What Causes Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a persistent condition of the skin usually identified by thick discolored patches of skin. It is non-contagious. It can affect people of all ages even though it is found to affect adults more. A main characteristic of psoriasis is that they are very ugly to look at and because of this hideous nature it has, people with this condition often feel very embarrassed and they often cover it up in public. In order to manage psoriasis, it is essential that you are aware of the various treatments available for this condition. What you should basically know about psoriasis is what it is and what causes it.
It is caused usually by an overreaction of the immune system of our body. This overreaction causes skin flaking and skin inflammation. Normal skin cells usually shed in a period of 4 weeks and new skin cells grow in its place. But when skin cells get affected by psoriasis, they grow at a much faster pace and do not shed like healthy skin cells should. This results in excess skin formation resulting in psoriasis plaques.
Even though seeing the appearance of the psoriasis plaques many may think it is a contagious disease. But, thankfully, it is not. You will not get affected by psoriasis by coming in contact with a person who has it. But as it runs in families, it may be thought to be hereditary even though researchers are not yet sure of how exactly psoriasis is passed through family members.
Discussed below are some conditions that may trigger a psoriasis outburst.
Psoriasis symptoms can seem to appear and disappear even without treatment. Also, the severity of the symptoms also tends to vary between different individuals. For some people the symptoms are very mild whereas in some other experience more severe symptoms. The main symptoms usually seen are:
· Thick skin rash seen on the hands, knees, feet, scalp, elbows or lower back areas
It is also found that in more severe cases of psoriasis, arthritic symptoms are also experienced and this condition is called psoriatic arthritis. Patients with psoriatic arthritis may have swollen and painful joints. Loss of finger and toe nails is also reported when a person has severe psoriasis. This happens because the dead skin forming beneath them pushes the nail out of the nail bed.
Lifestyle changes can help very much in controlling outbursts of psoriasis. Following daily precautions can reduce it up to a certain level:
· Avoid stress
Apart from all these taking proper care of your skin is also very important. Make sure to keep the skin moist right through the day. Take a sincere effort in finding out which skin care products and soaps work best for you and use those products regularly. For example, some may find products with Aloe Vera to be very soothing to their skin.
Use over-the-counter shampoos if psoriasis appears on the scalp. Psoriasis shampoos are usually found alongside shampoos which are used to treat dandruff and are generally very effective too. Avoid ordinary shampoos as far as possible as they may contain alcohol which reduces the skin's moisture.
Keep in mind that even though overexposure to sunlight can trigger symptoms of psoriasis or even cause sunburn, short daily exposure to the sun or other ultraviolet lighting is effective in controlling psoriasis. An exposure of 15 - 20 minutes at a time is recommended. Make sure to reduce the interval of sun exposure if 15 - 20 minutes is uncomfortable to you.
Skin patches of a psoriasis break out are often itchy and painful. Make sure not to scratch these patches as this could cause further injury to the already infected skin. A better approach is to soften and moisturize the patches before trying to pull them from the skin. Make sure not to rip patches away using force, as this will cause the conditions to worsen.
Even though it's possible for psoriasis to lessen after some time, sometimes people might have to live with it forever. If you take adequate skin care and avoid triggers which cause psoriasis flare-ups, it is possible to manage this condition well. The steps described above will be really helpful if you follow them religiously on a daily basis. In severe cases, for example in the case of psoriatic arthritis, medical treatment is recommended.