What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. These patches normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere in the body. Psoriasis occurs when skin cells multiply too fast. Normally the skin renews itself every three or four weeks. People with Psoriasis the skin replaces itself at an accelerated rate every three to seven days leading to the excess skin becoming flaky and scaly. The overproduction breaks down the protective skin barrier, allowing the escape of moisture and the build-up of plaques of thick, scaling skin. Psoriasis occurs when skin cells are replaced more quickly than usual.

Psoriasis Continued

Your body produces new skin cells in the deepest layer of skin. These skin cells gradually move up through the layers of skin until they reach the outermost level. Then they die and flake off. This whole process normally takes around three to four weeks. In people with Psoriasis, this process only takes about three to seven days. As a result, cells that are not fully mature build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, causing red, flaky, crust patches covered with silvery scales.

What is Plaque Psoriasis?

plaque psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis- The most common form, plaque psoriasis causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques might be itchy or painful and there may be few or many. They can occur anywhere on your body, including your genitals and the soft tissue inside your mouth.


What is Nail Psoriasis?

nail psoriasis

Nail psoriasis- Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration. Psoriatic nails might loosen and separate from the nail bed (onycholysis). Severe cases may cause the nail to crumble.


What is Guttate Psoriasis?

guttate psoriasis

Guttate psoriasis- This type primarily affects young adults and children. It's usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. It's marked by small, water-drop-shaped, scaling lesions on your trunk, arms, legs and scalp. The lesions are covered by a fine scale and aren't as thick as typical plaques are. You may have a single outbreak that goes away on its own, or you may have repeated episodes.


What is Inverse Psoriasis?

inverse psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis- This mainly affects the skin in the armpits, in the groin, under the breasts and around the genitals. Inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin that worsen with friction and sweating. Fungal infections may trigger this type of psoriasis.


What is Pustular Psoriasis?

pustular psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis- This uncommon form of psoriasis can occur in widespread patches (generalized pustular psoriasis) or in smaller areas on your hands, feet or fingertips. It generally develops quickly, with pus-filled blisters appearing just hours after your skin becomes red and tender. The blisters may come and go frequently. Generalized pustular psoriasis can also cause fever, chills, severe itching and diarrhoea.



What is Erythrodermic Psoriasis?

erythrodermic psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis- The least common type of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis can cover your entire body with a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely.

What are the risk factors of psoriasis?

• Problems with the immune system

• Genetics

• An injury to your skin such as a cut, scrape, insect bite or sunburn

• Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol

• Smoking

• Stress

• Hormonal changes

• Throat infection

• Poor nutrition

• Lack of sun exposure

• Vitamin D deficiency

• Clothing rubbing against the skin

• Operative wound

• Change of seasons

• Problems in the metabolism of proteins

• Poor liver function

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

• Dry patches of the skin that my crack or bleed

• Red, raised, inflamed patches of the skin

• Soreness around patches

• Silver white scales or plaques on red patches of the skin

• Itching and burning sensations around patches of the skin

• Painful, swollen joints

• Thick, pitted nails

When to seek medical advice for psoriasis

If you suspect that you may have psoriasis, see your doctor for an examination. Also, talk to your doctor if your psoriasis:

• Causes you discomfort and pain

• Makes performing routine tasks difficult

• Causes you concern about the appearance of your skin

• Leads to joint problems, such as pain, swelling or inability to perform daily tasks

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

A GP can often diagnose psoriasis based on the appearance of your skin. In rare cases, a small sample of skin, called a biopsy, will be sent to the laboratory for examination under a microscope. This determines the exact type of psoriasis and rules out other skin disorders. You may be referred to a dermatologist (a specialist in diagnosing and treating skin conditions) if your doctor is uncertain about your diagnosis, or if your condition is severe.

How can the psoriasis be managed?

• Keeping your skin moist use moisturiser lotions

• Avoid cold water as this can usually make symptoms of psoriasis worse.

• Don’t be in the sun for too long as the ultraviolet rays in sunlight slow down the growth of skin cells and sunburn can trigger psoriasis.

• Avoid stress

• Regular exercise

• Prevent skin injuries

• Avoid infections

• Take care of your skin and your scalp

• Avoid dry and cold weather and be prepared for climate changes so you can look after your skin well.

What are the treatments for psoriasis?

There are a wide variety of different treatments available for psoriasis; however they are split into three categories:

topical – creams and ointments that are applied to your skin

phototherapy – your skin is exposed to certain types of ultraviolet light

• systemic – oral and injected medications that work throughout the entire body