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Last Updated: Jan 30, 2020
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Psoriasis - Types, Symptom, Treatment And Home Remedies

About Types Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment Side effects Recovery Cost Cure Home remedies Alternatives

What is Psoriasis?

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.

What are the different types of psoriasis?

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:

  • Plaque psoriasis: It is a type of psoriasis which gives red, raised patches on the skin. These are covered by silvery dead skin cells.
  • Guttate psoriasis: It causes small red spots on the skin. This occurs after the patient has gone ill.
  • Inverse psoriasis: This type of psoriasis usually occurs in the skin folds. It causes sore and red patches of the skin.
  • Pustular psoriasis: This type of psoriasis causes pus-filled bumps on the palms and soles. These are painful and itchy at the same time. It causes flu-type symptoms which include fever, dizziness, loss of appetite etc.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis: It resembles a severe sunburn as it makes the skin bright red. In this type of psoriasis which causes fast heart rate, itching and pain. It is to be mentioned that this is an emergency condition which should be consulted to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

  • Patches of inflamed and red skin that are covered by slivery, loose scales. They may be painful, itchy and can even crack and bleed at times.
  • The fingernails and toenails may become pitted and change colour. They also may get began to crumble or get detached from the nail beds.
  • Scales and patches or crust may form on the head of the psoriasis patients.

What are the causes of psoriasis?

The exact cause of psoriasis is not known but there could be many other factors which can cause psoriasis.

  1. Immune system: Our immune system helps to keep us safe from infections of viruses and bacteria but if something goes wrong then our system starts working the opposite. Researchers believe that the immune system is one of the reasons for psoriasis. When our immune system is working overactive then it creates inflammation inside the body. A large number of healthy cells are produced. These excess cells then start coming on the surface of the skin very quickly. These piled up skin cells you see on your skin is psoriasis. It is red in colour and causes inflammation in the skin.
  2. Hormonal changes: During puberty or menopause, this issue can be seen on the skin. If you are a pregnant woman, then there are chances of you getting psoriasis. Once the delivery is done, you might again see it on the surface of the skin.
  3. Alcohol: People who drink regularly are high on risk, especially younger men. It is also to be mentioned that alcohol also makes treatment less effective.
  4. Medications: Some medications like Lithium (which treats bipolar disorder and mental illness), high blood pressure medicines ( including propranolol, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, quinidine), Antimalarial medicines (including chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil and quinacrine) may increase the chances for psoriasis more.
  5. HIV: Patients who are suffering from HIV are more prone to psoriasis. But, as soon as you start treatment for HIV, you will see yourself better.
  6. Sunlight: A little sunlight is good for health as it provides natural vitamin D to the body. But sometimes, sunburn can make the condition worse so, it is recommended to take proper care of your skin before going out in the sun.

How to diagnose 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.

How psoriasis is treated?

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.

Who would need treatment for psoriasis?

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.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

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.

What are the side effects of psoriasis treatment?

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.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

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.

How long does it take to recover?

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.

What is the cost of psoriasis treatment in India?

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.

Is psoriasis curable?

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.

What are the home remedies for psoriasis?

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.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Alternative treatments can include psoriasis treatment in homoeopathy and psoriasis treatment in Ayurveda. The usage of a special diet and dietary supplements plays a crucial role.

Key Highlights about psoriasis treatment:

Safety: High

Effectiveness: High

Timeliness: Medium

Relative Risk: Low

Side Effects: Low

Recovery Time: Medium

Price Range: RS. 1000 and above

Popular Questions & Answers

I am having rashes on the sides of private part on thighs. These rashes are itching me a lot and also it’s spreading. I have used fourderm tube for around 2 weeks. Can you help me?

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Mumbai
You may be suffering from tinea cruris which is fungal infection of the inner thighs, groin and buttocks area. It is also called jock itch. It can be treated by taking four to six weeks of anti fungal treatment which includes tablets along with cr...

I having rashes on the sides of my private part on thighs. These rashes are itching a lot and spreading very fast. I used fourderm tube for around 2 weeks and it showed no result. Can you help me please?

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Mumbai
You may be suffering from tinea cruris which is fungal infection of the inner thighs, groin and buttocks area. It is also called jock itch. It can be treated by taking four to six weeks of anti fungal treatment which includes tablets along with cr...

I have psoriasis of scalp. Doctor advised me to apply diprovate lotion. How long do I need to apply the lotion on scalp. Do I need to wash it after 30 minutes or I need to keep it overnight?

D.D.V.L, F.A.C.S.I, M.B.B.S
Dermatologist, Delhi
Psoriasis treatments aim to stop skin cells from growing so quickly and to remove scales. And diprovate would reduce cell production .also follow precaution for further control .avoid psoriasis triggers. Notice what triggers your psoriasis, and ta...

Clobetasol ointment ip tenovate use? And head usage for side effects? Hair loss? My brplm psoriasis. And can I have a head?

D.D.V.L, F.A.C.S.I, M.B.B.S
Dermatologist, Delhi
Psoriasis treatments aim to stop skin cells from growing so quickly and to remove scales. Avoid psoriasis triggers. Notice what triggers your psoriasis, and take steps to prevent or avoid them. Infections, injuries to your skin, stress, smoking, m...

Hi, I am having contact dermatitis on face from past 4 months. I consulted a skin doctor and he suggested me cetaphil facewash and episoft sunscreen. Inspite of using this. My condition is not back to normal. Please suggest me a good cream. Note - I am breast feeding my 1.4 year old baby.

D.D.V.L, F.A.C.S.I, M.B.B.S
Dermatologist, Delhi
Provoking factors should be identified and avoided. Avoid anything that is known to increase disease severity: advise avoidance of extremes in temperature and humidity, avoid irritating clothes containing wool or certain synthetic fibres, detergen...

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MD - Dermatology,FCPS - Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy,MBBS
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