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Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease, which involves the formation of thick, red and scaly patches on the skin. It is a chronic (long-term) condition and usually occurs in the form of cycles, flaring up for some months and then subsiding. Usually, the elbows, knees, and scalp are affected, but it can also affect the palms, soles, and torso.
There are several types of psoriasis based on their appearance; the common types include:
The signs and symptoms of psoriasis vary from person to person and may commonly include:
The patches can be mild, but similar to dandruff-like scaling or can be severe enough to cause eruptions over the large skin surface.
The exact cause of psoriasis is not stated but was found to be due to an alteration in the immune response. In people with psoriasis, the immune cells known as T-cells mistakenly attack the healthy skin cells during their fight against infection or healing a wound. Additionally, these hyperactive T-cells trigger the production of excess T-cells, skin cells and white blood cells (especially neutrophils); these cells reach the skin surface and lead to redness and pustular lesions. Over a period, these cells form thick, dry, and scaly patches on the skin. This cycle continues until a proper treatment is provided.
The following factors can trigger psoriasis:
The risk of developing psoriasis increases with:
The following complications are more likely to develop in a person with psoriasis:
The diagnosis of psoriasis is done by physical examination of the skin, scalp, and nails by the dermatologist. Additionally, a family history and medical history of the patient is collected. Rarely, a biopsy of the affected skin is performed, which involves observation of the skin sample under a microscope to understand the root cause.
Treatment options for psoriasis include topical preparations, oral medicines, injections, and phototherapy. The doctor will choose appropriate treatment considering several factors, such as the type of psoriasis, severity, side effects of the treatment, and certain patient-related factors.
The following topical creams or ointments may be prescribed either alone or in combinations to treat mild to moderate psoriasis:
The following oral or parenteral medications (systemic treatment) are prescribed to treat severe forms of psoriasis or if other treatments are not effective:
Phototherapy involves the exposure of the skin to different forms of natural or artificial UV light including:
Although prevention of psoriasis is impossible, it can be managed to an extent with some lifestyle and home remedies. The home remedies include:
Who are usually affected by acne? Most people with acne are aged between 12 and 25 but some older and younger people are affected. Boys are more commonly affected than girls.
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