Psoriasis: Risk factors, causes and remedies

What is Psoriasis

Having scaly red patches on elbow, trunk, scalp and knee? Then it could be psoriasis. Lifestyle changes and coping strategies listed below could help.

Psoriasis is a skin disease causing scaly patches, red in color and appears on the trunk, elbows, scalp and knees. Psoriasis begins with flaring for a few weeks or months then goes into remission.

There are treatments available to manage symptoms along with coping strategies and lifestyle changes to help you almost unaffected as you live with psoriasis

Symptoms

  • 1. Small scaly spots
  • 2. Red patches covered with thick silvery scales
  • 3. Dry, cracked, bleed able skin
  • 4. Thickened or ridged nails
  • 5. Swollen or stiff joints
  • 6. Itching, burning or soreness

Severity of psoraisis and its symptoms can vary and range from.mild, few spots of dandruff to major eruptions spreading to many areas

Types of psoriasis

Psoriatic athritis

Causes swollen, painful joints synonymous with athritis and may be the only symptom accompanied with nail changes and pains along with stiffness to the joints. May lead to permanent damage to the joint

Postular psoriasis( very rare)

Pus filled lesions in wide spread patches appearing on palms of the hand or soles of the feet

Gultate psoriasis

Arising from bacterial infections like strep throat. Appears like drop shapes, scaling lesions on arm, legs or trunk. Can affect both adult and children alike

Plaque psoriasis

Most common form of psoriasis causing dey, red, raised skin patches with silvery scales. Appears on knees, scalp, elbows, lower back. Etc and may itch

Inverse psoriasis

Affects skin folds of the groin, buttock and breast. The smooth patches of red skin may worsen with sweat and friction

Eruthrodermic psoriasis

Not very common. Covers the entire body with red, peeling rash that burns or itches very intensly

Nail psoriasis

Affects finger nails, toe nails with abnormal nail growth, nails loosening and seperating them from nail beds which may cause nail to crumble. It causes nail pitting as well

Causes

Psoriasis is an immune system problem that causes rapid skin regeneration and rapid turnover of cells resulting in scales and red patches which might want to resemble eczema cases. It is believed to be caused by both genetics and environmental factors. Though it is in categories

Risk factors

Symptoms are not noticeable until after how many years.

The underlisted factors may expose or put one at risk of psoriasis

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Cold and dry weather conditions
  • Rapid withdrawal of oral or systemic corticosteroids
  • Strep throats or skin infections
  • Injury to skin, scrape or cuts, severe sun burn or bug bite
  • Medications like high blood pressure medications, lithium and antimalaria drugs
N/B: Those who have psoriasis are at risk of conditions below
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Mental health conditions like depression and low body image
  • Eye conditions like uvelitis, blephatitis, conjuctivitis etc
  • High blood pressure
  • Other auto immune disease like scletosis, chron’s disease, celiac disease etc
  • Psoriatic arthritis associated with swelling around joints accompanied with stiffness
  • Obesity

Treatments

According to Nhs The treatments for Psoriasis varies according to type and severity of psoriasis. There is no cure but this ways below can help make life easier.

Use topical creams or ointments

Applying creams directly and topically may help some mild conditions of psoriasis but changes may be noticeable only from since weeks upwards. Topical creams can ve used especially in cases of scalp psoriasis which involves mixing shampoo and ointments

Use good moisturizers

A good moisturizer can serve as an emolient to help seal moisture and prevent water loss to the skin.

Use topical corticosteroids

Corticosteroids recommended by a doctor can be used only on small areas of the skin to cover thick patches. It should be used minimally to avoid skin thinning

Coal tar

This is an acient way of treating psoriasis witg its heavy oil applied directly on the skin to reduce inflammation, scales and itching.

Dithranol

This must be applied wearing gloves or by a person wearing gloves and washes off after 10-60 minutes. It is used in suppressing production of skin cells. It comes with side effects and must be used minimally to avoid burning.

Vitamin D

Use of vitamin D analogue creams like calcipotriol, calcitrol, tacalcitrol etc csn be used to treat mild to moderate cases on the limbs, scalp and the trunk but should be used minimally and based on doctor’s recommendation to avoid side effects.

