Psoriasis: Causes and Symptoms

February 3, 2018     

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Diseases that show, especially skin diseases, affect you in many different levels – for one, you have to deal with the symptoms of the disease; two, you feel self-conscious; three, others just assume it to be contagious and that leads to, four, social marginalisation.

Psoriasis is one such ugly disease. Even though it is not a transmittable disease, but it definitely wipes out the peace from your life by invading your skin and throwing you in a depressed state.

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Let’s find out what psoriasis actually is and how you can manage the symptoms.

What is psoriasis?

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It is a chronic skin condition and an autoimmune disease. This means that this is one of those cases where your own immune system starts attacking your own bodily cells. As a result of that, a typical skin cell which lives for around a month, dies in 2-3 days and cannot fall off in that speedy rate. This is why, you will see layers of dead skin cells building up on your skin looking like dandruff.

Generally, it does not affect you until you reach adulthood. It chiefly affects the back of your forearms or your shins, or your navel area or the scalp. Every person who suffers from psoriasis has suffered from psoriasis in nails as well at some point of time. The severity of the disease varies from person to person. Nonetheless, it makes life your life very irritable. 

Causes of psoriasis

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The interesting thing about autoimmune diseases is that their causes cannot be pinned down. The causes of psoriasis are not clear yet. However, ongoing researches show that genes have a strong role to play in it. HIV, infection due to certain microbes, certain drugs and medicines have the chance of inducing the spurt of the rashes of psoriasis.

Physical and emotional trauma, stress, hormonal changes etc. can also be a factor of onset of psoriasis in a person.

Symptoms of Psoriasis

The symptoms of psoriasis vary from person to person. But, the most commonly observed symptoms of psoriasis are:

  • Itching or burning: Itching and/or burning of the skin is one of the most primary symptoms of psoriasis. The areas affected the most are elbows, knees, and the scalp.
  • Swelling: Swelling and soreness in the skin are made worse due to excessive scratching. Redness can also be seen.
  • Scaly appearance: At the onset of the disease, you will notice small, pink, scaly bumps. These tiny bumps will gradually merge due to the build up of more bumps. Later, thick and silvery scales on skin are visible due to the extra build up of excessive deposit of dead skin cells.
  • Dry skin: Psoriasis makes your skin dry and is found in abundance in the areas where the skin is generally dry. The symptoms of psoriasis worsens in winter and dry seasons.
  • Pain: For many people, especially those with chronic psoriasis, the experience can be very painful. Gradually, it might also lead to stiffness and pain in the joints.
  • Pus and blood: Some concentrated areas of psoriasis might build up some pus underneath the surface. And peeling off a chunk of psoriatic flake can reveal a blood spot. 
  • Crack in skin: When the psoriatic skin becomes extremely dry, it might even crack and the cracked area might suffer from some bleeding.
  • Thick, pitted nails: Most people who suffer from psoriasis will have psoriasis in their fingernails or toenails at some point in their life. The nails will become discoloured.

Treatment of Psoriasis:

When it comes to the treatment of psoriasis, unfortunately there is no hard and fast or full proof treatment for psoriasis. Many people try various home remedies such as topical ointments, creams and also over-the-counter medicines. In some cases of psoriasis, steroids are also used but its effectiveness is still in debate. With regard to recent advancements on science and technology, laser treatment has proven to be most effective in the treatment for psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a long-term disease. Sometimes they disappear over a few weeks or months and might resurface again. For some people, they disappear for good. There are various ways of managing the symptoms of psoriasis and controlling the causes of psoriasis, or to be precise, controlling the factors which trigger psoriasis.

If you have psoriasis or someone in your close family is suffering from psoriasis, (which makes you vulnerable to the disease) talk to your doctor to know about your best options.


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