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Psoriasis Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

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Psoriasis Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes the rapid build-up of skin cells. This rapid growth produces extra skin cells, which form scales and red patches that are itchy and can be painful.
Psoriasis comes in many forms, among the most common of these are:
  • Plaque Psoriasis. plaque Psoriasis causes dry, raised red skin plaques. These can affect any area area on the body.
  • Guttate Psoriasis. This type mainly affects young adults and children. It’s usually as a resultof a bacterial infection. It can be identified by small, scaling lesions on the trunk, legs, arms, and scalp.
  • Nail Psoriasis. This type affects fingernails and toenails, causing abnormal nail growth and discolouration.
  • Inverse Psoriasis. Under this type, the main affected areas are the armpits, in the groin,under the breasts and around the genitals. It is characterised by smooth patches of red, inflamed skin.

Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis Symptoms

Common Psoriasis symptoms include:
  • Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
  • Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed.
  • soreness around patches
  • itching and burning sensations around patches
  • Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
  • painful, swollen joints

Psoriasis Causes

There is no consensus as to the exact cause of Psoriasis, but there are generally two key factor that doctor think may contribute to Psoriasis; namely the Immune system, and Genetic factors. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, This means that it occurs as a result of the body attacking itself. There occurs a mistaken identity of sorts in the body. The T cells (a type of white blood cells), tasked with fighting foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, may attack the healthy skin cells. And they stimulate rapid production of skin cells. Psoriasis can as well be hereditary, I.e. inherited from one’s bloodline. Other factors include HIV, certain medications and microbes

Psoriasis Diagnosis

The diagnosis is most commonly determined by observing the skin as well as examining the
patients medical history.
In some rare cases the doctor may take a skin sample to perform a biopsy on.

PsoriasisTreatments

Generally three types of treatment are recommended. These are:

  • Tropical treatments
These are applied directly onto the skin. They can take the form of sprays, lotions, creams, etc.
These however, are only effective for mild Psoriasis, i.e. the kind that only affects a small portion of
the skin.
  • Ultraviolet light treatments
Occurring naturally in rays of sunlight, ultraviolet B (UVB) is an effective treatment for Psoriasis. It
penetrates the skin and slows down the growth of affected skin cells. This type of treatment is
recommended for fairly severe stages of the infection. UV treatments, however, come with the risk
of causing skin cancer.
  • Systemic agents
Psoriasis can, in certain cases, be resistant to tropical treatment and UV therapy. In such cases
systemic therapies (such as medication by mouth or injectable treatments) can be employed. These
however, are taken over a short interval and can be alternated with other forms of treatment to avoid
the severe side effects.

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