Psoriasis is a skin disease that occurs quite frequently in Germany. Typical signs are red skin areas that stand out due to silvery-white scales. In addition, these affected skin areas are often clearly defined and raised and can be very itchy. So far there is no complete cure, although the symptoms can be greatly alleviated by various therapies.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disease that is characterized by a very high level of scaling. The disease is benign and not dangerous. Nevertheless, those affected suffer above all from the fact that the skin becomes chronically inflamed and the psoriasis keeps coming back, even if there is a slight improvement in the meantime. You don’t have to be afraid of contagion. In families where this disease occurs, however, it is quite possible that other relatives will become ill, since psoriasis can be inherited. See bestitude for Meanings of Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.
The disease can severely limit the patient’s quality of life. The skin can have reddish spots and white scales, so that you often have to expect looks from other people. The affected areas also itch and cannot be rid of the annoying dandruff without bleeding. Psoriasis usually comes in phases, but never goes away completely because the disease cannot yet be cured.
The exact cause of psoriasis is not yet known. It has now been proven that the disease is hereditary. However, the disease does not necessarily have to break out. Both children and adults, as well as men and women, can be affected, so that the disease is not dependent on age. However, the traits are mostly inherited from the father.
It is now suspected that, in addition to the corresponding inherited genes, a few other criteria must be met that promote the onset of psoriasis. For example, stetococci can contribute to the disease occurring. Increased stress over a longer period of time or various medications are also among the triggers. The climate may also promote the outbreak of psoriasis.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Psoriasis vulgaris is primarily characterized by uncontrolled, rapid and benign growth of the epidermis. The skin renewal of the epidermis takes place seven times faster than in a healthy person. For example, the renewal of the epidermis in people with psoriasis only takes four days instead of 28.
As a result, shiny scales form that appear silvery-white. The affected areas of the skin are very well supplied with blood and show inflammatory redness. Psoriasis tends to show up on the extensor sides of the arms or legs. For example, the shins or elbows often show signs of skin.
Likewise, the dandruff can also appear on the scalp, the back or in the genital area. The areas that are inflamed are often itchy. If the psoriasis also manifests itself on the fingernails and toenails, the so-called spotted nails are part of the clinical picture. There are tiny indentations in the nail plate and/or brownish discoloration under the nail.
Every fifth patient with psoriasis not only suffers from the typical skin changes, but also from joint problems. This psoriatic arthritis is accompanied by painful swelling of the toe or finger joints. In particularly severe cases, the joints can become completely deformed.
Course of the disease
Psoriasis is divided into type 1 and type 2 psoriasis. Type 1 represents the early form of the disease and affects many more people in each age group, while the late form, type 2, is more likely to occur in people who are at least 40 years old.
Due to the interaction of several factors, there is an initial outbreak of the disease at some point, and then the psoriasis usually reappears in flares. Especially in summer, those affected can experience a significant improvement, but the psoriasis cannot be cured and will eventually come back.
In psoriasis patients, the internal organs can also be affected as the disease progresses over a longer period of time: psoriasis is not limited to the surface of the skin, but can also manifest itself inside the body. Joint inflammation or arthritis can also occur in the course of chronic diseases.
Extensive psoriasis is associated with the risk of so-called superinfections. The affected area is also infected by yeast or bacteria, which aggravates the disease overall. The metabolism can also be affected in the form of obesity, dyslipidemia, diabetes and high blood pressure.
This is accompanied by an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. Life expectancy can drop significantly. Likewise, an increased susceptibility to inflammatory bowel diseases is observed in psoriasis patients, including, for example, Crohn’s disease.
According to recent studies, psoriasis patients seem to be more susceptible to depressive disorders and alcohol abuse. This is associated with the psychological stress that can accompany the disease.
Recently there has been increasing evidence that psoriasis significantly increases the risk of complications during pregnancy. The exact connections have not been sufficiently researched, but a risk factor could be the medication with which psoriasis is usually treated for years.
When should you go to the doctor?
If you have psoriasis, you should see a dermatologist. Especially if the ringworm seems to be spreading or getting worse. Even if it occurs suddenly or if the ringworm has been around for a long time, you should speak to a dermatologist. If left untreated for too long, psoriasis can also damage bones and internal organs.
Treatment & Therapy
Psoriasis is not curable, but the suffering of those affected can be alleviated and the flare-ups kept to a minimum. In addition to avoiding excessive stress, ultraviolet radiation is particularly suitable as therapy. The immune processes are inhibited by the radiation and thus also have an effect on the increased cell growth that is responsible for psoriasis.
Therefore, in most cases, the disease also subsides in the summer under the influence of the sun. The chances of treatment are very high with this therapy, but it should still be decided individually together with a doctor which radiation is most suitable. In addition to treatment with UV rays, drugs are usually used that can at least reduce psoriasis. As a further measure to combat the symptoms, a change of climate could also be useful.
Psoriasis can be treated well with care products, medicines and lifestyle changes. If they are treated comprehensively, they usually subside quickly. After the treatment, a follow-up examination is necessary. The aftercare examination is carried out by the responsible dermatologist who has already taken over the treatment.
If further complications are noticed, the treatment must be restarted. In many patients, psoriasis develops into a chronic disease. Patients suffering from chronic psoriasis should consult their dermatologist regularly.
The use of care products, but also scratching, can cause irritation and injuries to the scalp. As part of the follow-up examination, a physical examination and anamnesis are carried out. First, there is an interview with the patient. The doctor clarifies the patient’s most important questions and asks about any symptoms as well as side effects and interactions of the treatment.
A physical examination will then take place. The doctor checks the scalp for dandruff and, if necessary, also takes a sample, which is then examined in the laboratory. If no abnormalities are found, the treatment can be completed. Further follow-up examinations are not necessary in the case of cured psoriasis. Only if the scales return does the doctor have to be consulted again.
You can do that yourself
Patients suffering from psoriasis can support the medically prescribed therapy with naturopathic methods. Many sufferers find baths in warm salt water to be particularly beneficial. For this purpose, two to three pounds of sea salt are added to the bath water. A tablespoon of coconut oil is said to provide additional relief.
Many patients also react very positively to rubbing with [[Wonderful_Apple Vinegar:_Good_for_beauty_and_health|Apple Vinegar]. To do this, high-quality organic apple cider vinegar is mixed with warm water in a ratio of one to one and the affected areas of skin are then carefully dabbed with a washcloth soaked in it. The vinegar soothes the itching and loosens the cuticles.
If psoriasis flare-ups occur regularly during or shortly after periods of stress, relaxation techniques such as yoga and tai chi can also help those affected. Stress should also be avoided as much as possible. Sometimes there is also a connection between psoriasis and diet. Obesity in particular seems to have a negative effect on the condition of the skin. Those affected with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25 should therefore consider weight reduction.
The frequently observed secondary infections are mostly due to the fact that the patients scratch the itchy skin with their bare hands. In addition to cortisone-containing medication, peanut oil and thin paraffin also help against the itching. In addition, sufferers should wear cotton gloves in severe cases. This at least prevents the fingernails from further irritating or injuring the diseased skin areas.