Psoriasis (named for ps?ra, a Greek word which means “itch”) is a non-contagious chronic disease which affects joints and skin mainly. The most common type of this disease is Psoriasis vulgaris (vulgaris means common) which is also known as plaque psoriasis as in this plaques appear scalp, knees, elbow, trunk and nails. In this disease flaky silvery white thing builds up at the top of the plaques which is composed of dead skin cells is called scale. These plaques become loose and shed constantly which causes the skin to become very dry.
Causes of Psoriasis Vulgaris
It is caused due to the disorder in the immune system. T-cells which are the type of white blood cell are produced by Immune System of our body. In this disease the T-cells get affected and they trigger the abnormal inflammation in the skin. These T-cells cause abnormal growth in the skin cells than normal which causes the accumulation on the outer surface of the skin in raised patches. Certain other factor which may trigger psoriasis vulgaris in a person are injury to the skin, HIV infection, alcohol and some drugs etc. This disease is hereditary also means it can be transferred from generation to generation. In this, person having the genes of this disease have more chances to get affected with this. In case if both the parents have psoriasis vulgaris the child have 50% chances to be diseased.
Symptoms of Psoriasis Vulgaris
In this disease the people usually have red patches raised in the scaly areas of the skin which burn and itch very much. It is chronic at it goes and return after some duration. The general symptoms are:
* Usually Fissures or plaques occur at the joints where the skin bends. Sometimes the skin bleeds which is more susceptible to infection.
* The skin become salmon-colored is very rich, full red color. When the disease occurs on the legs the plaques may have tint of blue color.
* The psoriasis appears in symmetry like at the same time the skin of both the knees get affected and appear red in color.
* In this the scalp may have dry crusted plaque areas.
* Nail may have small indentations or ridges. The nail becomes discolored and separate from the nail bed.
* The other areas are legs, under the breast, arms and buttocks.
The treatment is provided according to the age, sex, personal motivation and other health conditions.
Three types of treatment available:
1. Topical therapy- in this the drugs are applied on the skin. The main topical treatments are vitamin D-3 derivatives, corticosteroids, anthralin, retinoids and coal tar.
2. Photo therapy- it is the light therapy in which the ultra-violet light coming from the sun is used to slow the growth of skin cells and reduce the inflammation. Artificial light therapy is also used. The two main artificial therapies are: UV-B and PUVA
3. Systematic therapy- in this the drugs are taken in the body. It is generally used when both the above therapies do not work and give results.
* Avoid the factors which trigger the psoriasis vulgaris such as smoking, overexposure to sunlight, and stress. It prevents and minimizes the flare up of psoriasis vulgaris.
* Alcohol acts as a risk factor for both young and mid-aged men. So it should be avoided by person with psoriasis.
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