Psoriasis, What Is It?

A person whose back and arms are affected by psoriasis (Photo credits: Wikipedia)
A person whose back and arms are affected by psoriasis (Photo credits: Wikipedia)
A person whose back and arms are affected by psoriasis   (Photo credits:    Wikipedia)
A person whose back and arms are affected by psoriasis (Photo credits: Wikipedia)

Do you have the following “signs and symptoms ” on your skin?

  • Red or pink areas of thickened, raised, and dry skin, usually on  areas over the elbows, knees, and scalp; but any other parts of the body  may also be involved. especially those areas which tends to be more common in areas of trauma, repeat rubbing, use, or abrasions.
  • Small flattened bumps, large thick plaques of raised skin, red patches, and pink mildly dry skin to big flakes of dry skin that flake off.

You have them?  You might be suffering from a skin condition called “PSORIASIS”.

Good thing that it’s not contagious.  Those dry flakes and skin scales are said  to result from the rapid proliferation of skin cells that is triggered by abnormal lymphocytes from the blood .

Pulling of one of these small dry white flakes of skin may cause a tiny blood spot on the skin and is medically identified as a special diagnostic sign in psoriasis called the Auspitz sign.

While some people may have only mild psoriasis which may not  even be noticeable nor suspected as a medical skin condition, others are, unfortunately, so severely afflicted as to be virtually covered with those red thick scaly skin similar to the photo, and may cause the afflicted to be socially affected, stressed, and stigmatized.

Psoriasis  types include the following:

  1. Psoriasis Vulgaris – which the most common type
  2. Guttate Psoriasis – those which are small, drop-like spots
  3. Inverse Psoriasis – found in the folds of the underarms, navel and buttocks
  4. Pustular Psoriasis – yellowish small blisters that are usually filled with pus
  5. Palmoplantar Psoriasis – when palms and the soles of your feet are affected

The Cause:

Sad to divulge but the exact cause remains unknown, although recent studies show that the immune system may play a major role, and/or there may be a combination of  genetic predisposition (found in members of the same family) and environmental factors. Decades of research  hasn’t unveiled the “master switch” which turns bring about psoriasis.

Other Facts About Psoriasis:

  • It  is considered a non-curable, long-term (chronic) skin condition, with a variable course or periodically improving and worsening; in other words, a chronic inflammatory skin disease.
  • It has been noted to show signs of worsening during colder winter months.
  • It has been noted to occur  in both sexes of any age and all races worldwide, but more commonly in patients in early adult years.
  •  Moist areas like the navel or area between the buttocks having psoriasis may look like flat red patches, but it may also be confused with other skin conditions like fungal or yeast infections, skin irritation, or bacterial Staph infections.
  • Genital lesions, possibly on the head of the penis, are common.
  • Psoriasis on the nails can look like very small pits as pinpoint depressions or white spots on the nail; or as larger yellowish-brown separations of the nail bed called “oil spots” and is sometimes  confused with  fungal nail infection.
  • Appears like severe dandruff on the scalp, but may actually be scalp psoriasis, especially if there are also red areas of skin and not just dry flakes.
  • Severe cases of psoriasis have been known to affect health-related quality of life to an extent.

If you suspect that you have certain signs and symptoms of psoriasis, you’d better go and see your dermatologist as soon as possible.

Web Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psoriasis

http://www.medicinenet.com/psoriasis/article.htm