By Dr Bharat Singhania , Dermatology
A persistent, chronic skin condition which results in changing of life cycles of skin cells is called Psoriasis. It involves a rapid buildup of cells on the surface of the skin. This results in dry and itchy red patches and silvery scales which are thick and occasionally painful.
The Symptoms of Psoriasis are:
- A commonly seen symptom in children is the appearance of small spots that develop into scales later.
- The most common symptom is red patches with a covering of silvery, thick scales.
- Dried skin which at times cracks and bleeds.
Causes Behind Psoriasis Are:
Till now, researchers have found only one viable cause, which is the malfunction of a white blood cell called the T cell. In psoriasis, T cells function abnormally and attack healthy cells instead of foreign bodies. As a result, there is a rapid generation of new cells which are pushed to the surface of the skin due to the dilation of blood vessels.This becomes a cycle resulting in psoriasis.
Triggers of psoriasis:
There are factors which either worsen psoriasis or trigger the appearance of symptoms:
- Skin or strep throat infections
- Severe sunburn
- Heavy alcohol consumption
Treatments for psoriasis:
Psoriasis can be treated in three ways:
1. Topical Treatments :
This includes usage of ointments, drugs and creams(like salicylic acids). They are used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis.
2. Light Therapy :
The disease can also be treated by applying controlled amounts of artificial or natural ultraviolet light on the damaged skin. Despite some side effects this treatment method is quite efficient.
3. Injected medications :
Drugs like Retinoids and Methotrexate, taken either orally or injected, also help in treating Psoriasis. They are used in small amounts to avoid side effects.