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What is Psoriasis?

Mar 29, 2017

What is Psoriasis?

A chronic, inflammatory disease, psoriasis is characterized by red, itchy and scaly patches of skin. Being an autoimmune disease i.e. a disease that is caused by a person’s immune system which sends the body signals for rapid multiplication of skin cells, psoriasis is not contagious. The excess skin cells start piling up on the outer surface of the skin, causing red and flaky patches on the body. The common areas where the condition can be seen are elbows, knees, ankles and scalp. They may also develop on palms, neck and face. Depending on various factors, psoriasis is divided into five types: • Plaque Psoriasis: the most common type; causes red, inflamed patches on the skin around elbows, knees and scalp. • Guttate Psoriasis: commonly occurring during childhood; causes flat pink spots on the torso, arms and legs. • Pustular Psoriasis: seen mostly in adults; causes pus-filled blisters and red, inflamed patches on the skin around the hands or feet. • Inverse psoriasis: causes bright red patches of skin that are inflamed and lustrous under the armpits or breasts, groin. • Erythrodermic psoriasis: the rarest type of psoriasis; covers a portion of the body and might appear like sunburns, may also cause fever. Psoriasis is often mistaken as dry skin or a common rash and goes undetected for a long period of the person’s life. Though not fatal, it leads to a difficult life and may more often than not develop in psoriatic arthritis which causes swelling and pain in the joints. Though the cause of the disease is known, there are some triggers that lead to a bout of psoriasis symptoms. Some of the common ones are listed below: • Stress • Excessive consumption of alcohol • Some types of medications • Infections Being an Autoimmune disease, there is no specific cure for the disease. But there are treatments which may control the symptoms or get rid of them completely. These include ointments or oral medication which can prevent the scaling and itchiness of the patches. A vitamin rich diet might also be helpful in preventing the appearance of the symptoms on the body. Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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