Psoriasis: Cause, Symptoms and Treatment

Psoriasis is quite a common skin disorder which affects large population in the world; about 2 percent people. It involves prolonged inflammation of skin cells. What causes psoriasis is still unclear and it can occur at any age. It can affect people of any gender. It is neither infectious nor it affects general health of the person.

Psoriasis is persistent and chronic disease. You can mange symptoms of psoriasis by taking some treatments. This disorder affects the life cycle of skin cells. In normal condition, skin cells from lower level of skin take about a month to travel to the upper layer of the skin but in case of psoriasis, skin cells renew very fast; within few days. They form thick itchy, colorless scales. These are red, dry patches which are quite painful.

Symptoms of psoriasis can vary from mild to severe form. It can be just a mild itching and nuisance for some people. In other case, when liked with arthritis, psoriasis is quite painful.

Though there is no cure for psoriasis till now, but patient can relieve its symptoms by taking some treatments and self-management steps.

What are the causes Of Psoriasis?

The internal cause of psoriasis is linked to immune system. Immune system of our body has T-cells which are part of white blood cells. These cells attack healthy cells by mistake while moving around in body in search of faulty foreign cells. This triggers immune system to produce more healthy cells and T-cells. Dead cells and white cells keep accumulating on the skin which results in thick layer.

But it is not clear what causes this type of action of T-cells. Some environmental factors and materials are identified to trigger psoriasis.

There are some triggers which start or aggravate psoriasis. Following are the probable triggers:

Some infections like throat infection


People with HIV are likely to develop psoriasis

Stress: Stress affects immune system altogether.

Cold Weather

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption: it not only starts psoriasis but also aggravates it to severe condition

Certain medications like for high blood pressure, beta blocker, anti-malarial drugs

Heredity is also a factor which determines condition of psoriasis as some people carry the genes of psoriasis

Treatment for Psoriasis:

Treatment for psoriasis is a three way approach according to its severity. But before starting any treatment, probable trigger is identified so that treatment can work successfully in absence of trigger.

The main target of treatment is to reduce the speed of renewal of skin cells. In the beginning of treatment, mildest medications like topical creams are used. If there is no relief with that medication, more powerful treatment is given. Following are the treatments given.

Topical Corticosteroids : These are anti-inflammatory drugs which are prescribed to treat mild to moderate psoriasis. These medications reduce inflammation and itching associated with it. Topical corticosteroids are applied on the active outbreaks to minimize side effects and increase effectiveness.

Vitamin D Supplements: Vitamin D supplements help reduce inflammation prevent skin cells from reproducing. Creams containing vitamin D analogues are recommended in combination with topical medications and phototherapy.

Anthralin normalize DNA activity and reduces inflammation. It helps remove scales and smoothen the skin.

Topical retonoids: Tazarotene is a special cream for treatment of psoriasis.

Calcineurin inhibitors are effective for disrupting the activation of T cells. This reduces inflammation and build of plaque.

Application of coal tar is the oldest treatment of psoriasis. But it has some side effects. Applying moisturizers to keep the skin moisturized is very important. Moisturizer will not heal the psoriasis but help reduce itching, scaling and fight dryness. For psoriasis patients, moisturizers with an ointment base are more effective than lighter creams.

Light Therapy or phototherapy makes use of natural or artificial light. In this process, affected part of skin is exposed to controlled amount of sunlight. Artificial ultraviolet and ultraviolet B lights are used in other form of light therapy. PUVA therapy is also recommended in which medicine psoralen is applied to increase the capability of skin to receive UV light receptivity of skin.

Oral medicines like retinoids, methotrexate, Cyclosporine , azathioprines are given to treat psoriasis when other treatments fail.

Self Care:

People suffering with psoriasis should take self care to manage the symptoms. These steps of self care include:

Take daily baths

Use moisturizer

Cover the affected areas overnight with plastic wrap after applying moisturizer.

Expose your skin to small amounts of sunlight

Avoid psoriasis triggers, if possible

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