Psoriasis – Basic Facts
Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system of the body mistakes its own cells as a pathogen and sends out signals that those pathogen cells should be removed and destroyed. Psoriasis is one of the autoimmune diseases appearing on skin and it is not contagious, as many people think. Even though there are five psoriasis types, the most common is are white and red hues of scaly patches that appear on the top layer of the skin. Plague psoriasis often affects the area of the skin of knees and elbows, but it can occur almost everywhere, including genitals, palm of the hands and even the scalp.
Psoriasis and its cause is not completely understood, but it is thought to people suffering from this disease could have a genetic component and the Koebner phenomenon skin injury can trigger local psoriatic canges. Stress, environmental factors, withdrawal of systemic corticosteroids are perhaps aggravating to psoriasis, but that is not proved yet. Chronically recurrent nature of psoriasis makes it quite challenging to be treated. Psoriasis is commonly diagnosed upon the appearance of the skin and sometimes scraping or skin biopsy may be needed, but there are no special diagnostic procedures or blood tests. Auspitz’s sign is another psoriasis sign and that is if plaque is scraped pinpoint bleeding from the skin below can be seen. Psoriasis is chronic, life-long condition and therefore it is very important to actively manage it. Learning about this condition, seeing a dermatologist on regular basis and discussing possible psoriasis treatment options can be very useful. Healthy lifestyle is, also very important and can reduce the severity and frequency of psoriasis symptoms. For mild disease, topical agents have been used as treatment option, for moderate disease phototherapy can be helpful and for severe disease systemic agents.