What is psoriasis

Psorasis (psoriasis) is a chronic, inflammatory disorder of the skin. There are different types of psoriasis, and each has its own symptoms and treatments.

Psoriasis is not contagious, and affects about 2% of the world’s population. People with psoriasis often suffer stress and depression, which in turn causes the psoriasis to worsen.

Psoriasis occurs when there is a rapid multiplication of the cells in the epidermal layer of the skin. It can occur anywhere on the body, but is most commonly found on the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet, and genitals. Scalp psorasis can cause temporary hair loss.

We will now go over the types and causes of psoriasis, and then discuss psorasis treatment.

Types of psoriasis

Plaque – is the most common form of psoriasis. It is characterized by a defined area that has raised and inflamed red lesions, which are covered with silvery scales. Symptoms include dry painful skin, itching and cracking. Most often it occurs on the elbows, knees, scalp, and trunk. Scalp psoriasis will usually cause flaking which initally may be confused with dandruff. Scalp psorasis can have no symptoms, or be very itchy.

Guttate – is characterized by many small, red, individual spots on the skin. Guttate lesions usually appear on the trunk and limbs. The spots are not usually thick or crusty as in plaque psoriasis.

Inverse - occurs in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and other areas where skin flexes or folds. The affected area is red, shiny and smooth. Due to the skin irritation from rubbing and sweating, it can be very painful.

Pustular – is very rare, and usually affects the feet and hands. It is characterized by blister-like lesions covered with a sticky clear liquid, and surrounded by reddened skin. After a few weeks the affected area can turn yellow and then will be capped by a brown scale of skin. This form of psoriasis can affect the inner organs and become life threatening. You should see a doctor immediately if you think you may have pustular psoriasis.

Erythrodermic – covers 85% or more of the body, and can be life threatening. There is severe itching, scaling, and pain, and the skin becomes fiery red. With this form of psoriasis you should seek medical care from a doctor immediately.

Causes of psoriasis

It is unknown what causes psoriasis. You are more likely to get psoriasis if it runs in your family, but there is no test that can determine a genetic link. Most researchers agree that the immune system, for unknown reasons, is mistakenly triggered, which in turn speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells.

Psoriasis treatment

There are many types of psoriasis treatment. Unfortunately though, there is no cure. The goal of psorasis treatment is to reduce the frequency of outbreaks, and minimize the symptoms. No treatment works for everyone, so often treatment involves trial and error.

Doctor will often prescribe steroids, drugs that suppress the immune system, or phototherapy. These treatments all can have severe side effects, and are not safe to use long term. For this reason, many people look into natural treatments. Natural treatments have no side effects, and for many people, is the most effective psorasis treatment.

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If you have any questions about psoriasis treatment, please write to us. If you have scalp psoriasis and have any additional concerns, please contact us.

More than Psorasis Treatment on our What Is Psoriasis page

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