Psoriasis is the condition of the skin where the skin cells start to multiply at abnormal levels. Usually, cell regeneration occurs and balances with the dead skin cells. Since the skin cells start to develop abnormally, they rise to the top of your skin and die out leaving behind a red plaque covered with white scales. They typically occur on the knees, elbows and sometimes in your scalp. There are many reasons attributed to why skin cells behave abnormally. The common reason is that they are linked to the way your immune system performs.
This illness is characterized by over-multiplication of skin cells up to 10 times faster than normal growth. As dead underlying cells reach the skin’s surface, their voluminous accumulation causes raised, red plaques that gets covered with white scales. This disease typically happens on the elbows, knees and scalp. Psoriasis can also affect the palms, torso and soles of the feet. Psoriasis, can also at time be found associated with psoriatic arthritis, which leads to swelling and pain in the joints. It is estimated that in India there is 10 to 30 per cent of people who have psoriasis also are sufferers of psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis can happen for several reasons ranging from trauma, emotional stress to streptococcal infection. A recent study of this disease has indicated that some abnormality in the immune system is the factor that triggers this disease. There are five different types of psoriasis:
The exact cause of psoriasis is not known but there could be many other factors which can cause psoriasis.
Your doctor may examine that are you having psoriasis or if you have plaques on ears, nails, elbow, scalp, belly button and knees or not. If the doctor is still unclear, then he will take a small sample of your skin which is known as a biopsy. Later, it will be sent to a lab and the sample of your skin will be examined under the microscope. This will make it clear which type of psoriasis do you have or what other kinds of infection or disease you are suffering from.
As stated earlier the treatment plan aims to stop your skin cells from multiplying first. Later the treatment would focus on getting your skin back in shape. To achieve this, there can be a combination of multiple treatments done at the same time. Your doctor would test the nature of your skin and identify the potential cause for it before imparting the treatments. The most common methods would be the usage of topical creams. They are ointment based and are applied to your raw skin and in your affected area. The results can be slow, but however, this treatment works effectively in 60% of the cases.
These ointments can be a combination of salicylic acid, coal tar, anthralin, etc. Light therapy can also work against the exploitation of the skin cells. These treatments use natural or artificial UV light over the skin to control cell expansion.
Your doctor will guide you on the type of light to use and the amount of exposure you would require. In some cases, you might be undertaking oral medications or injected medications to prevent the flare-up. It should be noted that not all these drugs work on everyone. Hence care should be taken to first identify the skin type you have and your health condition before getting these drugs. You can discuss and consult with your doctor about these medications in detail.
People who have been diagnosed with Psoriasis can be qualified for the treatment. It is always better to treat the symptoms of Psoriasis from the simplest means like topical creams and UV light therapy and go to advanced means. The aim of the treatment is to curb the skin cells from growing quickly and to reduce the inflammation. They also aim to reduce the scales to the maximum permissible limits.
Topical creams can be had by every individual. However, for advanced medications and procedures do consult with your doctor about the type of therapy you would prefer. Also, discuss with your doctor about your allergic symptoms and get the drugs and medications that are best suited for you. Some of the drugs used can be strong. Hence it is always better to consult your doctor before taking any medications on your own.
It could depend on your skin type and the possibility of other medical condition you might have. Topical creams that smoothen your skin are mild and do not have any side effects. However, if you are going for advanced procedures, there are chances that it might cause some allergic reactions in you. However, most of the treatment for Psoriasis is considered safe and has been perfected for years. You can check with your doctor if you have concerns.
Post the treatment your skin can still have some leftover symptoms from the treatment. You might be advised to use a mild skin moisturizer and to keep your skin free of blemishes. Though sunlight can be good for your skin, overexposure can be harmful. Hence check with your doctor about the correct exposure and take care of your skin accordingly. Also, ensure that your keep skin clean of impurities by having regular cleaning with soap and water.
The recovery period depends on your skin type and the nature of the treatment used. For some individuals, the results can be immediate, whereas for some individuals the effect can take some time. The doctor would initially check how well you are responding to the treatment and make some changes if the desired results are not got.
In India, the cost of the treatments depends on the type of clinic or medical centre you choose. The average price can start from INR 1000 and can go up depending on the kind of treatment. When choosing the medical centre, choose a clinic with a good reputation.
Alternative treatments can include psoriasis treatment in homoeopathy. the usage of a special diet and dietary supplements plays a major role. Aloe Vera gel is known to have antioxidant properties. Hence you can consider using it. Also, fish oil is known to reduce the symptoms to an extent. You can also try using herbal creams for a brief period and look at the results after consulting with your doctor.
As a home remedy for this disease, applying a thick cream or lotion, then stop the moisture with an ointment like petroleum jelly or olive oil helps in alleviating the conditions of this illness. It’s because dry skin makes the itching and irritation become worse. However, using too thick a cream during the summer months because sweat mixed with cream often makes psoriasis worse. Another kitchen remedy for psoriasis is to wrap your skin with plastic or a bandage before going to bed and wash the areas gently with cold water in the morning.
Relative Risk: Low
Side Effects: Low
Recovery Time: Medium
Price Range: RS. 1000 and above