Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition which affects roughly one in every two hundred people. This is a condition which sadly can’t be cured. The symptoms (which we will come to soon) can change somebody’s life quite considerably. This is not because they are ‘deadly’, but it is because they can end up causing all sorts of confidence issues. On this page I want to give you a brief overview of what Psoriasis actually is.
This information will be useful for those who have been diagnosed with the condition and wish to know more about what it is about, as well as those who know somebody who has been diagnosed with Psoriasis and wish to help them.
Psoriasis Illness Overview
Psoriasis is a skin condition. It is often characterised by red and flaky pieces of skin which can appear just about anywhere on your body. The most common locations for them to appear will be on your scalp, your back, elbows and knees. Most sufferers of Psoriasis will notice that only a single patch on their body is affected. Only those who have severe Psoriasis will notice that more than one location will be affected at a time.
Psoriasis is not a condition which will always be apparent. Whilst it is true there is no cure for the condition there are plenty of psoriasis home remedies available. It is a condition which will disappear for a long time. Many mild sufferers are likely to have a flare-up once every couple of months, or even every few years. Very few people will notice regular flare-ups. This is why the condition is very hard to diagnose. Most people are not even aware that they may be suffering from a condition which requires treatment! It is worth noting that there are a variety of different forms of Psoriasis. Each of them has its own symptoms. These include:
Plaque Psoriasis: This is without a doubt the most common form of Psoriasis. If you are suffering from the condition then this is likely the one you are suffering from. Dry and red skin blemishes appear on the skin. These are then coated in a silver scale. The problem areas are normally itchy and sore. You may find that they bleed from time to time.
Scalp Psoriasis: This has pretty much the same symptoms as before although it of course occurs on your scalp. You may suffer from hair loss if you are dealing with scalp psoriasis. However, it is worth noting that any hair loss will be temporary.
Nail Psoriasis: This is very rare. You may find that your nails become discoloured or deformed. They may grow in strange ways or even separate from the bed of the nail completely. In some cases you may find that the nail crumbles away when you touch it.
Guttate Psoriasis: This is actually a form of psoriasis which is not chronic. It often appears once and then disappears completely. This occurs when small sores appear on your arms, legs, chest or scalp. Most people deal with the condition and it goes away after a couple of weeks. A small proportion of people may find that it leads to plaque psoriasis though.
Inverse Psoriasis: This occurs in the ‘folds’ of your skin. For example, you may notice sores in between your buttocks or underneath your breasts. These sores tend to be large, smooth and red. They become worse when exposed to friction.
Pustular Psoriasis: This causes pus-filled blisters to appear on your body. There are a variety of different forms of psoriasis related to this and they are characterised based on where the blisters actually appear. Most forms of pustular psoriasis have absolutely no warning signs and seemingly crop up over night. This is a very rare form of psoriasis.
Read more information about the symptoms of psoriasis.
What is Psoriasis and How This Condition Occurs?
Psoriasis is a result of skin cells in your body being replaced far quicker than normal. In normal people there is a turnaround time of around four weeks before skin cells are mature enough to push their way to the top of the skin before flaking off. In those who are suffering from psoriasis this process is just four days. This means that immature skin cells become dry and flake off on the skin. Nobody actually knows what causes this to happen, although it is believed that it may be down to a deficiency in the immune system. This condition normally occurs as a result of genetics.
Those who suffer from Psoriasis will generally lead a ‘normal life’. However, they should be on the lookout to avoid triggers which may set their symptoms off. These triggers include:
- Habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol.
- Injury to the skin. Cuts, scrapes and sunburn tend to cause severe flare-ups.
- Changes in hormones. Flare-ups are normally at their most severe during puberty or during the menopause.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines are known to cause flare-ups.
- Throat Infections
- Conditions which affect the immune system, for example HIV or Asthma tend to be major triggers of psoriasis.
Read more about the causes of psoriasis.
Diagnosis by a doctor will normally be fairly quick. This is a condition which can be recognized quite quickly and thus can be treated easily. All the doctor will be on the lookout for will be scales on your skin which take on the appearance that I detailed earlier. This condition can occur in anybody at any age, although it appears to be more common in those over the age of thirty. It is believed that this is not because the disease is triggered then, but more down to the fact that those who are younger really do not spot the symptoms as they are so minor.
If you believe that you are suffering from Psoriasis then I really do suggest that you talk to a doctor as soon as you can. Whilst this condition can’t be cured it can be treated to the point where your symptoms will rarely, if ever, be apparent. The sooner you treat the condition, the easier it is going to be to keep it at bay.
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For more information on what psoriasis is please watch this video: