and environmental factors play a significant role. Psoriasis is not very common as it is believed to affect 2% of the total population.

Psoriasis is said to be a non-contagious, dry, inflammatory and ugly skin disorder, which can involve the entire system of a person and most often, it is inherited. Primarily, it is characterized by sharply marginated scaly, erythematous plaques that develop in a relatively symmetrical distribution. Although psoriasis can affect any part of the body, the most commonly affected sites on the body are scalp, palms,  tips of fingers and toes, soles, umbilicus, gluteus, under the breasts and genitals, elbows, knees, and shins. It can affect people of all age, but most commonly it appears for the first time between the ages of 15 and 25 years.

 Psoriasis - A serious problem

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder and it occurs when the immune system in the body sends some faulty signals and leads to an increase in the speed of the growth cycle of the skin cells. This results in the occurrence of symptoms of psoriasis such as itchy and painful patches on the skin and builds up of dead skin cells. Studies have stated that psoriasis is more than a skin disease as the people who have psoriasis are more likely to suffer from other medical conditions as well such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.

Psoriasis is of various types:

1. Chronic plaque Psoriasis

Chronic plaque psoriasis is characterized by well defined contour plaque which is covered with whitish scaly skin.  Most commonly, this type of psoriasis is found on the body sites like elbows, knees, lumbosacral area and scalp. It is a most common type of psoriasis and almost 80% of all cases of psoriasis are chronic plaque psoriasis. Most often, chronic plaque psoriasis is present with some other problems such as depression, low self esteem, sexual dysfunctions, and anxiety disorder. There can be many different forms of plaque and these plaque are distinguished depending on the size, distribution, and the dynamics of the plaque.

2. Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate psoriasis, also known as teardrop is characterized by rashes which look like small spots. This type of psoriasis looks like a small, red spot on the skin and usually, it appears on the limb and trunk. Most often, this type of psoriasis occurs in children, teenagers, and young adults. But it can occur in elder as well. There are various factors that can trigger the occurrence of guttate psoriasis such as streptococcal throat infection. People who suffer from this infection are more likely to experience repeated bouts of guttate psoriasis. It is a common type of psoriasis after chronic plaque psoriasis.

Also Read: What You Can Eat To Improve Your Immune System

3. Pustular Psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis is characterized by the presence of pustules, primarily on the palms and soles only. It is categorized into two types:

  • Palmoplantar pustulosis - It is a skin condition which causes yellow pus spots which occur on one or both palm or soles. It causes the affected area to look red, scaly and thickened. These pustules are filled with fluid which gives them a yellow color, and they may dry up and turn brown or crusty after they have burst.
  • Generalized pustular psoriasis - There are some chances when pustules occur on areas other than palms and soles, it is known as generalized pustular psoriasis. It is characterized by the small pustules on a background of very red or dark skin, on any area of the body and these pustules are filled with fluid which gives them a yellow color. Also, they often merge into one another to create large areas of pus.

4. Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis is one of the most serious types of psoriasis as it is widespread almost all over the body and can be accompanied by severe itching, swelling, and pain. It is a life threatening condition and it increases the risk of health problems such as hypothermia, anemia, a risk of heart failure or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Erythrodermic psoriasis results when there is a lack of management of an already existing psoriasis and it worsens. It is associated with severe itching and pain.

5. Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a serious joint condition which is characterized by painful inflammation in any of the body’s joints. Psoriatic arthritis is associated with a wide range of symptoms such as swollen, stiff, and painful joints, fatigue, discoloration of the nails, and a red and scaly rash. Symptoms that occur in psoriatic arthritis is similar to other forms of arthritis. Most often, it affects people who already have psoriasis and it has a significant impact on health related quality of life of an individual. It affects both men and women, and usually, it develops in people between the ages of 30 to 55.

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