What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common inflammatory disease, primarily manifesting in the skin that affects men and women equally and can appear at any age. Psoriasis is a common skin problem It affects about 2% of the population.
What causes psoriasis?
The outer layer of skin contains cells which are formed at the bottom and then move up towards the surface, gradually changing as they go, finally dying before they are shed from the surface. This process normally takes between 3 and 4 weeks. In psoriasis, the rate of turnover is dramatically increased within the affected skin, so that cells are formed and shed in as little as 3 or 4 days. There is also inflammation and blood vessel proliferation on the affected skin.
Is psoriasis hereditary?
Yes, but the way it is inherited is complex and not yet fully understood. Many genes are involved, and even if the right combination of genes has been inherited psoriasis may not appear. There is more likely to be a family history of psoriasis in people who get it when they are young than in those who develop it when they are older.
There are different types or patterns of psoriasis which may cause different symptoms. Most people only have one type of psoriasis at a time.
CHRONIC PLAQUE PSORIASIS (PSORIASIS VULGARIS)
This is the most common type. Affected areas of skin appear raised, red or pinkish, and covered with a silver-white scale. It commonly affects the skin on the elbows, knees, scalp, behind the ears, torso, and the buttocks. The affected areas may be itchy or mildly uncomfortable.
This is a less common type of psoriasis which is more frequently seen in children and young adults. It typically occurs after a throat infection with a type of bacteria known as Streptococci. It causes widespread small (~1cm), red, drop-like spots usually on the trunk, arms and thighs.
Pustular psoriasis is uncommon and typically affects adults. There are small blisters containing sterile pus with surrounding red skin.
Palmoplantar psoriasis affects the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, sometimes with a large amount of scaling. Some people develop painful cracks (fissures) in the skin.
INVERSE PSORIASIS (FLEXURAL PSORIASIS OR INTERTRIGINOUS PSORIASIS)
Inverse psoriasis (also called flexural or intertriginous psoriasis) affects the body folds, e.g. the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and between the buttocks. The areas may be raised, and are red, smooth, and shiny without any scale.
This is a rare, severe form involving almost the entire skin surface. This is considered a medical emergency and requires prompt treatment, sometimes in hospital.
Red, thickened and scaly areas of skin covering parts of the scalp. May be small, isolated patches or widespread
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
In most people, a diagnosis of psoriasis can be made based on how the rash looks.
A skin biopsy is rarely needed. Investigations may be needed to rule out other conditions (e.g. skin scrapings for fungal infections), or may be performed prior to instituting treatment (e.g. blood tests).
We cannot give a single treatment to make it go away forever. However, there are many treatments that are highly effective, and most patients can achieve ‘normal-looking’ skin. Psoriasis does not scar, but can leave post-inflammatory pigmentation.
There are a variety of treatments for psoriasis which come in different forms.
- Topical Treatments
- Phototherapy / UV Therapy
- Oral Treatments
Make an Appointment
For appointment or any question contact us to make an appointment with Surat leading dermatologist Dr Mahendra Vaghasiya. Equipped with many years of experience in treating PSORIASIS patients, he will evaluate your individual skin condition and discuss the treatment options with you. You may also send an email by filling Enquiry form at https://shrihariskin.com/contact and our team will respond to your questions or appointment request as soon as possible.