Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammation of the skin, characterized by the appearance of round, pink-red spots covered with silver-white flakes. The most commonly affected areas are elbows, knees and hairy parts of the head. The disease affects almost equally men and women as the average age for the occurrence of psoriasis is about 20-30 years.
The cause for the occurrence of psoriasis is unknown, but there are a number of factors that can provoke its occurrence:
Genetic predisposition – the probability of developing psoriasis is greater if relatives also suffer from this disease.
Nervous and mental excessive stress – can be caused by intense emotional disturbances, and in people already having psoriasis stress can be a cause of worsening of the disease.
Hormonal disorders – changes in the functioning of endocrine glands with internal secretion.
Infections – very often infections are involved in the onset of symptoms of psoriasis. Bacteria, especially streptococci, are the most common pathogens and are associated with dotty psoriasis
Medications – some medications have a negative effect on psoriasis. Sudden discontinuation of therapy with strong topical or orally administered corticosteroids often aggravates the symptoms of the disease
The most common types of psoriasis are:
Plaque psoriasis – the most common form affecting about 80% of patients. It usually appears on the knees, elbows, face, ears and back.
Guttate psoriasis – characterized by the appearance of small red spots scattered throughout the skin of the body and extremities. It is observed in children and young people (under 30 years of age), often after infections.
Pustular psoriasis is mainly observed in adults and is characterized by white purulent pimples on the skin of the body and extremities.
The erythrodermic psoriasis – is the most severe form of this disease because it affects most of the body’s surface. Redness is followed by the release of large scales, which causes great pain and discomfort.
Inverse psoriasis – occurs mainly on the folds of the body and the soft skin areas, such as the armpits, groin, under the breasts and on the buttocks.
Nail psoriasis – Nail changes may accompany or be the only symptom of the disease. The most frequent changes are: “oily spots”, dotted hollow areas, detaching of the free end of the nail from the nail bed, nail thickening, etc.
Arthropathic psoriasis – this form of the disease is seen in 10% of patients with psoriasis. It affects the joints and occurs with the following complaints – pain, swelling, deformities, movement restriction.
Psoriasis cannot be cured, but lasting and prolonged periods without skin changes can be achieved. Patients with psoriasis, should take care of their skin every day – to keep it moisturized; to avoid irritating cosmetics and soaps; should not scratch it. Bathing in a bath with moisturizing oils can help relieve irritation. In most patients with psoriasis, exposure to sunlight improves the symptoms.
Three are the main types of treatment for the disease:
Local therapy – applying drugs on the skin is the first choice for treating psoriasis. Most often are applied lubricating creams, corticosteroids, vitamin D derivatives, salicylic acid and urea containing creams, tar, anthralins or retinoids. These drugs have a different therapeutic effect, requiring their combination in treatment.
Phototherapy – special apparatus is used that emits ultraviolet rays. They slow down the production of skin cells and reduce inflammation in moderate and severe psoriasis.
Systemic therapy – it is applied when local and phototherapy are not effective. These are drugs that are taken internally – cytostatics, retinoids, biological drugs, and so on.
These types of treatments can be applied alone or in combination, always under the control of a dermatologist!