The Silent P

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The condition changes the life cycle of skin cells, making them multiply faster than normal. “Much like lupus and arthritis, it is considered an autoimmune disease because the body’s immune system abnormally reacts to itself. Instead of the skin replacing itself every 30 days, the skin cells reproduce at an incredibly faster rate of 3 to 4 days, causing it all to pile up on the topmost layer. People with the condition, therefore, end up with scaly skin that stands out in huge patches on their body,” says Steven Baumann, author of Psoriasis Natural Treatments, Remedies, and Cures:

Your Guide To Psoriasis Home Treatment Options.

According to reports by the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 10% of individuals with psoriasis develop arthritis, which may affect the hands, feet, wrists, ankles, neck and lower back. “In some cases, joints become deformed, causing significant disability. Fingernails and toenails may be affected by scaling and crust formation and there may be shedding of nail plates, causing disfigurement,” writes WHO.

Psoriasis affects men and women alike. Although it appears at any age, studies indicate that the average age the condition shows up at is 33. The cause of the disease is not known; scientists say it could be a combination of triggers Ð foods, stress, climate, medications or other health conditions Ð and genetics. The severity of the symptoms varies; single patches of abnormal skin can appear on the elbow or knees or it can affect the entire skin. Also, its severity varies throughout life.

Types Plaque Psoriasis:

This is the most common type of the disease. According to Mayo Clinic, it causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques, occurring anywhere on the body, might be itchy or painful. The severity of the plaque varies.

Managing Psoriasis

Psoriasis, like other skins conditions, can affect self-esteem and cause mental issues such as depression. According to a study published in the journal JAMA Dermatology, psoriasis was associated with the risk of major depression, the severity notwithstanding.

Other studies also show a link between psoriasis and obesity, increasing alcohol consumption and smoking. This is mostly due to the psychological impact that comes with the condition.

“Dealing with it can also be a challenge because you can’t tell when it’s going to act up. This sort of unpredictability can adversely influence many areas of your life and can affect you emotionally, wreaking havoc on your self-esteem. Psoriasis often ends up affecting the way you dress, how you behave and relate to other people, and to some extent, even how you perform in the workplace,” says Baumann.

Dealing with Psoriasis

Although psoriasis has no cure, there are treatments that help reduce or stop the symptoms. The three forms of treatment are topical treatments (such as creams and ointments), light therapy and, oral and injected medications. These are simple measures you can adopt to avoid flare-ups:

Learning about Psoriasis

Learning about psoriasis is the first step to managing it by avoiding triggers, reducing alcohol intake, quitting smoking, keeping skin moist, eating healthy, balanced   meals and avoiding stress.

Guttate Psoriasis:

This manifests as red, small dot-like spots covered with silvery white scales.

Pustular Psoriasis:

This kind of psoriasis is common in adults and although it shows up anywhere on the body, it often occurs on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. It causes bumps that are filled with pus. If it covers the whole part of the body, it is best to seek medical attention, immediately.

Inverse Psoriasis:

Inverse psoriasis causes patches that are smooth, red and shiny and worsens with sweating and friction. It is usually common around the genitals, armpits and under the breasts.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis:

 Although rare, this kind of psoriasis is the most serious and can cover the whole body. It manifests as red, peeling rash that comes with severe itching and burning.

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