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About Psoriasis

What is Psoriasis?

“Psoriasis is an immune condition, which manifests in the skin and sometimes the joints. When a person has psoriasis, their skin replacement process speeds up, taking just a few days to replace skin cells that usually take 21-28 days. This abundance of skin cells builds up to form raised ‘plaques’ on the skin, which can also be flaky, scaly, red and itchy. Psoriasis can occur on any area of the body, including the scalp, hands, feet and genitals, although different types tend to occur on different areas.” (www.psoriasis-association.org.uk)
Psoriasis is a condition affecting around 1.8 million people in the UK. Both males and females are affected at the same rate. Unfortunately, psoriasis can distress people of all ages. Certain sufferers sometimes get psoriasis due to genetic inheritance while others may not. There are a number of triggers to the psoriasis ailment such as stress, anxiety, hormonal changes, injury to skin, or certain infections or medications.
Psoriasis happens when the body’s immune cells (T cells) are triggered and become overactive. In such situation, the T cells are confused and start acting as if they are fighting an infection or healing a wound, which in return produces inflammatory chemicals leading to a rapid growth of skin cells causing psoriatic plaques. Psoriasis is quite often described as an “auto-immune disease” or “immune-mediated condition”. Until today, it is not yet clear what are the initial triggers causing our immune system to react in such a way.

Types of Psoriasis

  1. Plaque Psoriasis

    Plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris) is the most prevalent form of psoriasis. About 80% of psoriasis sufferers have got Plaque psoriasis. It is characterized by raised, inflamed, red lesions covered by a silvery white scale. It is typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back.

  2. Guttate

    Guttate [GUH-tate] psoriasis is a form of psoriasis that often starts in childhood or young adulthood. The word guttate is from the Latin word meaning "drop." This form of psoriasis appears as small, red, individual spots on the skin. Guttate lesions usually appear on the trunk and limbs. These spots are not usually as thick as plaque lesions.
    Guttate psoriasis often comes on quite suddenly. A variety of conditions can bring on an attack of guttate psoriasis, including upper respiratory infections, streptococcal throat infections (strep throat), tonsillitis, stress or injury to the skin. The administration of certain drugs including antimalarials and beta-blockers can also lead to guttate psoriasis.

  3. Inverse

    Inverse psoriasis is found in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and in other skin folds around the genitals and the buttocks. This type of psoriasis appears as bright-red lesions that are smooth and shiny. Inverse psoriasis is subject to irritation from rubbing and sweating because of its location in skin folds and tender areas.

  4. Pustular

    Primarily seen in adults, pustular psoriasis is characterized by white blisters of noninfectious pus (consisting of white blood cells) surrounded by red skin. There are three types of pustular psoriasis.
    Pustular psoriasis may be localized to certain areas of the body, such as the hands and feet, or covering most of the body. It begins with the reddening of the skin followed by formation of pustules and scaling.
    Pustular psoriasis may be triggered by internal medications, irritating topical agents, overexposure to UV light, pregnancy, systemic steroids, infections, stress and sudden withdrawal of systemic medications or potent topical steroids.

  5. Erythrodermic

    Erythrodermic [eh-REETH-ro-der-mik] psoriasis is a particularly inflammatory form of psoriasis that affects most of the body surface. It may occur in association with von Zumbusch pustular psoriasis. It is characterized by periodic, widespread, fiery redness of the skin and the shedding of scales in sheets, rather than smaller flakes. The reddening and shedding of the skin are often accompanied by severe itching and pain, heart rate increase, and fluctuating body temperature.
    People experiencing the symptoms of erythrodermic psoriasis flare should go see a doctor immediately. Erythrodermic psoriasis causes protein and fluid loss that can lead to severe illness. The condition may also bring on infection, pneumonia and congestive heart failure. People with severe cases of this condition often require hospitalisation.
    Known triggers of erythrodermic psoriasis include the abrupt withdrawal of a systemic psoriasis treatment including cortisone; allergic reaction to a drug resulting in the Koebner response; severe sunburns; infection; and medications such as lithium, anti-malarial drugs; and strong coal tar products. (Source: http://www.psoriasis.org)

Psoriasis Treatments

Various treatments exist to treat psoriasis and it ranges from Ultra Violet Light (UVB) to topical cures.

  • Ultra Violet Light therapy – UVB Light for psoriasis

    The sun has always been one of the most important cures for our skin. Many sufferers have found that exposure to the sun during the summer days or on holidays tend to clear the psoriasis patches. However, exposure to the direct UV rays can cause skin cancer. In this respect, scientists have studied the effect of UV rays on psoriasis and found the exact wavelength of the UV rays that would help in alleviating the symptoms of psoriasis.
    The Dermalight range of products uses the exact UVB wavelength for the treatment of psoriasis. A regular application as instructed in the product manual will alleviate the conditions and clears the patches. UVB is very often used in hospitals to treat psoriasis but now it is possible to be practiced in the comfort of your home. We always advise patients to discuss with their GP before using them.

  • Topical Treatment

    Topical treatment can be used in treating psoriasis. One of the best topical natural treatments available on the market is from the M-Folia range. It is created using the natural plant extract of Mahonia Aquifolium. This plant possesses unique anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and moisturising properties. The Mahonia Aquifolium once used by the North American Indian is being used in our modern times to treat skin problems, such as eczema and most importantly psoriasis.
    Very positive results have also been discovered with the use of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) for the treatment of psoriasis. It possesses more than 100 elements and boosts the immune system which in return helps any immune-related disorders.
    Purel-PureLifestyleWonders recommends the M-folia range of natural products and the Nigella Sativa in conjunction with the UVB treatment to treat and improve your psoriasis.