Diseases

Psoriasis

Skin disease, Autoimmune disease

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease, which is characterized by thick red, flaking spots on the skin. This can cause pain and itch. The condition is caused by a defect in skin growth. There are periods of temporary deterioration and improvement. A person can also have nail defects and joint problems in case of psoriasis.


Cause

Normally, the skin is gradually renewed. Old skin cells are released at the outside and new skin cells grow at the underside of the epidermis. In case of psoriasis, the skin growth is accelerated and the surplus of cell layers is not disposed. This causes skin slices with a thick layer of immature skin cells that are difficult to flake off. The cause of this disturbed skin production is genetic in nature.

Symptoms can begin or worsen due to skin damage (cutting wound, abrasion), burning of the skin, stress or infections. Psoriasis can possibly slightly worsen when using certain medicines, for example lithium, beta blockers, malaria pills and certain painkillers, such as ibuprofen and diclofenac. The condition is more common in people who regularly smoke or drink alcohol. Psoriasis is not contagious.


Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of psoriasis are as follows:

Psoriasis is a disease that can have a strong effect on self-image and self-confidence of those concerned. These psychological effects influence the quality of life as patients experience.


Diagnosis

The diagnosis of psoriasis can usually be made on the characteristic defects. In some cases, a piece of skin (biopsy) will be removed under local anesthesia for microscopic examination.


Treatment

The treatment of psoriasis is often very difficult. The following types of therapy can be effective:


Prognosis

Psoriasis is incurable, but treatable. The treatment of psoriasis is customised, not every therapy helps as well in everyone. Following lifestyle advice and the correct application of the above-mentioned therapies can reduce symptoms significantly, but they are no guarantee.


Considerations


Facts


See also

Malaria

Stress

Xeroderma

Biopsy

Microscopic Examination

Light Therapy

Vitamin D

Alcohol

Smoking

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