What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a noncontagious skin disorder that most commonly appears as inflamed, edematous skin lesions covered with a silvery white scale. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis and is characterized by patches on the scalp, trunk and limbs. The nails may be pitted and/or thickened. In rare instances it has been reported to manifest oral mucous membrane lesions. Psoriasis can be seen in people of any age, from babies to senior, most commonly patients are first diagnosed in their early adult years. Psoriasis is uncommon in children, and seldom does a primary attack occur after the age of 45 years. Psoriasis is slightly more common in women
What are the Causes of Psoriasis?
The causes of psoriasis are not fully understood. It is not purely a skin disorder and can have a negative impact on many organ systems.
- Psoriasis is generally considered a genetic disease, though to be triggered or influenced by environmental factors
- Life style:-worsening of the disease includes chronic infection, stress and changes in season and climate. Other factors include hot water, scratching psoriasis skin lesions, skin dryness, excessive alcohol, smoking and obesity
- HIV:-people with advanced HIV often exhibit psoriasis. Psoriasis tend to be more severe in people infected with HIV
- Medication:-drug induced psoriasis may occur with beta blockers, lithium, antimicrobial medication, ca channel blockers, captopril, interleukins, lipid lowering drugs
- Withdrawal of corticosteroids can aggravate psoriasis due to the rebound effect of corticosteroids
- Psoriasis has been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases and other immune mediated disorders such as crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
What are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?
- Although psoriasis plaques can be limited to only a few small areas, the condition can involve wide spread areas of skin anywhere on the body.
- Psoriasis of the skin is characterized by the occurrence of small, sharply delineated, dry papules, each covered by a delicate silvery scale which has been described as resembling a thin layer of mica.
- If the deep scales are removed, one or more tiny bleeding poins are disclosed, a characteristic features termed Auspitz’s sign. After removal of the scale the surface of the skin is red and dusky in appearance
- The skin lesions which are painful and seldom pruritic, may be few in number or extensive in distribution. Large plaques of irregular outline formed by the union of smaller lesions. They are roughly symmetrical and are most freqjuently grouped on the elbows and knees, the scalp, back and chest, face and abdomen.
- New lesions slowly arise over a period of weeks, months or even years. The disease may remain static for a long time, progress slowly to involve more and more skin area, or exhibit acute generalized exaserbations.
- The disease is more severe in the winter and less severe in the summer as a result of increased exposure to ultraviolet light; patients who move to a warm sunny climate usually undergo improvement in their condition.
- Arthritis:-Arthritis is a complication in about 12 percent of persons with psoriasis.
- Nail psoriasis:-
What are the oral Symptoms of Psoriasis?
Psoriatic involvement of oral mucosa is extremely rare. Psoriatic lesions have been reported on the lips, buccal mucosa, palate, gingiva and floor of the mouth. Clinically they are described as gray or yellowish-white plaque; as salivary white, scaly lesions with an erythematous base; as multiple popular eruptions which may be ulcerated with a scaly surface.
What is the Treatment for Psoriasis?
Since psoriasis mainly affects the skin, topical treatments are very useful because they are relatively safe, quite effective and can be applied directly to the disease. Treatments for more general or advanced psoriasis include UV-A light, retinoid, cyclosporine, methotrexate particularly for arthritis. UV light exposure can treat large areas of skin with few side effects. Laser therapy is quite effective for small plaques of psoriasis.