Everything You Need to Know About Psoriasis

Psoriasis isn’t contagious, but awareness is. -National Psoriasis Foundation

A disease that has been around for how many years now, but it still is a skin disease that is not known or understood by many.

By User:The Wednesday Island (of the English Wikipedia) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
And this article will help give you the relevant information regarding this disease.

I. What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic disease, meaning it is long-lasting, wherein the body produces excessive and thick skin cells in a short period of time. The usual interval for our skin cells to form would usually take weeks, but in the case of psoriasis, the skin cells can be produced within just a number of days, which the body does not shed and eventually this excessive skin cells would build up on the surface.

a. Is it Contagious?

Psoriasis is NOT contagious. When you compare it to other common skin diseases, psoriasis is not brought by bacteria that are contagious.  You need to have certain genes in order for you to actually get Psoriasis.

II. Causes

Based on researches, researchers have narrowed down two possible components to take into consideration when it comes to the cause of psoriasis.

a. Genetics

There are cases wherein it is possible for you to get psoriasis if you have someone in your family, immediate member that actually has the skin disease. This would mean that the chances of psoriasis for you are higher. But based one collected researches and data, people who actually inherit psoriasis is quite low.

b. Immune system

The normal case for a person with no disease whatsoever is white blood cells in the body are produced in order to protect the body from bacteria and infection. These white blood cells attack foreign elements in your body. But for people with psoriasis, the white blood cells mistakenly attack the skin cells. Because of this, the skin cells respond by producing more skin cells than the normal rate, causing the excessive production and the build of skin cells. These attacks can also develop the red areas on your skin.

III. Symptoms

The symptoms of psoriasis is different for every person but the list down below are at least the common ones that one person is at least bound to get.

  • Bright red or red areas on your skin (this could range from just one part of your skin or maybe even the whole body)
  • Nail crumbling
  • Dry skin that appears to be cracked that could eventually bleed
  • Itchiness or burning feeling on the skin
  • Swelled up joints
  • Flaking patches

IV. Different Types of Psoriasis

a. Plaque psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the usual or common type of psoriasis that most people get. This would make your skin dry with red patches on your skin while being covered in silver-like scales. These red patches and scales can range from feelings of itch to excruciating pain. It can be felt on any part of the body.

b. Nail psoriasis

By its name, this type of psoriasis affects the nails on our body, meaning our fingernails and toenails. Psoriasis can cause your nail to be discolored with its growth rate at an unusual rate. There are cases that nail psoriasis can end up having your nails separated from the nail beds or have your nails crumble like cracked cracker pieces.

c. Scalp psoriasis

The scalp would look like it has bright red patches with also some white or silver-like scales that are usually found on the hairline but could possibly extend even more. Sometimes, people would notice some scalp flakes on their shoulders, this is actually dead skin that is caused by psoriasis, which occurs whenever you cannot control the itch and you give it a scratch.

d. Guttate psoriasis

In most cases, guttate psoriasis occurs only on kids and young adults. Guttate psoriasis is prompted by infection of bacteria. You would know it is psoriasis if you will be able to find a tear-drop shaped kind of sore found in some parts of the body of the child (ex: hands, arms, legs, head)   Although these sores aren’t as thick and hard if you compare it to the other sores of the other types of psoriasis.

e. Inverse psoriasis

This usually appears on the armpits and some parts of the genital area. The red patches for inverse psoriasis aren’t like other patches that are rough, inverse psoriasis have patches that are smooth but can cause pain if ever friction is applied.

f. Pustular psoriasis

This type of psoriasis is not a common case. Its red patches can be either big or small and its development can happen quickly, and it can possibly be found in different parts of your body. The sores for psoriasis can be filled with pus that can give a very irritating and itchy feeling.

g. Erythrodermic psoriasis

The rarest type of all psoriasis types, this covers your body with big red patches that don’t only give you itchy sensation, but it gives you a burning sensation as well.

h. Psoriatic arthritis

Swollen joints of the affected area are the common symptom for this one. Even if the disease does not actually bring anything that would cause permanent damage to your joints, but the effect of the swollenness, which causes extreme stiffness of the joints, may end up to deformity that can be permanent.

V. Diagnosis

There are two tests done for determining if you have psoriasis.

a. Biopsy

This is when the doctors take a sample of your skin wherein they would examine the sample under a microscope where they can determine whether or not you have psoriasis and also determine the type of psoriasis you have.

b. Physical examination

Most types of psoriasis can be determined through just a normal physical examination, just as long as all concerns are told to the doctor.

It pays to know information regarding the different kinds of diseases.

Sources: HealthLine, Mayo Clinic, MedicineNet, WebMD

Share your Thoughts