What is Psoriasis?
A health article about Psoriasis fromYour Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
Psoriasis is a chronic recurring skin disease. The scope of the disease can vary considerably, from mild outbreaks where the person may not even be aware they have psoriasis, to severe cases which can be socially disabling and, in rare instances, life-threatening.
Signs & Symptoms
It generally appears as patches of raised red skin covered by a flaky white buildup. In certain kinds of psoriasis, it also has a pimple-ish (pustular psoriasis) or burned (erythrodermic) appearance.
Psoriasis can also cause intense itching and burning.
Types of Psoriasis
There are five different types of psoriasis. They are as follows:
1. Plaque psoriasis - most common type.
2. Guttate psoriasis
5. Pustular psoriasis
What Causes Psoriasis?
It is thought that the underlying problem is that new skin cells are produced too quickly and rise to the surface before the old skin cells have had time to die off and be scrubbed away. The result of this overproduction of skin cells is red and raised patches on the skin.
Psoriasis is not contagious.
Researchers believe the immune system sends faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle in skin cells. Certain genes have been identified as being linked to psoriasis. It appears, however, that a genetic tendency needs to be triggered off by such things as injury, throat infection, certain drugs and physical and emotional stress.
Research is beginning to unravel the genetic aspects and in time it should be possible to identify those who have a tendency to psoriasis before they actually develop signs.
If one parent has psoriasis the chances of a child developing it is around 15%. However if both parents have psoriasis the chances increase to around 75%.
Who is at risk? In principle, people of all ages can get psoriasis, but the early onset form of the disease is mostly seen in 16 to 22 year-olds and the late onset form strikes those between the ages of 50 and 60. Psoriasis is derived from the Greek word 'psora', which means itch. Around two per cent of the population have psoriasis to a greater or lesser degree.
A doctor-particularly a dermatologist-can provide guidance in selecting the right treatment. The traditional approach is to start with the least potent treatments (topicals, phototherapy) and move to stronger ones (such as methotrexate or biologics) until a satisfactory combination of results and risks is found. The goal is to find a treatment that has the best results and the fewest side effects.
Prescription creams, ointments, lotions and gels (also called topical medicines) that you put on the affected areas are often used to treat psoriasis. Your doctor may tell you to put your medicine on the areas of psoriasis before you go to bed and then cover the areas with plastic wrap (such as Saran Wrap). If you don't respond to any of these treatments, your doctor may prescribe a new medicine that is given as an injection. This new medication is used for moderate to severe cases of psoriasis.
Special shampoos are used for psoriasis on the scalp. In more severe cases, medicines are taken in pill form. Other treatments include a special type of ultraviolet light therapy.
Sunlight can help psoriasis, but be careful not to stay in the sun too long. A sunburn can make your psoriasis worse. You should use a sunscreen on the parts of your skin that aren't affected by psoriasis. It's especially important to put sunscreen on your face.
Self Care strategies for Living with Psoriasis
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations
Aloe Vera Juice is a refreshing and anti-bacterial drink, you might find that taking this daily, diluted in some filtered water will not only cleanse your mouth and improve your oral hygiene, but also assists in dealing with any digestive issues you may also be experiencing that could also be assisting in the cause of Psoriasis.
This problem, like so many others, indicates that your body system is working to deal with underlying problems.
This may be a build up of toxins and poisons in your system and the symptoms you are experiencing is part of your bodies attempts to deal with them.
You may find benefit from our information on Detoxifying through change of diet.
It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals.
In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells.
It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years.
Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate.
Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
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