Psoriasis is a non-infectious disease that affects a person's skin, nails and joints. The disease is characterized by a wavy course with periods of exacerbations and remissions. The danger of this disease lies not only in the unpleasant sensations it causes, but also in the fact that the disease complicates life a lot, interfering with social adaptation and normal quality of life. In severe cases, severe depression can result from the acute form of the disease.

How to get rid of psoriasis, what is this disease, what are the symptoms and treatment of psoriasis? You will learn about this in our article.

Psoriasis: causes

Under normal conditions, a healthy person's skin is renewed in a month. During that time, dead cells are exfoliated and new ones take their place. If there is a malfunction in the skin's renewal mechanism, the maturation process of the new cells takes only about a week, which disrupts cell balance. As a result, the cells die much faster.

In the areas affected by the pathological process, there is an excessive proliferation of cells of the immune system, macrophages and cells of the epithelial tissue. With that, it is observed the exfoliation of the skin and the creation of favorable conditions to the inflammatory process. In addition, new capillary formation processes are accelerated, which is why the skin at the site of inflammation turns red.

Chronic psoriasis is non-infectious in nature, therefore, the disease is considered non-infectious. This was established in the 19th century, but so far scientists cannot name the exact reason for its occurrence.

Among the reasons that are prerequisites for the development of the disease are:

  • Heredity. If a person's parents or close relatives are predisposed to skin disorders, it is highly likely that this will be inherited. This is due to a mutation in some sections of DNA that has been found among patients suffering from psoriasis, and a similar mutation found in their loved ones.
  • Genetic mutations. Violations of the DNA structure, which affect the violation of the skin's renewal processes, can not only be inherited, but also manifest themselves later in people whose relatives do not suffer from psoriasis. What causes these genetic changes is unknown.
  • Weakening of the immune system. Any breach of the body's defenses can become a trigger for the development of psoriasis.
  • Disturbances in metabolic processes. Metabolic disorders are manifested in the form of changes in the metabolism of fats, nitrogen, carbohydrates and vitamins in psoriasis. As a result, there is an accumulation of toxins in the body, a decrease in adaptive abilities and an increased susceptibility to infections. In addition, patients experience an increase in bile acid fractions in the blood serum, caused by metabolic disorders.
  • External stimuli. Friction, constant contact with chemical compounds, wearing tight clothes, cuts and insect bites - all of which provoke the appearance of microtrauma on the skin, which over time can develop into psoriasis.
  • Frequent allergic reactions. If a person has a tendency to atypical immune system reactions, which manifest themselves in the form of rashes, itching and rashes, this is an additional chance of developing psoriasis.
  • Strong experiences or prolonged stressful situations. Any stress weakens the body's defenses and damages the immune system. If a person is prone to skin diseases, it can manifest itself at exactly those moments. In addition, any stress affects the endocrine processes, due to which significant doses of adrenaline and norepinephrine are released into the blood. This process affects metabolic processes and biochemical reactions, making it a prerequisite for the development of psoriasis.
  • General weakening of the body caused by serious pathologies - atherosclerosis, liver cirrhosis, diabetes, hypertension, etc.
  • Imbalanced diet and alcohol abuse. If a person eats very fatty, smoked, salty, sweet and spicy foods, the likelihood of developing psoriasis increases. In addition, in some cases, a prerequisite for the development of the disease is excessive consumption of chocolate and citrus fruits.
  • Hormonal spikes caused by severe changes in hormone levels during menopause, puberty, pregnancy, lactation, after abortion. It is important to note that the hormonal cause of psoriasis may not be related to the periods indicated above. In this case, we are talking about changing the functioning of the organs of the endocrine system.
  • Climate change, living in unfavorable environmental conditions. If a person is prone to psoriasis and moves to a colder area, the disease can worsen significantly. The same applies to staying in areas with highly polluted air and water. However, the climatic factor can hardly be called the root cause of the disease: instead, it acts as a catalyst that activates the "latent" form of the body's tendency towards psoriasis.

How to determine if it is psoriasis: symptoms of the disease

First, psoriasis is a disease of the skin. However, in some cases, especially severe ones, it can affect not only the skin, but also tendons, internal organs, the spine, nail plates and joints. Next, we'll look at the signs of psoriasis that appear first and allow you to distinguish psoriasis from other skin conditions.

