Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects 5% of the population. There is a genetic predisposition to the condition that can be triggered at any time, by stress, damage to the skin, infection or drug interactions. It is considered to be a chronic inflammatory condition that when the immune system is triggered, causes the skin cells to multiple much faster than normal leading to a build up on the surface. The skin can become very itchy and flaky.
The most common forms of psoriasis are:
Plaque psoriasis and this causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) which are covered with silvery scales. These plaques might be itchy or painful. They are most commonly found on the elbows, knees, scalp, umbilicus (belly button) and genitals are most affected.
Guttate Psoriasis often affects young adults and children. It is usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat which occurs 1-2 weeks before the skin eruption occurs. It's marked by small, droplet-shaped, scaling lesions on the trunk, arms, legs and scalp.The lesions are covered by a fine scale and aren't as thick as typical plaques. It can be itchy and often resolves on its own but can flare up again during times of illness or stress.
Nail Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration. Psoriatic nails might loosen and separate from the nail bed. Severe cases may cause the nail to crumble.
Inverse psoriasis. This mainly affects the skin in the armpits, in the groin, under the breasts and around the genitals. Inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin that worsen with friction and sweating. Fungal infections may trigger this type of psoriasis.
Psoriatic arthritis causes swollen, painful joints that are typical of other arthritis conditions. Sometimes the joint symptoms are the first or only manifestation of psoriasis or at times only nail or skin changes are seen. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint.
Other forms of psoriasis such as Pustular and Erythrodermic psoriasis can be life threatening and patients must seek medical treatment as hospitalisation may be needed.
Treatments for psoriasis vary from person to person but includes diet and lifestyle changes along side addressing the main triggers. This may include -
Hormone balance - puberty, peri-menopause & menopause
Modulating the immune system
Decreasing inflammation to reduce pain, itch and dryness
Improving detoxification pathways to reduce toxic load on the body
Reduce stress hormones that can be influencing the inflammatory pathways
Improve mineral and vitamin deficiencies.
Treatment can be very successful with the use of diet, natural supplements and lifestyle changes. An individual approach is always best as every person has different triggers to their condition.
In health & happiness,