Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects about 4% of the population and is the cause of great discomfort for those people, and especially for those with severe psoriasis symptoms. For some, it may even result in hospitalization due to the inflammation of the lesions affecting the tissues like they were burns. There is no cure for psoriasis.
The actual cause of Psoriasis is not absolutely clear, although it is well accepted that there is an underlying genetic component, comprising dominant and recessive genes and when those genes are triggered, the immune system produces an excessive number of skin cells. Psoriasis is therefore an auto-immune condition which cannot be cured as such - but it can be controlled.
There are four Primary triggers that cause Psoriasis lesions which include:
- Koebner Phenomenon - injury to the skin from bites, cuts, operations, abrasions etc
- Systemic Infections - viral or bacterial infections eg. Tonsilitis, Shingles etc
- Stresses - Anxiety, worry, and other frustrations of life
- Interaction with drugs - certain drugs such as lithium, anti malarials, anti-inflamatories, some blood pressure medications (Beta Blockers) and antibiotics can act as Primary Triggers at the outset of taking them, and often just by the act of ceasing taking them
Secondary triggers - There are many secondary psoriasis triggers that may be involved in aggravating the condition, some of which apply to most sufferers while others only play a role in a select number of sufferers due to their genetic makeup.
These secondary triggers are related to issues such as diet, lifestyle, chemical exposure, hormones, drugs, high alcohol intake, obesity and stress. Diet and stress play the most significant part in aggravating psoriatic lesions as these factors are related to histamine release and may affect inflammatory processes.
Is Psoriasis contagious? No. In the past, psoriasis was not well understood and people suffering the condition were believed to have leprosy, a curable viral condition characterised by red lesions and shedding skin and other tissues. The similarity to psoriasis resulted in many people with psoriasis being placed into Leper colonies, and not surprisingly, they developed leprosy as a consequence.
Types of Psoriasis
There are at least 10 Psoriasis types and they all have different Psoriasis symptoms:
- Plaque Psoriasis(Chronic Psoriasis Vulgaris)
- Guttate Psoriasis
- Flexural Psoriasis (Inverse Psoriasis, Genital Psoriasis)
- Psoriasis Annularis
- Pustular Psoriasis
- Palmo-Plantar Psoriasis (Hand Psoriasis, Foot Psoriasis)
- Erythrodermic PsoriasisEEC
- Scalp Psoriasis (Hair Psoriasis)
- Nail Psoriasis (Psoriatic Nails, Psoriasis Nails, Fungal Nails)
- Psoriatic Arthritis (Psoriasis Arthritis)