What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is mainly a skin disorder- explaining why it is often referred to as “psoriasis of the skin”. The main characteristic of psoriasis is the rapid multiplication of skin cells (at a rate of around 10 times faster than usual. Psoriasis is very common on the knees, scalp, elbows, hands and feet. Psoriasis is also often seen through red plaques on the affected areas which are covered with white scales. These lesions can be very painful and scratchy- they can even crack and bleed.
Nails on the fingers and toes can also begin to crumble or detach themselves from their nail bed. In worst of cases, psoriasis is associated with arthritis. The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that around 10-30% of psoriasis sufferers are afflicted by arthritis.
How do you get psoriasis?
Unfortunately, the exact cause of psoriasis is presently unknown. However, genes might play a substantial role- hence, you are more likely to get psoriasis if one of your family members suffers from it. Other environmental factors may also be blamed for triggering psoriasis- such as stress, skin injuries (severe sunburns for example) and certain medications such as lithium.
Most often, the treatment for psoriasis includes topical treatment methods. These include ointments and creams (such as steroid creams) for local relief of the skin area affected by psoriasis. Another really effective psoriasis treatment method is light therapy. There are 2 types of light therapy for the treatment of psoriasis- UVA and UVB. However, narrowband UVB therapy has been shown to be the more effective of both- it is just as effective as UVA and carries no risk- it is non-invasive and has been shown to be non-carcinogenic.
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