According to medical experts, Plaque Psoriasis is a commonly affected diseases that appears in the form of red, raised patches covered in silvery white build-up of scales or dead skin cells. The plaques or patches can be noticed on the knees, lower back, elbows and scalp region of the body. Often, they can be painful, itchy, crack as well as bleed.
Few common symptoms include:
- Small scaling spots seen commonly among children
- Red skin patches covered with silvery, thick scales
- Cracked, dry bleeding skin
- Stiff and swollen joints
- Ridged or pitted, thickened nails
- Soreness, burning or itching
The patches might range for major eruptions covering large areas to few dandruff like scaling spots. There are different types of psoriasis, of which some are found to go through cycles, at times, flaring for several months or weeks and getting into complete remission or subsiding for some time.
Causes of psoriasis
The exact reason for people of all ages to contract psoriasis is still not found out by doctors. Medical experts are of the opinion that it is probably related to immune system problem caused with white blood cells and T cells known as neutrophils. To defend from foreign substances like bacteria or viruses, T cells tend to travel throughout the body. However, if the person has contracted psoriasis, then the healthy skin cells are attacked by T cells by mistake. This is because, the immune system imagines fighting an infection, as if it is trying to fight any infection or healing a wound.
Moviegoer, the overactive T cells are said to trigger increased healthy skin cell production, combined with more T cells, white blood cells, more specially neutorophils. They travel within the skin, thereby causing redness and at times pus within the pustular lesions. The dilated blood vessels within the psoriasis affected areas do create redness and warmth within the skin lesions. This process is rather tan ongoing cycle where new skin cells tend to move to the skin’s outermost layer very quickly, probably in days instead of weeks. Besides this, the skin cells tend to build-up in scaly, thick patches on skin surface, which continues until there is provided appropriate medicine for plaque psoriasis like Otezla (apremilast) is availed to stop this cycle.
However, it is not known clearly as to what causes malfunctioning of T cells in those suffering from psoriasis. Researchers are of the belief that both environmental and genetics factors probably have a hand in it.
Who might be affected with plaque psoriasis?
This depends upon the person’s genes and personal health history.
- Triggers: Something needs to take place for initiating the immune system’s reaction. This can be bad sunburn or perhaps an injury to the skin. It can also be caused due to some medicines like malaria or lithium drugs. Psoriasis might also be caused by an infection, especially strep, including high stress levels.
- Heredity: Psoriasis is common in families, where 10% are found to be born with genes causing them to contract psoriasis. However, only 3% suffer from this disease.
What one has to understand is the fact that psoriasis is not a contagious disease which will be spread by coming in close contact or touch. People contracting it might develop other conditions causing inflammation such as Crohn’s disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease. There are also chances of the person developing depression, heart disease and uveitis, a type of eye disease including psoriatic arthritis, causing stiffness, swelling, joint deformity and joint pain.
- Systemic medications: They are prescription drugs which claim to work all over the body and used by those suffering from moderate psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. They may also display symptoms of not resending properly to other forms of treatments. Such medications can be taken orally, by infusion or injection. They generally fall within two categories, namely biologics and traditional systemic.
- Phototherapy: This treatment form exposes the skin towards UV rays, under medical supervision and on regular basis. Treatment is generally conducted within the healthcare setting or home with phototherapy unit.
- Topical treatments: It is carried out without or with steroids and considered to be the very first choice to treat psoriasis. Inflammation is reduced and skin cell growth shows dramatic slowdown with prescription topical.
The qualified dermatologist can provide the best and most appropriate medication to treat this symptom.