Psoriasis: Causes and Treatment

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a fairly common autoimmune condition that is characterized by the appearance of bumpy red patches of skin covered in white scaly flakes that itch. These patches are actually skin cells that have rapidly divided, and the white flakes are dead skin cells. They may even crack and bleed occasionally. There is, as of yet, no proper cure for psoriasis, but there are various treatments that can help control it.

Psoriasis can affect different parts of the body, but it most commonly affects the scalp, elbows, neck, knees, and face.

If you notice bumpy red patches of skin covered in silvery-white scales, you might have psoriasis, and should consult a physician if it gets too irritating. We suggest you take a look at these General Physician in Lahore, if they are convenient for you.

Causes

As we’ve mentioned before, it is believed that psoriasis is the result of an autoimmune problem, resulting in the sped-up production of skin cells. However, it is not known exactly what causes this autoimmune problem, but it is suspected that genetic and environmental factors both contribute to having the condition.

One who may be predisposed to having the condition may not present symptoms until something triggers and aggravates it. The factors that could potentially trigger the condition include:

  • Stress
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Various infections such as strep throat and skin infections that can cause the immune system to overact
  • Various medications such as lithium and anti-malarial drugs
  • Immediate withdrawal of corticosteroids
  • Injury to the skin, via sunburn, a cut or scrape, bug bite etc

Types of Psoriasis

There are, in fact, different types of psoriasis, each with their own characteristics. There are five main types of psoriasis, which include:

  • Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common type and is characterized by the symptoms we have already discussed.
  • Guttate Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is most common in children, and instead of the regular raised red patches we see in plaque psoriasis, it presents small pink spots. This usually affects the arms, legs and torso.
  • Pustular Psoriasis: This type is most common in adults, and it causes large, white, pus-filled blisters that have a broad area of inflammation surrounding them. Though this type of psoriasis can be widespread, it usually only affects smaller parts of the body like the hands.
  • Inverse Psoriasis: This type causes patches of smooth, bright, shiny and red skin that is inflamed. It may develop around the groin, armpits, breasts and buttocks. This may be triggered by fungal infections.
  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This is the least common type of psoriasis, and is very severe. This usually affects large parts of the body at once with a red rash that peels in large portions and burns immensely. It is common for people with this condition to fall ill regularly.

Treatment

There are various options for reducing the severity of the condition. These include:

  • Topical treatments such as corticosteroids, retinoids, salicylic acid and anthralin.
  • Systemic medication for severe psoriasis that doesn’t respond to other treatment. This includes cyclosporine and retinoids.
  • Light therapy, which uses ultraviolet light treatment to kill hyperactive white blood cells attacking the body’s own skin cells.
  • Lifestyle changes can greatly help reduce the severity of psoriasis. This can range from changing your diet, to reducing the consumption of substances like alcohol, to exercising.

If you’re considering any of these options, we suggest you consult a professional before using or undergoing any of these treatments. We recommend a General Physician in Islamabad, if you are in the city.