How does psoriasis start?

On the skin surface (most often on the knees, hands, elbows, back, armpits, under the chest, in the sacrum region, on the genitals) and sometimes on the mucous membranes, dry, rounded red areas appear. Initially, its size is relatively small: each papule is only a few millimeters in diameter. However, over time, the affected areas increase, the papules fuse and form the so-called psoriatic plaques: their diameter reaches 10 cm and even more.

psoriasis on the palms

Initially, the papules do not cause noticeable discomfort to the person. They hardly scratch or itch. However, over time, as they grow and plaque forms, the affected areas thicken and rise slightly above healthy areas of the skin. This phenomenon is accompanied by itching.

A characteristic of psoriasis in the early stage is the formation of small dry scales with a loose structure in the affected areas of the body. Its color varies from whitish to yellowish gray, and a thin pinkish red border can be seen around each plate. Externally, these zones are somewhat like molten paraffin, so they are called "paraffin lakes".

At first, signs of psoriasis on the skin of the body and face can be confused with manifestations of eczema or other skin pathologies. The stage of psoriasis - the so-called psoriatic triad - helps to identify the type of disease.

  1. Stearic staining stage. It is characterized by the formation of stearin-like chips, which appear when the plate is scraped.
  2. Terminal film stage. It appears as a smooth, moist, bright red surface found under the scales.
  3. "Blood dew" phase. If a person begins to scrape the terminal film, small drops of blood form on its surface, caused by spot bleeding. In turn, it is caused by thinning of the vascular network and capillary fragility.
how is psoriasis on the palms

The onset of psoriasis is also accompanied by symptoms unrelated to the skin. Typically, patients complain of increased fatigue, apathy, irritability, drowsiness, mood swings, dizziness, nausea and sleep problems.

How does psoriasis manifest, in addition to skin lesions?

This disease affects not only the skin, but also other organs and systems. The following manifestations and forms of psoriasis are differentiated:

  • Psoriatic arthritis. In some cases, the lesion is not located in the upper areas of the skin, but much more deeply. As a result, the disease spreads to the joints. The course of the disease is in many ways similar to the development of rheumatoid arthritis, but there are several differences between them. For example, in psoriatic arthritis, asymmetric joint damage is usually seen, the greatest peak of discomfort occurs in the morning, but the main difference is that the rheumatoid factor is absent in the blood of patients with psoriatic arthritis.
  • psoriatic arthritis in the hands
  • Muscle damage. If the disease is at an extremely advanced stage, muscle tissue atrophy may occur after damage to cartilage and joints.
  • Liver dysfunction. The liver's task is to cleanse the blood and remove harmful substances. If there is an increase in the toxin content, characteristic of psoriasis, the liver suffers from it in the first place.
  • The transition from skin disease to mucous membranes. If the disease is not treated, it progresses and passes to the mucous membranes of the cheeks and genitals, to the lips and tongue. Mucous membranes swell, foci of inflammation appear in them, accompanied by flaking.
  • Damage to nail plates (psoriatic onychodystrophy). Psoriasis affects the nails quite often. The disease manifests itself in the form of thickening of the nail plates of the hands and feet, changes in color, appearance of stretch marks and stitches. Inflammatory processes that affect the skin around the nails, hemorrhages under the nail plate, dryness, delamination and increased fragility of the nails can also be observed. In especially severe cases, we can talk about the complete detachment of the nail and its loss.
nail psoriasis

As you can see, this disease is quite dangerous, so its treatment must be started as soon as possible in order to avoid its transfer to other organs and systems.

Is psoriasis contagious?

Since the disease is non-infectious and non-viral in nature, it is not contagious. The only form of transmission of the disease is a genetic predisposition caused by heredity.

Types of psoriasis

There are several varieties of this disease, each of which has its own characteristic course and characteristic symptoms.

