Psoriasis is quite a common skin condition that, according to the latest research, affects around 7.5 million people in the USA alone … that's over 2% of the population which equates to around 125 million sufferers worldwide. It's recognised by patches of rad flaky skin covered with a type of silvery white scaling. These areas of rash are often both itchy and sore and sometimes painful.
Whilst it can strike anywhere the most commonly affected areas are the knees and elbows along with the lower back area and the scalp. Usually the affected areas are pretty small but, in severe cases, psoriasis can cover the entire body.
You're most at risk of it beginning in early adulthood or after middle age and affects both males and females equally. It can have a hereditary link, often occurring in multiple family members but is NOT contagious in any way.
Psoriasis causes your skin cells to replicate at an extremely rapid rate. This produces a build up of cells on the surface of the skin which form the dense, unsightly, patches of red lesions covered in dead skin.
Officially it is classified as an immune condition with symptoms which manifest themselves on the skin and occasionally the joints.
To put it in very simple terms it is completely normal for skin to shed and we have a regular cycle which means that skin cells are replaced every 21 to 28 days. Sometimes things go wrong and the skin replacement cycle speeds up to just a few days and this results in an accumulation of skin cells which builds up and up to caused raised ares of plaque on the surface of the skin. Visually these areas can be flaky, scaly, red or dark … and incredibly itchy – this is what we know as Psoriasis.
Psoriasis can occur on any area of the body, including the scalp, hands, feet and genitals, although different types tend to occur on different areas.
There are five different types:
Chronic Plaque Psoriasis – by far the most common form which appears as itchy, thick red or dark patches of skin often with a light grey scaly / flaky covering. It usually affects areas around elbows, knees, lower back or scalp but rarely develop on the face. Over 80% of psoriasis sufferers are affected by this form. When the scalp is affected (Scalp Psoriasis) it appears somewhat similar to severe dandruff. The entire scalp can be affected or it can develop in patches. When it develops in the skin folds or creases (Flexural Psoriasis) the skin will appear inflamed and red in patches but often will smooth and not affected by the telltale rough scaling.
Guttate Psoriasis – the second most common but differs in appearance in that it is visible as small, separate, drop shaped red spots on the skin usually on the torso, legs or arms that is usually triggered by stress, infection or injury. Very often it has been linked to a throat infection – typically developing quickly after. It doesn't usually last long – from just a few weeks to a maximum of around 3 or 4 months in extremes and it doesn't often return.
Flexural or Inverse Psoriasis – caused by sweat or moisture this type of psoriasis forms in skinfolds (armpits, under the breasts, groin area for example) and is usually red but smooth and sort of shiny in appearance. This can also be a form of Chronic Plaque Psoriasis (see above).
Pustular Psoriasis – a severe form which develops rapidly in the form of multiple white pus filled spots surrounded by red skin which can also join up and form scaling. Whilst the skin surrounding the pustules will be red and sore the actual pustules are not infectious. It can be isolated or in extremes, cover the whole body. This can also be accompanied by flu like symptoms.
There are three types which differ in symptoms and severity:
Von Zumbusch: Fever, chills, itchiness, joint pain, tiredness and nausea – seek medical advice immediately.
Palmoplantar Pustulosis (PPP): Chronic condition affecting the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
Acropustulosis: A rare form of Pustular Psoriasis that forms as extremely painful skin lesions localises around the tips of the fingers and toes.
Erythrodermic Psoriasis – extremely rare condition that has an appearance similar to extreme burns. Medical advice should be sought immediately as this condition is very serious and will often be treated as a medical emergency!
Psoriasis can also affect both the finger nails and toe nails. In this form it appears as tiny pits or indentations in the nails themselves. Sometimes you will witness the nails changing in colour or the nail beds tuning a yellowish orange colour.
Sorry but there is no one specific or definitive cure for Psoriasis. The emphasis is on clearing the rash as much and as quickly as possible but it can easily flare up again. There are various treatment creams on the market today and it's often a question of trying different ones as what works for one may not work for the next person. Patience is also required – when trying out a recommended Psoriasis treatment cream always follow the manufacturers directions and stick to the regime. Don't expect next day results or you're going to be disappointed!
For severe cases where traditional creams have not proven effective there are a number of more powerful options and light therapies available.
Recommended Psoriasis Treatments
Dermasis Psoriais Cream
Dermasis Psoriasis Cream is a top quality, over the counter, solution which helps fight the symptoms that causes the red, flaky patches of skin.
As we know, Psoriasis is caused by skin cells replicating around 8 times faster than they should. This results in a build up of cells on the surface of the skin which results in thick, unsightly red patches covered in silvery white dead skin. Dermasis Psoriasis Cream is a two fold approach to this condition … it firstly contains around 2% Salicylic acid (both proven and completely safe to use) which effectively stimulates the flaky layer of dead skin to shed away. It's also a highly specialised and effective moisturiser leaving your skin feeling fantastic.
Useful Psoriasis Related Links:
If you suffer with psoriasis we know how much it can change your life. There are however, a number of organisations who can help and support: