Psoriasis is a skin disorder. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type. People with plaque psoriasis suffer from a rash that is thick, red and patchy having silvery and white scales. These patches of rash can appear anywhere but often times they appear on the scalp, elbows and knees as well as the lower back.
People should understand that psoriasis is not contagious so there is no need to panic whenever you are in the same room or happen to touch anyone suffering from this condition. This skin condition affects about 2 – 3% Americans and statistics show that the skin condition affects more adults than children.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
The first sign of psoriasis is usually red bumps appearing on the skin. These red bumps can increase in size, get thicker and in time start to develop scales. The patches can come together and affect a large area of the skin or can be small patches here and there. These patches of rash are usually uncomfortably itchy and they can start bleeding when picked or rubbed.
Psoriasis on the Nails?
Psoriasis can affect nails too! In fact about 50% of people suffering from plaque psoriasis have nail psoriasis too. Psoriasis can make nails start wearing a yellowish red color. It can also make nails become brittle to the point of crumbling, pitted or have grooved lines. Almost everyone suffering from nail psoriasis also suffer from psoriasis in their skin.
It is estimated that around 15% of psoriasis patients in time develop what we call as psoriatic arthritis. This condition is very painful and at times can disable the patient. Psoriatic arthritis causes involves inflammation of the joints. Although psoriatic arthritis usually arises between the ages of 30 and 50, it can happen at any given age.
The Cause of Psoriasis
Science has not uncovered yet what actually causes this skin disorder however they believe that it has something to do with the immune system, certain genes and environmental factors. Every four weeks, our body makes new skin cells to replace the old ones. But in people with psoriasis this happens every 3 to 4 days. This is because the immune system of a person with psoriasis triggers inflammation which in turn causes new cells to form and come up the surface. This will in turn cause a buildup which causes the formation of the rash.
Psoriasis Flare-Up Triggers
There are times when psoriasis flares up and these episodes of flare ups come with uncomfortable, very itchy and sometimes painful symptoms. If you suffer from this skin condition you should be aware of these common triggers and avoid them to prevent your psoriasis from flaring up.
- Injury or infection of the skin
- Drinking of alcohol and smoking of cigarettes
- Some medications
We will be discussing common treatments for psoriasis in one of our posts in the future!
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