What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a non-contagious disease of the skin in which the skin cells grow in numbers faster than normal, producing rashes on the body. Normally, the cells on the surface of the skin are shed as new cells grow beneath. In psoriasis, the swift build-up of skin cells collects on the surface of the skin as scales or plaques.
What are the types of psoriasis?
How will I know if I have psoriasis?
Symptoms of psoriasis include the following:
- Chronic, salmon-colored scaly area of skin. It appears as a red patch with silver scales on its surface.
- Sudden onset of many small areas of scaly redness.
- Excessive itching.
- Thick, pitted nails.
- Painful, swollen joints.
- Redness, pain or tearing of the eyes.
- Pustular psoriasis causes pus-filled rashes on the skin.
- Swelling over the eyelid.
- Fever in pustular and erythrodermic psoriasis.
What causes psoriasis?
The exact cause of psoriasis is not completely understood. It appears to involve an interplay between a person’s genes, immune system and environment. Environmental factors include:
- Exposure to cold
- Certain medications like aspirin, lithium and beta-blockers
Once the process starts, there is a bizarre increase in the number of cells and release of chemicals in the body, which cause reactions that lead to the formation of psoriatic rashes.
What are the complications of psoriasis?
What are the treatment options for psoriasis?
Treatment of skin rashes
- Daily sun exposure
- Sea bathing
- Moisturizers such as petroleum jelly
- Certain tar preparations
- Corticosteroid cream and ointments
- Tazarotene (vitamin A analog)
- Salicylic acid
- Calcipotriene (vitamin D analog)
- Oral or injectable corticosteroids
- Oatmeal baths
- Solar or therapeutic ultraviolet (UV) radiation
- Psoralen (a photosensitizer that is taken orally before light exposure)
- For severe psoriasis, oral or injectable medicines are prescribed, including: