Psoriasis is a common skin problem that can occur to anyone; however, it has been observed that people between 15 to 35 age groups are the easy targets of this problem. It is a skin condition in which skin cells of patients develops faster as compared to a normal man.
- It is natural mechanism of the human body to develop new skin cells in the period of a month and new replaces the older skin.
- However, the skin of psoriasis patients grows within weeks because of which dead skin cells are accumulated on the surface of skin.
- These accumulated dead skin causes thick patches of dry, red, and itchy skin that may, sometimes, be painful.
- This problem affects around 2 % people worldwide.
- Scalp, knees, elbows, feet, hand, and nails are more commonly affected by this skin condition.
- 10 to 20 percent of people with Psoriasis are affected with Psoriasis Arthritis.
Causes of Psoriasis
The exact trigger of this skin problem is still a mystery. Researchers has been working over this skin problem since 30 years so that they could find the Master Switch of this chronic skin problems. But, unfortunately, they have not yet got any success and hence the exact cause of this skin condition is still unknown. However, they have found a combination of factors that trigger this problem.
- Environment factors and genetic predisposition are supposed to be responsible for it.
- It has been observed that this problem is more often found in those people whose family members are affected with it; however, it is not a contagious problem.
- Immune System is also considered a major factor in this regard.
- Besides, some other risk factors are a viral or bacterial infection, obesity, smoking, certain medicines used for bipolar disorder, high blood pressure, and uncontrolled stress as well.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
It cannot be said that everyone has similar symptoms of psoriasis; they differ from person to person. However, people suffering from it can display one or more signs or symptoms that are given here.
- Red patches of skin wrapped with silvery scale
- Dry and Cracked skin
- Thickened ridged or pitted nail
- Swollen and stiff joints
- Small scaling spots
It most often affects elbows, scalp, and knee; however, it affect in any part of body. Psoriasis patches may vary in size; they may be small spots like scaling, or they may cover large area as well. In common cases, it is seen that psoriasis undergoes in sequence for weeks, months, and later, it subsides for a time or goes off completely.
How It Is Treated?
As it is a skin related problem, it requires a skin specialist who is called dermatologist for treatment. It has no cure. The treatment for this skin condition involves only decreasing skin irritation and inflammation. Doctors prescribe ointments or creams like vitamin D analogues, salicylic acid, topical corticosteroids, topical retinoid and moisturizers as a part of topical treatments.
Light Therapy Treatment
Another therapy called light therapy in which skin is exposed under the medical supervision to ultraviolet light or natural lights has been found to reduce the development of new skin cell. Moreover, if it is in serious stage and no therapy works, medication is prescribed so that immune system should be suppressed.
What to Eat and Not to Eat
No scientific evidence is found that recommends or mentions about the specific food, which should be taken by the people affected with the psoriasis. It has been noticed that losing weight is beneficial in easing symptoms. So, it is recommended to take a healthy balanced diet so that you may have control over overweight as well as psoriasis. Balanced healthy diet also reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease and hence is good for the overall well being of your health.
Is it Contiguous?
Although nothing definite has been said about psoriasis being contagious, it has been observed that more often, if the family members suffer from this skin disease, others also in some way acquire it and hence the whole family is at the risk of getting it. Doctors think that it has nothing to do with the contagious nature of the disease, but it has to do more with the genetic predisposition and the environment.
Can Psoriasis Be Seasonal Problem/Like It Can Affect More In Winter?
People with the problem of Psoriasis have some worst days in winter because; the days of the fall or winter are comparatively shorter as compared to other seasons. During winter, temperature decreases, air becomes dry, leading to worsening of psoriasis symptoms. In winter, people spend less time outside due to which they fail to get sunlight’s ultraviolet rays that are the most beneficial for psoriasis as these rays reduce the growth of skin cells. Contrary to that, the symptoms improve during hot weather.
Things to do and Avoid
- Although this skin problem does not have, any cure but several treatments can ease psoriasis symptoms.
Some of them include:
- Dietary supplement like Fish oil, milk thistle, vitamin D, and evening primrose oil are recommended to the people with it.
- Humidifier is also used to keep air moist.
- Sensitive skin moisturizers are also very useful in psoriasis.
- People with the psoriasis are advised to use only those products, which are made for sensitive skin.
- Dyes and fragrances are found in most of the soaps and perfumes and these products can inflame psoriasis.
- You must eat a balanced diet, as there are certain foods that can trigger off the psoriasis symptoms.
- Red meat and Fatty food should be avoided.
- Soy, chocolates, nuts, cranberries are some functional foods that are recommended by The National Psoriasis Foundation.
- Doctors advise both men and women suffering from this skin disease to limit their intake of alcohol and also to avoid smoking as it can flare up the symptoms of psoriasis.
- Remain stress-free and try doing relaxing stretches and yoga poses as stress can also flare up psoriasis.
Is there a cure for it?
Several therapies and other natural and home remedies that are useful in Psoriasis and they ease symptoms, and you can get relief, but as far as cure for psoriasis is considered, there is no cure for it. The clear cause of this problem is yet to be discovered. There are some therapies, which can help to ease symptoms only. Some home remedies include:
- Psoriasis patients should avoid using hot water however, lukewarm bath is best for them. Add mineral oil, olive oil, milk and Epsom salt to lukewarm bathwater. Pat your skin dry immediately after bathing and apply moisturizer for double benefits. This routine is extremely beneficial to infiltrate plaques and scales and to soothe itching.
- Massaging vegetable oils on psoriasis patches help to loosen the dead skin cells and gives you relief from itching.
Can Psoriasis Affect all the Body?
It is mainly seen on elbows, scalp, and knee, but it can come up on any part of body. It has been seen that people affected with psoriasis also suffer from other diseases. For example, it has been observed that 20 percent of patients of psoriasis are affected with the psoriasis of joints that is known as Psoriasis Arthritis. This type of arthritis damages joints, and if it affects patients for a long time, they lose their ability to move their hands and legs. It also increases risk of heart attack. Some studies also suggest that it may lead to a particular type of blood cancer.
Can It Occur At any Age?
Most of the people between 15 to 35 age groups are found affected with this skin condition. However, this disease do not limit itself to any particular age or gender difference .The people of 18 to 29 and 30 to 45 age have greater chance of acquiring this disease than the people who belong to the 46 to 65 age group or above that. Likewise, no difference is found in regard of gender and men and women are both affected with this skin condition equally. One thing that is observed with men is greater work related stress. Psoriasis impact is mainly dominant on the quality of the life of people lead. That is why it progresses faster in people of age group 18 to 45. Consequently, patient’s social life is equally badly affected whether it is male or female.
What are the Dietary Preferences?
- People affected with this disease are recommended a balanced healthy diet.
- They should avoid gaining weight, which is a major factor that causes not only psoriasis but other diseases as well.
- Proteins, whole grains, low fat diary, vegetables and fruits are recommended to the patients of psoriasis.
- Psoriasis patients should not take whole milk or full fat cheese and should use low fat version, which will help them cutting down on calories.
- Similarly, psoriasis patients should also avoid fatty red meat, as it may also be a cause of inflammation.
- Anti-inflammatory diet, in some patients, is found useful for controlling symptoms.
- Fish and seafood are considered a heart healthy diet, and fish oil is useful for reducing inflammation. It also boosts immune system of people.