  • Simple / ordinary / plate / plate / common. According to the International Classification of Diseases - prosiasis vulgaris. This form is more common than others: in about 80-90% of the cases of the disease, it is psoriasis vulgaris. It is characterized by the appearance of "paraffin lakes" or psoriatic plaques.
  • plaque psoriasis on hands
  • Inverse (reverse psoriasis). This type of disease mainly affects the folds of the skin, the outer surface of the thighs, the groin area with the external genitals. The main difference between reverse psoriasis and psoriasis vulgaris is that, in the reverse form of the disease, plaques do not form on the skin: the skin is covered with red spots, accompanied by an inflammatory process. The danger of reverse psoriasis is that it progresses with sweat and friction. Because of this, micro-cracks are formed in the skin, where the infection enters. As a result, it can cause skin lesions with coconuts and fungi.
  • Drop-shaped (according to ICD - guttate psoriasis). Their difference from other varieties is that the teardrop-shaped psoriasis rash does not combine into large plaques. The patient's body is covered by small drops similar to drops (hence the name of the disease), whose color varies from pink to purple.
  • tear psoriasis on hands
  • Pustular / exudative. If other types of the disease are characterized by dry areas of the skin, pustular or exudative psoriasis can be recognized by watery bubbles filled with a clear liquid. In this case, the skin around the blisters usually turns red, as the local temperature rises. If the bubbles burst or if the patient combs them, there is a danger of infection and subsequent suppuration - this is the main danger of the pustular form of the disease.
  • what pustular psoriasis looks like on the skin
  • Psoriatic erythroderma. This is one of the most serious forms of the disease, which, if the course is unfavorable, can lead to the patient's death. Its distinguishing feature is the exfoliation of the skin, resulting in infection by pathogenic microflora. The first sign and symptom of this type of disease - psoriasis manifests itself in the form of intense itchy skin, small red rashes with white scales, enlarged lymph nodes, swollen tissues and an increase in general body temperature to 38-39 degrees. It is divided into generalized and hyperergic types.
  • psoriatic erythroderma
  • Seborrheic psoriasis. Most of the time, this type of disease affects the scalp, but in some cases it can involve the nasolabial folds, the skin near the auricles and the area of the shoulder blades. It is characterized by the appearance of dandruff (when located on the head), intense itching and a grayish flower.
seborrheic psoriasis on the forehead

Exacerbation of psoriasis

The disease is characterized by a chronic wavy course with periods of exacerbations and remissions. The decrease in the intensity of symptoms is usually seen in the hot season, while the disease worsens in winter and autumn.

The factors that cause an exacerbation of the disease can be:

  • Stress, anxiety.
  • Imbalanced work and rest schedule.
  • Weakening of the body after suffering an infectious or viral illness.
  • A sudden jump in hormones.
  • Taking some medications.
  • Use of inappropriate cosmetics.
  • Skin contact with household chemicals.
  • Dysfunction of organic systems.
  • Exposure to excessively dry, hot or cold air.
  • Intense personal hygiene is not guaranteed.
  • Insect bites.
  • Exacerbation of allergic reactions.
  • Wearing tight synthetic clothes.
  • Changing to an unusual climate.

The exacerbation of any skin disease (including psoriasis) brings great discomfort to the patient - not only physical, but also psychological. The quality of life of a person suffering from severe psoriasis in the acute phase is significantly reduced.

Psoriasis patients usually have significant difficulties and problems with social adaptation, which can negatively affect work / school / personal life. A person refuses contact with other people, preferring to be alone most of the time. As a result, he develops social anxiety, which can develop into severe depression over time.

An exacerbation of the disease can lead to the fact that it becomes difficult for the patient to take care of himself and his loved ones, lead a normal life and even sleep. If the rash is located in the genital area, they can cause physical and psychological discomfort and cause the partners to refuse intimacy.

The severity of the disease

Depending on the area of the affected skin and the spread of the lesion to the joints, nails and internal organs, a mild, moderate and severe form of the disease is emitted.

  • The light form implies small damages to the skin, when the total area of the lesion is about 3%.
  • The loss of 3 to 10% of human skin is considered to be an average severity of the disease.
  • A severe degree means a significant skin lesion - 10% or more of the total area of the skin.

If a patient is diagnosed with injuries to the joints, muscles and internal organs, we are talking about a serious form of the disease, even though there are practically no plaques and papules on the body.

How to eliminate psoriasis: treatment

The question of how to cure psoriasis forever worries everyone who suffers from this disease. Combating the external manifestations of the disease gives only a temporary result, therefore, for the effect to be lasting, it is important to eliminate the causes of psoriasis. This usually takes a long time - up to several years. The patient has to be patient, but only in this case can he count on a long-term effect.

Next, we'll look at how to treat psoriasis with medications, hormone therapy, phototherapy, exercise. We also resort to methods of treating psoriasis with folk remedies - in combination with traditional therapy, traditional medicine can give visible results.

