How To Manage Psoriasis at Home
Psoriasis is a common skin condition in which the life cycle of skin cells get speeds up. Psoriasis is a chronic disease which often comes and goes. In this disease, cells build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. These extra skin cells, form scales and red patches that are sometimes painful and itchy.
Causes of Psoriasis
The exact cause of psoriasis is not known but it is said that it can occur due to some factors which can be –Immune system related factors, Genetic factors, and some Environmental factors. It is said that the main cause can be immune system related to the main problem in T cells, white blood cells like Neutrophils. T cells start attacking the normal cells of our body because they become overactive. Now, these overactive T cells produce a number of skin cells with increased production of T cells, White blood cells especially Neutrophils. They travel into our skin and causes a pustular lesion which becomes red with pus-filled in it. These newly formed cells grow very rapidly and get accumulated in the outer layer of the skin resulting in the formation of thick and scaly patches on the skin surface.
Risk Factors for Psoriasis
Although psoriasis can affect anyone but some risk factors are also found which increases the risk of developing this disease. These risk factors can be as follows –
- Viral and Bacterial Infections – People who are suffering from HIV infection are at high risk of developing psoriasis as compare to normal healthy individuals. Children suffering from recurrent streptococcus throat infections are also at a greater risk of developing this disease.
- Family History – It is the most significant factor in developing psoriasis. If one of your parents is suffering from this disease then there are fewer chances of developing this disease but if both the parents are suffering from this disease then the chances of developing this disease increases.
- Smoking – It is mainly known to be the triggering factor in this disease. It not only starts the disease but also increases the severity of the disease.
- Stress – Stress plays a very important role in the development of this disease because it affects our immune system.
- Obesity – Obesity increases the chances of this disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis
Signs and symptoms of this disease can vary from person to person but some of them can be as follows-
- Formation of red patchy silvery scales especially upon scalp, genitalia and ears.
- Small scaling spots mainly in children
- Cracked and dry skin from which bleeding can occur
- Burning sensation
- Itching and soreness
- Pitted and ridged nails
- Stiff and swollen joints
Types of Psoriasis
There are various types of psoriasis
- Plaque psoriasis – It is the most common form, which causes red skin lesions covered with silvery scales.
- Guttate psoriasis – It mainly affects young adults and children. A bacterial infection such as strep throat act as a triggering factor in it. It is characterized by small, water-drop-shaped, scaling lesions on your scalp, legs, trunk, and arms.
- Nail psoriasis – This type of psoriasis affects the fingernails and toenails. It is characterized by pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration.
- Psoriatic arthritis – In this, the joints become swollen and painful. It can cause stiffness and progressive damage to the joint, serious cases may lead to permanent deformity.
- Inverse psoriasis – Mainly affects the skin in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and around the genitals. It causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin.
- Pustular psoriasis– This is a very uncommon form, characterized by pus-filled blisters along with red and tender skin. It can also cause severe itching, fever, chills, and diarrhea.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis – It is the least common type of psoriasis. It can cover the entire body with a red, peeling rash in which itching and burning sensation can occur.
- Scalp Psoriasis – In this redness, itchiness occurs in the scalp which gets covered by silvery scales.
How to Diagnose
First of all, the proper history of the patient is taken and then physical examination is done especially of the skin. Skin Biopsy is rarely needed in it.
Treatment Of Psoriasis
It can be divided into Topical treatment, Light therapy, and systemic medications
1. Topical treatment – This treatment is used in case of mild to moderate form of psoriasis.
2. Light therapy (Phototherapy) – In this, the skin is exposed to a controlled amount of natural sunlight. Daily exposure to light is followed in a controlled manner but intense exposure can worsen the symptoms and can cause damage to the skin.
3. Systemic medications – If you are suffering from a severe form of psoriasis and other types of treatments are not working, In this case, your doctor may prescribe you some oral or injected drugs.
How To Manage It at Home
Although these methods cannot properly treat the disease but can be used to give some relief. They include –
- Take daily baths
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Use moisturizer
- Expose your skin to the small amount of sunlight
- Some Home remedies can also be used, they can be – Use of Aloevera, Use of Fish oil, Use of Oregon grapes.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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