Calcinelpurin inhibitors

Such as tacrolimus, pimecrolimus etc are oil ointments that can reduce inflammation in sensitive areas such as the groin folds, genitals and the face or folds of the skin. This can be used as an alternative treatment to steroids.

Phototherapy

This includes the use of artificial light therapy to treat psoriasis

Ultraviolet B ( UVB) phototherapy

This includes the use of wave light to slow down production of skin cells. Visits may require 6-8 weeks or just 2-3 visits lasting for just few minutes.

Psoralen plus ultraviolet A( PUVA)

This treatment involves tablets containing compounds called psoralens applied directly to the skin. This makes the skin sensitive to light as it is exposed to wave length of UVA. This penetrates deeply than UVB light and is used to treat severe cases of psoriasis that has defied other treatments.

Combination light therapy

This requires a combination of treatments like e.g use of ointments, creams and light therapy together. This method is used if psoriasis does not respond to treatment or for people who hate drugs

Tablets, capsules and injections

This ones can be effective but comes with serious. Side effects. Use a doctors recommendation to know the right choice and risk associated with each one. Women breast feeding, planning for a baby or even pregnant must stay off the treatment completely or risk huge side effects.

Non biological medications

Methotrexate

  1. Slows production of skin cells and suppresses inflammation.
Side effects;

1. May cause nausea

2. May affect production of blood cells

3. May cause liver damage

4. Can be harmful to developing baby

Caution;

  1. 1. Should not be taken with alcohol

2. Should not be used by people taking contraceptives

3. Should not be used by women hoping to become pregnant

4. Men should avoid trying for a baby until after 6 months of last doze

Ciclosporin

This medicine supresses immune systen and is effective in treating all cases of psoriasis when taken daily.

Side effects include;
  1. 1. It increases chances of kidney disease
  2. 2. It increases chances of high blood pressure

3. It needs monitoring

Acitretin

This are oral retinoids reducing skin cell production and used to treat severe cases of psoriasis not responding to non biological systemic treatments and is meant to be taken daily

Side effects;

I. Induces overall dryness

2. Cracked lips

3. Dryness of nasal passages

4. Herpatitis in rare cases

5. Harmful to developing babies

5. Women must stay at least after 3 years before trying for a baby after use of this drug

N;B it is safe for men to fatger babies when using this drug

Biological treatments

Could be used in severe cases of psoriasis that refuses to respond to non biological methods of treatments or other treatment options.

Etanercept

Etanercept is injected twice twice a week and stopped after 12 weeks.

Side effects;
  1. 1. It affects the entire immune system

2. May give severe infection

3. May give rash at the place of injection

Adalunumab

Injected twice every 2 weeks. Treatment is stopped after 16 weeks

Side effects:
  1. 1. Rash at place of injection

2. Headaches

3. Nausea

4. Severe infections

5. Affects entire immune system

Ustekinumab

Is injected at the beginning of treatment and stopped after 16 weeks

Side effects;
  1. 1. Throat infections

2. Severe infections

3. Rash at site of injection

4. Affects entire immune system

Other drug treatments

There are still a few other drugs and treatments that can be used to manage cases of psoriasis from its mildest to most severe cases. Speak to your doctor to be gibing recommendation and begin appropriate course of treatment and coping strategies.

Final note; At JaRaHaB we value your questions, suggestions, opinions and comments. We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or use or contact us form

Disclaimer; No content on JaRaHaB should be used as a direct substitute for medical advice from your doctor, health and appearance personel or practitioner.

What is Psoriasis
Jarahab
I am Ray. A simple girl who writes for fun and therapy. Your favourite entrepreneur and health professional who is MPH certified. Passionate health Writer and Mental health advocate who has and is still having her fair share of varying daily, rare and challenging health and lifestyle struggles and shares in her voice how she overcomes them and how you too can cope for good Mental health. A survivor and writer with many books written to be published, a tech enthusiast and a perfectionist who has come to terms with embracing the imperfect life happily against odds through her realist nature. Oh, did i mention that there's something about me and Social entrepreneurship i have been exploring on this part of the world? Oh, anything to get the ball rolling with lots of side passions. I am founder of social enterprise called Ray. And, you know, 'I love you' just the way you are.
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