Psoriasis is a genetically determined, inflammatory skin disease in which skin cells reproduce faster than normal. It is a common condition in which dull-red plaques with silvery scales that most commonly develop on the elbows, knees, scalp, or hands and feet.
A normal skin cell matures and falls off the body's surface in 28 to 30 days. But a psoriatic skin cell takes only three to four days to mature and move to the surface. Instead of falling off, the cells pile up and form the lesions.
Exacerbating Factors & Triggers of Psoriasis:
- Skin or systemic infections ie: streptococcal pharyngitis
- Skin injury from cuts, scrapes, or burns
- Certain medications such as beta-blocking agents, antimalarials, and lithium
- Emotional stress & anxiety
- Smoking & drinking alcohol
- Hormonal changes
- Rubbing & scratching due to itching
Types of Psoriasis:
- Plaque - the most common form, characterized by raised, inflamed, red lesions covered by a silvery white scale
- Guttate - characterized by small rain-drop-like lesions
- Pustular - characterized by weeping lesions and intense scaling
- Inverse - characterized by intense inflammation
- Erythrodermic - characterized by intense shedding and redness of the skin
What treatment options are available for psoriasis? Treatment options include topical or oral medications, biologic agents that work by blocking the activation of the cells that trigger the development of psoriasis, and light therapy.