Psoriasis (squamous lichen) is a chronic, non-contagious skin disease. It affects men and women. According to statistics, 4-5% of the world population suffers from pathology.
Psoriasis can start at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 25 years. In this case, the first signs of lichen skin appear much earlier. The disease significantly reduces the patient's quality of life, creates many inconveniences and causes depression.
In our time, the causes of psoriasis have not yet been established. Doctors consider two main options that lead to the development of a skin disease:
- autoimmune diseases in the body. In this case, the lymphocytes responsible for the immune response get out of control, become aggressive and attack their own tissues;
- failure of the normal process of multiplication of skin cells (keratinocytes). The result of pathological changes, again, is the attack of lymphocytes, which protect the body from infections.
The following factors can cause cell overgrowth and immune imbalance:
- genetic inheritance;
- allergic rashes;
- thin, dry and sensitive dermis;
- constant contact with chemical irritants;
- recently transferred fungal and staphylococcal diseases;
- excessive enthusiasm for hygiene procedures;
- Taking antidepressants, antimalarial drugs or beta blockers
- regular skin damage in one place.
In the presence of a predisposition, psoriasis in adults can occur under the influence of momentary stress or prolonged physical and emotional stress.
Recent scientific research has revealed new causes for the onset of the disease:
- squamous lichen often occurs in carriers of intestinal parasites. A direct relationship was found between worm invasion and the incidence of skin lesions;
- the cause of cutaneous psoriasis is often a lack of silicon in the body. The pattern was confirmed by spectral analysis of the patients' blood.
Both points are closely related to each other, as the worms actively absorb almost all the silicon that enters the body.
In medical practice, it is customary to distinguish three degrees of severity of psoriasis. With a mild course of scaly lichen, less than 3% of the skin is affected. The intermediate stage of psoriasis is characterized by a high prevalence of psoriatic plaques - in this case, they occupy 4-10% of the dermis. In the severe course of the disease, the joints are involved in the pathological process and more than 10% of the skin is affected.
Also, psoriasis can be pustular and non-pustular. What does that mean? For pustular (exudative) skin lesions, blisters with purulent content are characteristic. This type of disease includes the following types of psoriasis:
- generalized and localized psoriasis of the Zumbusch species;
- palmoplantar or Barbera psoriasis;
- annular psoriasis;
- Allopo acrodermatitis.
Non-pustular (common) types of psoriasis:
- plaque lesion;
- erythrodermic type (occurs as a complication of simple psoriasis).
Cutaneous lichen vulgaris occurs in 90% of cases. It is not difficult to determine - it is a common form with a stable course and characteristic symptoms of psoriasis. With the transition to the erythrodermic stage, the development of the disease is complicated.
In addition to those considered, there is also psoriasis, which developed in the context of drug use, seborrheic psoriasis, lichen of skin folds and flexor surfaces, napkin psoriasis.
Squamous lichen is a systemic lesion of the entire body. It affects not only the skin, nails and hair, but also the joints and the immune and endocrine systems. The patient complains of constant lethargy, depression, irritability.
The signs of psoriasis are wavy in nature, with periods of remission and exacerbations. The severity of the lesion changes constantly and, in the same patient, it can range from mild redness to itchy plaque covering the entire body.
How to distinguish psoriasis from other skin conditions? There are classic symptoms inherent only in this disease:
- red patches (psoriatic plaques), raised above the surface of the skin by 1–2 mm and covered with dry, paraffin-like scales. They can be located anywhere;
- intense itching, especially during the exacerbation of psoriasis;
- exfoliating nails behind the bed;
- bleeding (blood dew) at the site of plaque detachment;
- sore skin, cracking and dryness.
If arthritis symptoms are added to the shingles, pain and swelling in the joints will be observed.
There are 3 stages of psoriasis:
The staging of cutaneous lichen is based on seasonality (in winter, the disease develops more actively) and on the severity of the inflammatory process. That is, the more intense the irritation, especially in stage 1 psoriasis, the stronger the body's response in the form of new skin rashes.
Forms and their symptoms
The signs of psoriasis vary depending on the location of the lesion and the stage of the disease. In different types of illness, symptoms can take on the most unexpected combinations and differ in intensity.
How is psoriasis in different forms? For example, the scalp causes dandruff-like peeling of the skin. It is located on the forehead, behind the ears and in the scalp area. The shape of the nail is characterized by a poor condition of the nails: fragility, layering, tuberosity.
The most common type of cutaneous psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. It is registered in 93% of patients. It is manifested by the presence of red spots located all over the body: on the head, back, elbows, knees and chest. A type of plaque psoriasis is tear-shaped. For him, a profuse eruption of small, dry, red papules that resemble droplets is typical.
The most severe forms of psoriasis are atropathic and exudative. The first affects the joints in the arms or legs. Arthritis of the knee and hip joints can be so severe that it leads to a wheelchair.
In exudative psoriasis, fluid-filled blisters (pustules) appear above the surface of the skin. Its damage usually leads to the development of a purulent process that requires complex treatment. In severe cases, the pustular lesion spreads throughout the body and becomes generalized.
Is psoriasis contagious?
