Psoriasis- a disease manifested by the appearance of a rash in the form of pink plaques with silver scales, often accompanied by itching. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. At the heart of the disease, the processes are not fully understood.
Psoriasis is a mysterious enemy
With psoriasis, skin cells begin to divide 6 to 10 times faster than they should. This leads to chronic skin inflammation and peeling.
Scientists have been researching psoriasis for decades, but there is no clear answer to the question "Why does psoriasis occur? ""Modern science still does not. This disease is not contagious, but it can be inherited. Exacerbations can be caused by external and internal factors: stress, skin trauma, use of certain drugs (usually antibiotics), alcohol abuse, infectious diseases (caused by streptococcus, viruses)etc.
Manifestations of psoriasis are different: the surface of the lesion may be dry or tearful, different parts of the body may be affected. Some patients have knees and elbows, others palms and soles, and still others have large folds of skin or mucous membranes or nail plates. Sometimes psoriasis affects a very large area of the body, sometimes it is localized only in limited areas and never spreads further.
Without exaggeration we can say that psoriasis is one of the most mysterious diseases. Scientists have already understood what exactly happens in the body of a patient with psoriasis and how to alleviate his condition, but it remains unclear what causes these pathological changes and how they can be prevented.
Winston Churchill has been battling psoriasis all his life and has promised to erect a golden monument to a doctor who will solve the mystery of this disease and find an effective treatment. Unfortunately, the award never found its owner.
Why does psoriasis occur?
Science does not know the exact reasons, however, during the years of studying the problem, several hypotheses have been formed:
- autoimmune theory. It is all about increasing the concentration of T-lymphocytes, which leads to constant inflammation of the affected area of skin. The body seems to be beginning to experience its own skin as an aggressor.
- Hereditary theory that explains psoriasis as a defect in DNA.
- Endocrine theory, according to which psoriasis occurs due to disorders of the endocrine system, especially the pituitary gland and thyroid gland.
- exchange theory. Scientists have found that patients with psoriasis have problems with lipid and nitrogen metabolism, as well as increased toxin content in the body.
All these theories have a right to exist, but so far none of them has been fully proven. Therefore, modern treatment of psoriasis is aimed at reducing the severity of symptoms, reducing the recurrence of the disease and the overall improvement of the body.
Symptoms similar to those of psoriasis have been described in detail in ancient Roman medical treatises. However, at that time psoriasis was often confused with other skin diseases of a completely different origin. Psoriasis was first recognized as an independent disease only in 1799, and as a non-infectious pathology - only at the end of the 19th century.
Who is affected?
Psoriasis does not differentiate between the sexes - women and men are equally affected. Psoriasis usually appears at a young age - the peak occurs in 15-25 years. However, if you did not have psoriasis in your youth, it does not mean that the danger has passed - sometimes the first manifestation of psoriasis occurs at the age of about 50-60 years. The good news is that people who develop psoriasis experience less severe psoriasis later in life. According to the WHO, if one parent suffers from psoriasis, the risk of developing the disease in a child is approximately 14%, and if both - 41%. However, children of parents who have never encountered this disorder also suffer from psoriasis. According to statistics, psoriasis most often affects people with thin, light and dry skin.
The first symptoms of the disease
Psoriasis begins imperceptibly: in the first stage of development, the disease affects small parts of the skin, usually on the folds of the limbs, scalp and along the hairline. Sometimes the first manifestations of psoriasis occur at the site of constant mechanical skin irritation, in other words, where clothing presses and rubs. First the person feels itching and tightness of the skin, and then small raised islets of reddened peeling skin appear. Gray dead skin flakes appear on these spots, resembling wax shards, which are easily separated. Sometimes such plaques get wet, and yellowish-yellow lamellar scales form on their surface. When the latter is removed, a surface that cries and bleeds is revealed. Gradually, the plaques grow and merge with each other, affecting larger and larger areas of skin.
Signs of psoriasis of different types
There are several types of psoriasis:
- seborrheic psoriasis. It most often occurs on the scalp. It is manifested by itching and peeling, it spreads to the area behind the ears and the skin along the hairline.
- exudative psoriasis. In this type of psoriasis, the affected areas of the skin not only peel off, but also moisturize, and yellowish crusts (rash nodules) appear on the surface of the papules.
- Intertriginous psoriasis. More typical for children. In this type of psoriasis, the plaques are bright red with little or no peeling. Sometimes the plaques are wet. Parents often confuse this type of psoriasis with diaper rash.
- plantar psoriasis. It occurs on the soles and palms. It is manifested by thickening of the skin, dryness, cracks.
- Chronic psoriasis is manifested by large plaques that do not disappear for a long time, sometimes neoplasms appear on them - warts and papillomas.
- Rupioid psoriasis is a form of chronic psoriasis. Crusts appear on the plaques, and gradually the plaque becomes higher and higher, taking the shape of a cone.
- Guttate psoriasis is characterized by an abundant rash consisting of many small papules.
- Nail plate psoriasis (psoriatic onychia) causes nail deformity, the appearance of yellow-brown spots under them. A common type of psoriasis, which occurs in 25% of patients with this disease.
- Mucosal psoriasis affects the oral cavity and causes the appearance of papules on the mucous membranes.
Frequency of psoriasis manifestations
The course of psoriasis is cyclical. In the progressive phase, itchy plaques or small rashes appear that gradually merge into one place. After 1-4 weeks, the spread of plaques stops, they are covered with silvery scales. This is the so-called stationary phase. It is followed by a regressive phase, when the plaques gradually disappear. However, don’t be fooled - that doesn’t mean recovery has come at all. If psoriasis is not treated, everything will be repeated from the beginning, and after a while the stages will start to change constantly, and the worsening will become almost monthly.
Psoriasis can and should be treated. If measures are not taken in time, psoriasis will quickly turn into a chronic phase and will be extremely difficult to deal with. Today, medical methods, physiotherapy, as well as local remedies for external use - ointments and creams for psoriasis, whose effectiveness is quite high, are used to treat psoriasis.
However, it should be noted that before you start using any psoriasis medication, you should consult your doctor. At least because a non-specialist cannot make a diagnosis on his own.