Understanding Psoriasis and 4 Simple Tips to Beat It
The summer months are upon us. The heat and sweat create a lot of skin itching and rashes, but did you know these could also be symptoms of psoriasis? Let us know more about this skin disease.
Psoriasis is a non-contagious, chronic skin disease marked by red, itchy, and scaly patches. In this disease, skin cells multiply at a rate up to ten times faster than normal. These excess cells reach the skin surface and die, but because of the massive volume, they cause raised and red patches covered by white scales. Psoriasis typically occurs on the back of the forearms, shins, knees, elbows, scalp, torso, palms, and soles of the feet. it is quite unpredictable and irritating, while also being a baffling skin disorder.
There are five main types of psoriasis: plaque, inverse, guttate, pustular, and erythrodermic. Plaque psoriasis constitutes 90% of the cases. The rest are more rare and complicated forms of the disorder. In addition, there is psoriatic arthritis, a type of chronic inflammatory arthritis. There is a painful inflammation (swelling) of the joints, usually around the fingers and toes, but it is not limited to these parts. The hips, knees, and spine are also prone to psoriatic arthritis It is estimated that 3% of the people with psoriasis are prone to developing psoriatic arthritis.
Around one-third of psoriasis is caused by genetics, i.e., due to family history. There are other factors such as being infected by HIV and medication-induced conditions. For example, some topical skin creams have a rebound effect and end up creating excessive skin cells that come up to the surface.
Lifestyle and environmental factors also play a major role in causing symptoms of psoriasis. Stress in everyday life, changes in climate, excessive use of hot water for bathing, scratching psoriasis skin lesions, dryness of skin, excessive alcohol and cigarette consumption, and obesity —all contribute to plaque psoriasis.
Diagnosis is usually done by a physical examination of the surface of a patient's skin. However, eczema and other skirt diseases also exhibit similar symptoms, so doctors may order a biopsy. In the case of psoriatic arthritis, blood tests and X-ray tests are usually prescribed.
There is no cure for psoriasis but medical treatment and home remedies help reduce the symptoms.
Some common tips that do not require medical intervention are:
* Pat, don't rub: After a bath, pat yourself dry instead of rubbing your skin. Make sure your skin is not too dry because dry skin invites irritation and itchiness. Allow the skin to retain a little moisture and lock that in by applying some vaseline or olive oil
Get sun and sunscreen: Though sunlight is beneficial, too much exposure can be counterproductive Make sure you are getting a little bit of sun on your skin every day but also use a sunscreen with SPF>30 that contains zinc oxide Apply this on the areas of your body that do not have psoriasis
Smoke and drink tomorrow, not today: Giving up smoking and drinking is the best thing you can do to control psoriasis. If you need help quitting, tell yourself that you are allowed to do so tomorrow, just nottódaylriceevery day is a "today", you will hopefully stick to your resolve Seek medical counselling as well.
Inner peace: After smoking and drinking, stress is one factor that increases the symptoms of psoriasis Take some time out and tend to your mental health Meditate, take up a hobby such as music try to ensure you are living a stress-free life.