Causes and symptoms of psoriasis

psoriasis examination by a doctor

Psoriasis- A disease manifested by the appearance of a rash in the form of silver-plated pink plaques, often accompanied by itching. But this is only the visible part of the iceberg. There are no fully understood processes at the center of the disease.

Psoriasis is a mysterious enemy

In psoriasis, skin cells begin to divide 6-10 times faster than necessary. This causes chronic inflammation and peeling of the skin.

Scientists have been studying psoriasis for decades, but there is no clear answer to the question "Why does psoriasis appear? "modern science still does not exist. The disease is not contagious, but can be inherited. Exacerbation can be triggered by various external and internal factors: stress, skin trauma, use of certain drugs (usually antibiotics), alcohol abuse, infectious diseases (streptococci, viruses), etc.

Manifestations of psoriasis are different: the surface of the lesion may be dry or weeping, different parts of the body may be affected. Some patients have knees and elbows, others have palms and soles, and still others have large folds of skin or mucous membranes or nail plates. Sometimes psoriasis affects a very large area of the body, sometimes it is localized only in limited areas and never spreads further.

It is no exaggeration to say that psoriasis is one of the most mysterious diseases. Scientists have already understood exactly what is happening in the body of a psoriasis patient and how to alleviate his condition, but it is still unclear what causes these pathological changes and how to prevent them.

Winston Churchill struggled with psoriasis all his life and promised to erect a golden monument to the doctor who would solve the riddle of this disease and find an effective treatment. Unfortunately, the award never found its owner.

Why does psoriasis appear?

Science does not know the exact causes, but over the years, studying the problem, several hypotheses have been formed:

  • autoimmune theory. It is an increase in the concentration of T-lymphocytes, which causes constant inflammation of the affected area of the skin. The body begins to perceive its skin as aggressive.
  • Hereditary theory explains psoriasis as a defect in DNA.
  • Endocrine theory suggests that psoriasis is caused by disorders of the endocrine system, especially the pituitary and thyroid glands.
  • exchange theory. The researchers found that patients with psoriasis had problems with lipid and nitrogen metabolism, as well as increased levels of toxins in the body.

All these theories have a right to exist, but none of them has been fully proven so far. Therefore, modern treatment of psoriasis is aimed at reducing the severity of symptoms, reducing the recurrence of the disease and the overall improvement of the body.

Psoriasis-like symptoms are described in detail in ancient Roman medical treatises. However, in those days, psoriasis was often confused with other skin diseases of completely different origin. Psoriasis was first recognized as an independent disease only in 1799, and as a non-infectious pathology only in the late 19th century.

Who is affected?

Psoriasis makes no difference between the sexes - both women and men get it equally often. Psoriasis usually appears at a young age - the peak occurs at the age of 15-25 years. However, if you did not have psoriasis in your youth, it does not mean that the danger is over - sometimes the first manifestation of psoriasis appears in about 50-60 years. The good news is that people who develop psoriasis later experience less severe psoriasis. According to the WHO, if one of the parents suffers from psoriasis, the risk of developing the disease in the child is about 14%, and both - 41%. However, children of parents who have never had this problem also suffer from psoriasis. According to statistics, psoriasis most commonly affects people with thin, fair, dry skin.

The first signs of the disease

Psoriasis begins invisibly: in the early stages of development, the disease affects small areas of skin, usually the folds of the extremities, scalp and along the hairline. Sometimes the first manifestations of psoriasis occur at the site of constant mechanical irritation of the skin, in other words, where the clothes are squeezed and rubbed. At first a person feels itching and tightness of the skin, then small raised islands of reddish, crusty skin appear. These spots show gray dead skin flakes that look like easily separated wax chips. Sometimes such boards are moistened, on the surface of which appear yellowish lamellar scales. When the latter are removed, a weeping, bleeding surface appears. Gradually, the plaques grow and combine with each other to affect larger areas of skin.

Different types of psoriasis symptoms

There are several types of psoriasis:

  • seborrheic psoriasis. Most often it occurs on the scalp. It manifests itself with itching and peeling, spreads to the area behind the ears and along the hairline.
  • exudative psoriasis. With this type of psoriasis, the affected areas of the skin are not only peeled, but also moisturized, and on the surface of the papules appear yellowish crusts (nodules from the rash).
  • Intertriginous psoriasis. It is more typical for children. In this type of psoriasis, the plaques are bright red or do not peel off at all. Sometimes the boards get wet. Parents often confuse this type of psoriasis with a diaper rash.
  • plantar psoriasis. Occurs on the heel and palms. It manifests itself with thickening, dryness and cracks of the skin.
  • Chronic psoriasis manifests itself with large plaques that do not last long, sometimes they appear neoplasms - warts and papillomas.
  • Rupioid psoriasis is a form of chronic psoriasis. Bark is visible on the boards, and gradually the board becomes higher, taking the form of a cone.
  • Guttat psoriasis is characterized by an abundant rash consisting of many small papules.
  • Psoriasis of the nail plates (psoriatic onychia) causes deformation of the nails, the appearance of yellow-brown spots under them. It is a common type of psoriasis that occurs in 25% of patients with the disease.
  • Mucosal psoriasis affects the oral cavity and causes the appearance of papules on the mucous membranes.

Frequency of psoriatic manifestations

The course of psoriasis is cyclical. In the progressive stage, itchy plaques or a small rash appear, gradually merging to a point. After 1-4 weeks, the spread of the boards stops, covered with silver scales. This is called the stationary stage. After that, a regressive phase occurs when the plaques gradually disappear. But don't be fooled - this does not mean that recovery has come. If psoriasis is not treated, everything will recur from the beginning, and after a while the stages will begin to change continuously, and exacerbations will be almost monthly.

Psoriasis can and should be treated. If not treated in time, psoriasis will quickly turn into a chronic stage and it will be extremely difficult to get rid of it. Today, medical methods for the treatment of psoriasis, physiotherapy, as well as local remedies for external use - ointments and creams for psoriasis are used, the effectiveness is very high.

However, it should be noted that you should consult your doctor before using any remedy for psoriasis. At least because a non-specialist cannot make a diagnosis on his own.