Causes and signs of psoriasis

psoriasis exam by a doctor

Psoriasis- a disease that is manifested by the appearance of a rash in the form of pinkish plaques with silvery scales, often accompanied by itching. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. At the heart of the disease are not fully understood processes.

Psoriasis is a mysterious enemy

In psoriasis, skin cells start dividing 6 to 10 times faster than they should. This leads to chronic skin inflammation and peeling.

Scientists have been researching psoriasis for many decades, but there is no clear answer to the question "Why does psoriasis appear? "Modern science still does not. This disease is not contagious, but it can be inherited. Exacerbations can provoke a variety of external and internal factors: stress, skin trauma, use of certain medications (usually antibiotics), alcohol abuse, infectious diseases (caused by streptococci, viruses), etc.

The manifestations of psoriasis are diverse: the surface of the lesion may be dry or weepy, various parts of the body may be affected. Some patients have knees and elbows, others have palms and soles, and others have large folds of skin or mucous membranes or nail plates. Sometimes psoriasis affects a very large area of the body, sometimes it is located only in limited areas and never spreads.

Without exaggeration, we can say that psoriasis is one of the most mysterious diseases. Scientists have already discovered what exactly happens in the body of a psoriasis patient and how to alleviate their condition, but it is still unclear what causes these pathological changes and how they can be prevented.

Winston Churchill has struggled with psoriasis all his life and vowed to erect a golden monument to a doctor who would solve the riddle of this disease and find an effective treatment. Unfortunately, the prize never found its owner.

Why does psoriasis appear?

Science does not know the exact reasons, however, over the years of studying the problem, several hypotheses have been formed:

  • autoimmune theory. It's all about increasing the concentration of T lymphocytes, which leads to constant inflammation of the affected area of the skin. The body seems to begin to perceive its own skin as an aggressor.
  • Hereditary theory that explains psoriasis as a DNA defect.
  • Endocrine theory, according to which psoriasis occurs due to disturbances in the functioning of the endocrine system, in particular the pituitary gland and the thyroid gland.
  • exchange theory. Scientists have found that psoriasis patients have problems with lipid and nitrogen metabolism, as well as an increased toxin content in the body.

All these theories have a right to exist, but so far none of them have been fully proven. Therefore, the modern treatment of psoriasis is aimed at reducing the severity of symptoms, reducing the recurrence of the disease and the general improvement of the body.

Symptoms similar to psoriasis were described in detail in ancient Roman medical treatises. However, in those days, psoriasis was often confused with other skin diseases of completely different origin. For the first time, psoriasis was recognized as an independent disease only in 1799, and as a non-infectious pathology - only at the end of the 19th century.

Who is affected?

Psoriasis does not distinguish between the sexes - both women and men are equally often sick with it. Typically, psoriasis appears at a young age - the peak occurs at 15-25 years. However, if you did not have psoriasis in your youth, this does not mean that the danger has passed - sometimes the first manifestation of psoriasis appears at the age of about 50-60 years. The good news is that people who develop psoriasis later in life experience less severe psoriasis. According to the WHO, if one of the parents suffers from psoriasis, the risk of developing the disease in a child is approximately 14%, and if both - 41%. However, children of parents who have never encountered this nuisance also suffer from psoriasis. According to statistics, psoriasis most often affects people with thin, fair and dry skin.

The first symptoms of the disease

Psoriasis starts unnoticed: in the first stage of development, the disease affects small areas of the skin, usually in the creases of the limbs, scalp and along the hairline. Sometimes the first manifestations of psoriasis occur at the site of constant mechanical irritation of the skin, that is, where clothing presses and rubs. First, a person feels itchy and tight skin, then small raised islands of red, scaly skin appear. In these spots appear grayish dead skin flakes, similar to wax chips, which separate easily. Sometimes these plates get wet, crusts of lamellar scales of a yellowish color are formed on their surface. When these are removed, a weeping, bloody surface is exposed. Gradually, the plaques grow and fuse together, affecting more and more large areas of the skin.

Signs of psoriasis of different types

There are several types of psoriasis:

  • seborrheic psoriasis. Most often it occurs on the scalp. Manifested by itching and scaling, it spreads to the area behind the ears and the skin along the hairline.
  • exudative psoriasis. With this type of psoriasis, the affected areas of skin not only flake off, but also become wet, and yellowish crusts appear on the surface of the papules (nodules of the rash).
  • Intertriginous psoriasis. More typical for children. In this type of psoriasis, the patches are bright red with little or no scaling. Sometimes the boards are wet. Parents often confuse this type of psoriasis with diaper rash.
  • plantar psoriasis. Occurs on the soles and palms of the hands. It is manifested by thickening of the skin, dryness, cracking.
  • Chronic psoriasis is manifested by large plaques that do not disappear for a long time, sometimes neoplasms appear - warts and papillomas.
  • Rupioid psoriasis is a form of chronic psoriasis. Crusts appear on the plates, and gradually the plate becomes taller, taking the shape of a cone.
  • Guttate psoriasis is characterized by a profuse rash consisting of many small papules.
  • Psoriasis of the nail plates (psoriatic onychia) causes deformation of the nails, the appearance of yellowish-brown spots under them. A common type of psoriasis, which occurs in 25% of patients with this disease.
  • Mucous psoriasis affects the oral cavity and causes papules to appear on the mucous membranes.

The frequency of psoriatic manifestations

The course of psoriasis is cyclical. In the progressive stage, itchy plaques or a small rash appear, which gradually merge into one spot. After 1-4 weeks, the propagation of the plates stops, they are covered with silvery scales. This is called the stationary stage. A regressive stage follows, when the plaques gradually disappear. However, don't be fooled - this doesn't mean recovery has arrived. If psoriasis is not treated, everything will repeat itself from the beginning, and after a while, the stages will begin to change constantly, and exacerbations will become almost monthly.

Psoriasis can and should be treated. If measures are not taken in time, psoriasis will quickly turn into a chronic stage and it will be extremely difficult to get rid of it. For the treatment of psoriasis today, medical methods, physical therapy and local remedies for external use are used - ointments and creams for psoriasis, the effectiveness of which is quite high.

However, it should be noted that before starting to use any medicine for psoriasis, you should consult your doctor. At least because a non-specialist cannot make a diagnosis on his own.