Treatment of psoriasis with medications

The first thing to do after finding suspicious rounded skin rashes, increased dryness and peeling skin on you or your loved ones is to seek qualified medical help. Only a dermatologist can determine exactly what type of skin lesion is occurring in your specific case. Remember: under no circumstances should you self-medicate, as the lack of therapy or self-selected medications can cause serious damage to your health.

There is generally no need for skin tests or tests to diagnose the disease. The doctor only needs to see the skin covered by papules or plaques to establish the cause of the injury. If there is a severe form of the disease, the dermatologist may prescribe a referral for tests - general and biochemical studies of blood and urine and, in especially difficult cases, a skin biopsy may also be required. X-rays may also be needed to diagnose psoriatic arthritis.

There are several effective treatments for psoriasis. The choice of the appropriate therapeutic option depends on the degree of damage to the skin, joints, nails and the intensity of the disease's progression. Usually, the best option is to opt for a comprehensive treatment regime that includes the use of local and internal remedies, the use of ultraviolet radiation, baths in salt and soda baths and physical therapy.

To eliminate itching and flaking of damaged skin, creams, gels, ointments, sprays and lotions are used. They can be made from salicylic acid, pyrithione, tar and other active components. The main task of hormonal and non-hormonal external preparations is to soften psoriatic plaques, disinfect, eliminate inflammation, moisturize and nourish the affected areas of the skin.

In the role of oral drugs in the treatment of psoriasis in humans, there are drugs based on efalizubam, gamma-D-glutamyl-D-tryptophan sodium, etc.

A positive result in the treatment of psoriasis of the skin gives a rest at sea. At the same time, it is advisable to choose resorts with a relatively mild and warm climate. The ideal solution is treatment in specialized sanatoriums and spas, with the rest focused on complex psoriasis therapy.

Psoriasis: home treatment

Treatment of psoriasis with home and folk remedies can only be effective if it acts as an adjunctive therapy that complements the main drug treatment. In addition, you can bet on traditional medicine recipes if the patient has allergic reactions to medications. But, in any case, what to do with psoriasis must be decided by the doctor, so if you want to use this or that popular method, consult a dermatologist.

One of the most common traditional medicines for psoriasis is the use of baking soda. Baking soda has a soothing effect on psoriatic plaques, soothes rough skin, reduces itching and improves waste removal. The soda base, homemade ointments, baths are prepared, the soda is taken orally, compresses and lotions are made.

In addition, salt baths are an effective method of treating the disease. They become a valuable alternative if the patient does not have the opportunity to travel to the sea.

Celandine juice applied to psoriatic plaques also gives positive results. However, you must remember that this remedy is quite aggressive, so you need to make sure that the juice does not come into contact with healthy areas of the skin.

Nut shells are also used to fight psoriatic plaques. The shell is poured with boiling water, after which it is insisted, the resulting infusion is filtered and added to a hot bath. This remedy is especially effective during periods of exacerbation of the disease.

How to cure psoriasis with diet?

Proper nutrition plays an important role in all skin conditions, and psoriasis is no exception. It is clear that a balanced diet cannot be a hundred percent remedy against psoriasis, but in combination with medicines and traditional medicine, it gives good results.

During treatment, in addition to prolonging the remission period, doctors recommend giving up alcohol, smoked and salty foods, fatty and spicy foods, the use of artificial flavors, preservatives, emulsifiers and chemical dyes, fatty meats, mayonnaise, ketchup. It is also advisable to reduce the amount of salt, refined sugar, chocolate and other sweets and citrus fruits consumed. Doctors advise to focus on the use of low-fat fermented dairy products, plant foods, cereals, lean meats and fish.

Although it is desirable during the diet to reduce the amount of fat consumed, it is irrational to abandon it completely. You just need to replace animal fat with vegetable oils - olive, flaxseed, corn, sunflower.

Prevention of psoriasis

The stages of psoriasis treatment necessarily include a period of remission. It is important to extend these periods as much as possible. To do this, the patient must comply with a series of disease prevention rules:

  • Avoid stressful situations.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Refuse to wear tight clothes made of wool and synthetic materials.
  • Spend plenty of time outdoors.
  • Ensure adequate rest and sleep.
  • Take good care of your skin.