Psoriasis is a recurring, chronic disease characterized by various-sized plaques (or raised patches) and silvery scaling bumps. An abnormal high growth rates and skin cells turnover results in scaling. Rapid cell growth reason is unknown, but immune mechanism suggests to play role. Psoriasis frequently runs in families.

The disease is common, affecting 2 to 4% of whites; while African Americans are less likely to have psoriasis. Psoriasis starts mostly in individuals ages ten to fourty; although, individuals of all ages may get this disease. The disease generally begins as 1 or more small psoriatic plaques, which become excessively flaky. Small bumps can progress around the region. Although, the first plaque can clean by itself, other can follow soon. Some plaques can grow to cover large body regions, while others can remain thumbnail-sized.

Psoriasis usually involves the buttocks, back, knees, elbows, and scalp. The flakes can be mistaken for severe dandruff, but the Psoriasis patchy nature with flaking parts interspersed among entirely normal ones, distinguishes the Psoriasis from dundruff. Psoriasis may also break out under and around the nails, making nails deformed and thick. The groin, navel, armpits and eyebrows can also be affected.

Generally, Psoriasis produces only flaking. Even itching is not common. When flaking regions heal, the skin looks completely normal, and growth of hair remains unchanged. However, Psoriasis Treatmentsome people experience severe effects do to Psoriasis and have extensive psoriasis. In very rare cases, this condition covers the whole body and produces exfoliative psoriatic dermatitis, where the entire skin is inflamed. Such type of psoriasis is serious, because it keeps the skin from serving as a protecting barrier against infection and injury. In other very rare types of psoriasis, called pustular psoriasis, small and large pustules (small pus- filled pimples) form on the feet soles and hands palms. In some cases, such pustules scatter on the body.

Psoriasis can flare up without any reason, or can be caused by any medicated cream or ointment, beta-blocker medications, severe sunborn, lithium, antimalaria medications, and skin irritation. Psoriasis also may be caused by scratches, bruises, and streptococcal infection, particularly, in children. In the beginning, Psoriasis can be misdiagnosed, because various other diseases may produce similar flaking and plaques. As psoriasis progresses, the specific scaling pattern is generally easy for a dermatologist to define, so, diagnostic test is commonly not needed. However, to confirm psoriasis diagnosis, a dermatologist can make a skin biopsy.

When individuals have only few plaques, psoriasis responds fast to treatment. Applying creams and ointments, that are lubricating the skin (emollients) one or two times a day may keep the person’s skin moist. Ointment consisting of corticosteroid is effective and its effectiveness may be enchanced by applying it and after that , wrapping the region in cellophane.

For many individuals, Vitamin D cream is also helpful. Creams and ointments consisting of coal tar or salicylic acid are also prescribed to treat psoriasis. Most of such medications are applied 2 times a day to the damaged areas. Stronger drugs, such as anthralin, may be used sometimes, but can irritate the skin and stain clothing and sheets. If the scalp is affected, shampoos consisting of such active ingredients, are frequently used. Ultraviolet lights may help to clear up psoriasis. During the summer exposed, affected areas can clear up by themselves. Sunbathing frequently helps clear plaques on body’s larger regions; ultraviolet light exposure is another common form of treatment.

For severe cases of psoriasis, such light treatment can be combined with drugs called Psoralens, that make a person’s skin extremely sensitive to the ultraviolet light effects. The combination of PUVA (ultraviolet light) and Psoralens are generally effective and can clear up the person’s skin for few months. However, ultraviolet light (PUVA) therapy may increase the risk of skin cancer. Such treatment should be supervised by the dermatologist. For widespread psoriasis and serious psoriasis types, a doctor can prescribe Methotrexate. Such drug interferes with skin cell multiplication and growth of skin cells. A dermatologist prescribes Methotrexate for individuals who do not respond to other types of therapy. It may be effective in severe psoriasis , but can result in adverse reaction on the liver, kidneys, and bone marrow. Another effective drug called Cyclosporine also has severe adverse reactions.

The 2 most effective drugs for treatment of pustular psoriasis are Isotretinoin and Etretinate. Tazarotene (tazorac) topical gel also might be helpful. Other common brand names for the treatment of the condition out on the market right now include: Clobex, Deltasone, Dovonex, Kenalog, and Enbrel.

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