A little information on Psoriasis
The first time I heard about psoriasis, I was very small. I remember being at the entrance of my house, the first place where I lived, and my parents were saying goodbye to some friends after a meeting. I was enjoying my childhood world until I heard the word “psoriasis” from my mom’s friend. She said: “Yes, my daughter has this illness and is on treatment. She suffers a lot!” And this was all I knew of the subject or understood at that time. However, as the years went by, I learned that this is a chronic, long term skin disorder that makes the skin cells grow too quickly, resulting in thick spots (like scabs) in a white, gray or reddish tone.
This disease is not contagious and can be hereditary in some cases. The cause of psoriasis is not fully known, but it is believed to be related to an immune system disorder—and more specifically related to the T cells. Normally, T cells travel throughout the body to detect and fight foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria. In the case of psoriasis—T cells, a type of lymphocyte—attacks healthy cells by mistake and heals wounds that do not exist. This creates a continuous cycle in which new skin cells are moved to the outer layer of the skin too quickly. The dead skin does not detach and builds up. This forms patches or different size blotches that cause itching and in some cases, even pain.
These lesions appear more frequently on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet, nails or lower back. Psoriasis is more common in adults, but can also affect children.
There are also environmental factors that can lead to the development of psoriasis, such as:
-Infections or lesions on the skin as a result of cuts, severe burns or scrapes.
-Smoking and alcoholism.
-Some medications (including lithium, beta-blockers; antimalarial drugs and iodides).
-Cold and dry climate.
-Infections such as strep throat can cause psoriasis which can suddenly appear, especially in children.
The majority of psoriasis cases are mild with small rash areas. However, the greatest difficulty in relation to this issue is socially oriented. For the affected individuals, especially adolescents, it is shameful to have these skin spots, which can lead to psychological and emotional consequences.
Luckily, it is very easy to diagnose and there are many treatments that can help to keep this issue under control.
Treatments can range from creams to skin moisturizes, shampoos, lotions and ultraviolet light. If the psoriasis is severe, it usually stings and causes discomfort. It can also cover large portions of skin making it difficult to treat. It is possible that, in these cases, the doctor may try different treatments until the right one is found. However, even in mild cases, Aloe Vera can help to reduce psoriasis.
And now you know! If you have any spots such as the ones I described, go to the doctor. The sooner you treat it, the better! If they go away, it could be something temporary as the disease may go into remission only to break out later. Sadly, there are some individuals who may require lifetime medication.
Check with a dermatologist, keep your skin hydrated and take care! It has not been proven that a diet can help with the symptoms but a healthy diet is always beneficial.
I hope that this article has proved informative and if you have psoriasis or you know someone who does, please share your experience with us!