What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition characterised by the emergence of raised, red, and scaly patches on the skin.
Once it develops, it worsens at specific points in your life periodically. While doctors cannot cure psoriasis, they can typically recommend treatments to manage and control its symptoms.
In individuals with psoriasis, the skin cells undergo a much faster turnover, reaching the surface in only three to seven days instead of the usual 28 days.
Consequently, there is an overproduction of immature skin cells that do not naturally shed and accumulate, leading to scaly and itchy skin patches.
What are the Types and Symptoms of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis comes in various types, each with its distinct symptoms. These types include:
Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most prevalent type and frequently appears on the back of elbows and the front of knees.
Guttate Psoriasis: Typically seen in younger individuals and often follows specific types of infections.
Pustular Psoriasis: Occurs on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Erythrodermic Psoriasis: A severe form that covers a significant portion of the body's surface. It is infrequent but can be pretty serious.
Flexural Psoriasis: This type develops within the skin's folds and creases.
How is Psoriasis Diagnosed?
In most instances, our online doctors can diagnose psoriasis through video consultation, and additional tests are typically unnecessary.
However, in rare situations, you might be directed to a dermatologist or a specialist in skin conditions, who may request a skin biopsy if the symptoms are unclear or if confirmation of the diagnosis is required.
What are the Causes of Psoriasis?
The causes of psoriasis are not entirely understood, but they are believed to be associated with:
Immune System: The immune system plays a role in psoriasis. It's hypothesized that individuals who develop psoriasis have T-cells in their immune system that erroneously attack healthy skin cells, leading to the development of psoriasis.
Genetics: Many people with psoriasis have a family member with the condition, suggesting a genetic predisposition.
Environmental Factors: Some individuals carry genes that make them more susceptible to developing psoriasis. It is thought that certain environmental factors, such as infections, can trigger these genes, leading to the condition's onset.
While psoriasis cannot be cured entirely, various treatments are available to help manage the condition daily.
These treatments encompass:
Topical Treatments consist of creams, gels, or ointments applied to the affected skin. They may include vitamin D analogues or corticosteroid creams and can be obtained through a doctor's prescription.
Phototherapy involves exposing the skin to a specific ultraviolet (UV) light. It necessitates a specialist's prescription.
Systemic Treatments: These medications are administered either by injection or orally to address psoriasis throughout the body. This treatment typically requires consultation with a specialist.
This list of treatments is not exhaustive, and your doctor will recommend the most suitable option for you, explaining how the treatment functions and potential side effects.
It may be necessary to try several different treatments before finding the one that works best for you. Usually, treatment begins with milder options to gauge your body's response, and if needed, more potent treatments like methotrexate may be considered.
Psoriasis in Pregnancy
Psoriasis doesn't impact reproductive organs, which won't hinder your ability to conceive. However, some medications are not approved for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Additionally, particular drugs may not suit men trying to father a child. It's essential to consult with a doctor for specific advice in these cases.
During pregnancy, some women experience an improvement in their psoriasis symptoms, possibly due to increased progesterone levels, while others may find their symptoms worsen. The effect can vary from person to person.
If concerns arise about psoriasis flare-ups during pregnancy, our doctors can offer guidance, reassurance, and treatment advice to address any issues.
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