Many times, skin cells can start building up and eventually cause scales on the skin’s surface. This is due to Psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disease. Psoriasis scales are whitish silver in colour and can cause the surrounding area to get inflamed or red. They are thick and red patches that can sometimes crack and cause bleeding.
Mainly, psoriasis is caused due to rapid production of skin cells. If we consider the typical life cycle of skin, then the cells produced deep within the skin rise to the surface and then over time, they fall off. The period of this cycle is one month. So in a person with psoriasis, the fastened production of skin cells doesn’t allow enough time for the already produced cells to fall off. The cells rapidly reproduce in just a few days and cause the buildup of skin cells.
Generally seen on the joints like elbows and knees, one can also see scales on the various parts of the body such as-
Rare types of psoriasis can also develop scales on nails, mouth and around the genitals.
Psoriasis has been distinguished into five types, namely-
- Plaque Psoriasis
Did you know that 80% of people diagnosed with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis? Because of this, plaque psoriasis is most common. Red and inflamed plaques are observed on mainly elbows, knees and scalp. These patches are covered with whitish silver scales/plaques
- Guttate Psoriasis
Guttate type is found in children. It causes small pink spots which are not thick and are rarely raised like plaque psoriasis. We can see the spots on the torso, arms and legs.
- Pustular Psoriasis
Pustular Psoriasis causes areas of red, inflamed skin. White blisters that are filled with pus are also formed on the skin. It is usually found in adults. Generally, pustular psoriasis is localized to small areas like hands or feet. This type can be widespread but very rarely.
- Inverse Psoriasis
Patches are found under armpits and breast. They can surround the skinfolds in the genitals and can also be seen in the groin area. Patches caused are bright red, inflamed and shiny.
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis
It causes the skin to appear severely sunburned and covers large portions of the body simultaneously. Shedding of the scales occurs in large sections or sheets. A person suffering from this type of psoriasis can also develop fever and become very ill. Being severe and a rare type, erythrodermic psoriasis, can be life-threatening. So immediate medical treatment is needed.
Differing from person to person and also dependent on the type, the symptoms of psoriasis can vary.
The common symptoms of plaque psoriasis are-
- Dry skin that can crack and cause bleeding
- Red patches that are itchy and red
- Joints that are swollen and painful
- Red patches of skin (can be raised and inflamed)
- Feeling of soreness
- Hollow and thick nails
- Whitish-silver scales/plaques on the red patches
These symptoms are not found in every person who has psoriasis. Also, those suffering from rare types can have entirely different symptoms.
‘Cycles’ of symptoms are experienced in most cases. Severe symptoms are seen in the beginning few weeks, which clear up and become almost invisible over time. In the following few weeks, or if the condition worsens due to a common psoriasis trigger, the symptoms can reappear.
Sometimes, the condition can disappear entirely. When no visible signs are seen, the person is said to be in ‘remission’, and it doesn’t mean that the condition is cured. It is just that you are symptom-free for now.
There is still no complete information on what causes psoriasis. But the work that several generations of researchers have put has made doctors aware of two key factors, genetics and the immune system.
- Immune System
Psoriasis is caused when white blood cells (T cells) attack the skin cells, so in a way, the body is attacking itself. Hence, psoriasis comes under the category of autoimmune diseases.
Under healthy conditions, white blood cells are immunity providers against invading bacteria. When these mistakenly attack skin cells, the skin production goes overboard. The accumulation of skin cells under or on the skin surface causing the plaques associated with psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a genetic disease. The risk of getting psoriasis is exceptionally high when a close family member has already been diagnosed with it. Another essential point to consider is that the percent of people having psoriasis and genetic predisposition is less. It is known that only 2-3% of people with the gene prone to psoriasis develop it.
Psoriasis is diagnosed by-
- Physical Examination
The symptoms of psoriasis are very evident and well distinguishable from the symptoms of other skin conditions. Thus, a simple physical exam can help the doctor diagnose. During the exam, make sure you tell the doctor if there is any family history and show him/her all the areas of concern.
Unclear symptoms can make the doctor unsure. For a careful examination under a microscope, a piece of skin is taken and sent to a lab. Known as a biopsy, the doctor can confirm the diagnosis based on the results. Biopsy also identifies the type of psoriasis and rules out any other disorder/infection.
The biopsy is a small process that can be conducted in your doctor’s office on the appointment day itself. You may be administered with anaesthesia to make the process less painful. On getting the results, the doctor will call you to discuss the findings and further treatment options.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease caused by overproduction and the accumulation of skin cells. The spread of scales that result from psoriasis can be on a large area, or they can be just small spots depending on the type. Psoriasis is a known chronic condition that is not curable. Occasional recurrences with intervals are common. But with appropriate treatment, you can control psoriasis symptoms.
Homoeopathy has secured an impressive clinical record in treating psoriasis. A research study has proven that the patients who have psoriasis who availed homoeopathic treatment have had significant improvement in their life. They experience a reduction in symptoms caused by the condition.
Homoeopathy is known to go to the roots of the disease and treat it. It is better than the conventional treatment as it offers treatment without any side effects. Additional benefits of the medicines include that they are-
- Safe to consume
- Made from natural ingredients
- Proven to be effective
- Give long-lasting effects
Therefore, weighing the pros and cons, homoeopathy can offer a very beneficial treatment than conventional medicine.