What Psoriasis Really Is
Have you ever heard about psoriasis and how people wish not to acquire it? The skin condition could be really hard to treat. But with the advent of modern medicine, treatment and cure could already be possible. You might be wondering what psoriasis really is.
To begin with, psoriasis is a noticeable chronic skin condition that usually results to thickening of certain or affected areas of the skin. Usual symptoms include scaling and redness. However, the appearance could still possibly vary depending on the affected skin part. In most cases, psoriatic plaques (scaly patches) occur in the skin covering the knees and the elbows. However, in some instances, it could also manifest in the scalp, and worse, the genitals (which make it sometimes mistaken as a sexually transmitted disease).
This skin disorder could be chronic recurring, which means it could re-appear and then vary in severity from small localized patches to major or complete body coverage. Psoriasis could also affect the toenails and the fingernails, also referred to in the medical industry as psoriatic nail dystrophy. In several cases, it could lead to psoriatic arthritis, which leads to joint inflammation. About 10% to 15% of psoriasis patients are found to have psoriatic arthritis.
The specific cause is yet to be ascertained. However, it should be noted that occurrence of this skin condition is mostly genetic or hereditary in nature. Thus, people without the condition could rest assured because psoriasis is not communicable or not infectious. There is no need to stay away from or prevent skin contact with infected people.
There are two outstanding hypotheses explaining the occurrence of psoriasis. First, psoriasis is a skin disorder wherein there is excessive reproduction and growth of skin cells. Some experts consider the condition as a malfunction of the keratinocytes (a layer) of the epidermis. Second, some researchers believe psoriasis is an immune-mediated ailment wherein excessive skin cells reproduction is caused by the immune system itself. The second theory is basically backed by the observation that immune-suppressing medications could clear psoriasis plaques.
Who is likely to develop or acquire psoriasis? This is another interesting aspect about this skin condition. In reality, psoriasis could affect just about anyone, regardless of age. It could be detected on skin of unborn infants or even ageing people. In most cases, symptoms and manifestations of the condition begin during early adult years, while people 50 years and older also report prevailing cases. Some patients may have psoriasis all their lives. There are even cases when psoriasis gets unnoticeable.
There are new treatment products that have been approved for psoriasis treatment by no less than the US Food and Drug Administration. These products include Taclonex Scalp, Xtrac Velocity, and adalimumab drugs. Such treatments have different natures and ingredients, but regulators underline their possible effectiveness. Potency could vary from one patient to another.
People with psoriasis should also take note that there are several factors hat have been found to potentially worsen the skin disorder. These factors include stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, skin trauma, and several medications (like beta blockers, lithium, anti-malaria drugs, and interferon).
People should also know that there is no prevention measure against psoriasis, though people who may have relatives with the condition could be at greater risk of eventually developing it.