Is psoriasis contagious? Psoriasis is an individual feature of the body that has arisen in the context of autoimmune diseases rather than as a result of exposure to bacteria and viruses. Numerous studies and practical experiences have proven that lichen skin is completely safe, and the presence of members of the same family with symptoms of psoriasis only confirms the theory of genetic inheritance.
Which doctor treats psoriasis?
If you suspect psoriasis, it is first necessary to consult a dermatologist, as they are the ones who treat skin diseases. If for any reason this specialist is absent from the local clinic, the coupon for the therapist should be postponed. This is a general practitioner who can also diagnose and prescribe psoriasis treatment. If cutaneous lichen is complicated by joint pain, you will need to see a rheumatologist.
The diagnosis of cutaneous psoriasis is straightforward and, as a rule, based on the external signs of the disease. The specialist performs a visual examination and reveals changes in the dermis that are characteristic of lichen squamous alone.
If the picture of the pathology is not obvious enough, and this is how the psoriasis is just beginning to progress, additional studies are prescribed to the patient, for example, a skin biopsy. In case of complaints of pain and swelling of the joints, an X-ray and a blood sample are taken for general analysis.
In recent years, hemoscanning has spread, for which only a drop of blood is needed. Doctors say the procedure will help not only to recognize lichen squamous in the early stages, but also to monitor the therapy's effectiveness. In any case, hemoscanning must be complemented by an external examination and other diagnostic methods.
This process is very individual. Therapy should only be performed by a qualified physician, based on symptoms, the presence of concomitant pathologies and the influence of environmental factors. The success of treatment depends a lot on the patient's age, profession, gender and stage of psoriasis.
Existing techniques are based on the increasing influence of medications on the patient's body. The course starts with milder local agents with a minimal number of adverse reactions. If they don't help, the pills are introduced into the scheme.
Consider the top psoriasis treatment methods
It is used for moderate to severe cutaneous lichen. Includes the following drug groups:
- glucocorticosteroid drugs;
- MAT (monoclonal antibodies);
- Vitamin A derivatives.
Specific treatment in adults is complemented by symptomatic therapy. If necessary, a patient with psoriasis is given antifungal or antibacterial drugs, drugs that increase metabolism and calm the central nervous system.
Treatments for psoriasis include the use of various gels and creams. In the early stages of skin disease, non-hormonal formulations are used. If they do not produce the expected effect, the patient is prescribed light hormonal ointments and then switched to stronger glucocorticosteroids.
The most effective remedy for cutaneous psoriasis is believed to be solidol-based creams.
All hormonal ointments are used only according to the doctor's instructions and after careful reading of the instructions.
Treatment of squamous lichen on the head
How to get rid of psoriasis in the head? Healing shampoos have a good effect. To avoid addiction, they are changed every 2-3 weeks.
Before using detergents, a 2% salicylic ointment or cream mask is applied to the scalp. Among water treatments, hormonal tonics are used.
Local psoriasis preparations are used in combination and only after consultation with the responsible physician. In severe cases, the patient is prescribed physical therapy procedures: ultraviolet irradiation, UV comb, photochemotherapy.
It is very important that people with psoriasis follow a diet. Various deviations from the recommended diet can aggravate psoriatic disease.
The menu must contain foods rich in silicon, lecithin and vitamin D. It is recommended to eat fish or white meat 3 to 4 times a week and give preference to products with lactic acid. In addition to a balanced diet, it is good to drink fish oil several times a year.
Can psoriasis be completely cured?
Can psoriasis be completely cured? Unfortunately, skin diseases are invincible today. Psoriasis has a chronic, slow form and progresses slowly. The prognosis is always conditionally unfavorable. Various treatments for cutaneous psoriasis temporarily improve the patient's condition but do not lead to complete recovery.
Prevention of cutaneous psoriasis disease is difficult and easy at the same time. The difficulty lies in the fact that several factors can lead to the development of the pathology, especially with genetic predisposition. At the same time, there are a number of simple measures that can protect you from skin conditions and, with psoriasis already on the way, reduce the symptoms.
Main preventive measures:
- increasing immunity, doing outdoor physical education, hardening;
- competent and complete care of the dermis of the face and body, including cleansing and hydration. For procedures with water, the use of soft cloths and neutral gels is recommended;
- strictly dosed sun exposure. Ultraviolet light in moderate amounts strengthens the skin and increases its resistance, while excess light causes skin damage and exacerbation of psoriasis;
- synthetic things should be avoided. It is advisable to buy clothes made from natural fabrics that do not cause allergies. The same applies to bed linen;
- any wounds and skin damage (callosities, diaper rash) must be healed immediately and completely;
- you should not get carried away by aggressive cosmetics and use creams that have expired. When using household chemicals, gloves and, if necessary, a mask should be worn;
- It is very important to avoid stress, emotional spikes and overwork. It is the moral factor that often becomes the main trigger of skin lichen.
Prevention of psoriasis involves a continuous intake of vitamin complexes with an increased content of ascorbic acid and immunostimulants.
If the pathology has already developed, you should pay close attention to nutrition. The exclusion of refined foods and sweets, smoked meats, marinades and alcohol from the diet in more than a third of the patients eliminates the manifestations of skin lesions.
Despite the long and difficult treatment of psoriasis, it is impossible to completely overcome it. But complying with all the doctor's prescriptions and implementing preventive measures will guarantee remission for many years.