Psoriasis is a common skin disease that affects the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, forming thick silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful. Psoriasis is a persistent, long-lasting (chronic) disease. You may have periods when your psoriasis symptoms improve or go into remission alternating with times your psoriasis worsens.
The cause of psoriasis isn't fully known, but it's thought to be related to the immune system and its interaction with the environment in people who have the genetic susceptibility. More specifically, one key cell is a type of white blood cell called a T lymphocyte or T cell. Normally, T cells travel throughout the body to detect and fight off foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria. If you have psoriasis, however, the T cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake, as if to heal a wound or to fight an infection.
Overactive T cells trigger other immune responses. The effects include dilation of blood vessels in the skin around the plaques and an increase in other white blood cells that can enter the outer layer of skin. These changes result in an increased production of both healthy skin cells and more T cells and other white blood cells. This causes an ongoing cycle in which new skin cells move to the outermost layer of skin too quickly - in days rather than weeks. Dead skin and white blood cells can't slough off quickly enough and build up in thick, scaly patches on the skin's surface. This usually doesn't stop unless treatment interrupts the cycle.
Just what causes T cells to malfunction in people with psoriasis isn't entirely clear, although researchers think genetic and environmental factors both play a role.
Psoriasis typically starts or worsens because of a trigger that you may be able to identify and avoid. Factors that may trigger psoriasis include:
- Infections, such as strep throat or thrush
- Injury to the skin, such as a cut or scrape, bug bite, or a severe sunburn
- Cold weather
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Certain medications - including lithium, which is prescribed for bipolar disorder; high blood pressure medications such as beta blockers; antimalarial drugs; and iodides
Psoriasis signs and symptoms can vary from person to person but may include one or more of the following:
- Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
- Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning or soreness
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. Mild cases of psoriasis may be a nuisance; more-severe cases can be painful, disfiguring and disabling.
Most types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time or even going into complete remission. In most cases, however, the disease eventually returns.
Several types of psoriasis exist. These include:
- Plaque psoriasis. The most common form, plaque psoriasis causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques itch or may be painful and can occur anywhere on your body, including your genitals and the soft tissue inside your mouth.
- Nail psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration.
- Scalp psoriasis. Psoriasis on the scalp appears as red, itchy areas with silvery-white scales.
- Guttate psoriasis. This primarily affects people younger than 30 and is usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. It is marked by small, water-drop-shaped sores on your trunk, arms, legs and scalp. The sores are covered by a fine scale and aren't as thick as typical plaques are.
- Inverse psoriasis. Mainly affecting the skin in the armpits, in the groin, under the breasts and around the genitals, inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin. It's more common in overweight people and is worsened by friction and sweating.
- Pustular psoriasis. This uncommon form of psoriasis can occur in widespread patches (generalized pustular psoriasis) or in smaller areas on your hands, feet or fingertips. It generally develops quickly, with pus-filled blisters appearing just hours after your skin becomes red and tender. The blisters dry within a day or two, but may reappear every few days or weeks. Generalized pustular psoriasis can also cause fever, chills, severe itching and fatigue.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis. The least common type of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis can cover your entire body with a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely. It may be triggered by severe sunburn, by corticosteroids and other medications, or by another type of psoriasis that is poorly controlled.
- Psoriatic arthritis. In addition to inflamed, scaly skin, psoriatic arthritis causes pitted, discolored nails and the swollen, painful joints that are typical of arthritis. It can also lead to inflammatory eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint. Although the disease usually isn't as crippling as other forms of arthritis, it can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage that in the most serious cases may lead to permanent deformity.
Depending on the type and location of the psoriasis and how widespread the disease is, psoriasis can cause complications. These include:
- Thickened skin and bacterial skin infections caused by scratching in an attempt to relieve severe itching
- Fluid and electrolyte imbalance in the case of severe pustular psoriasis
- Low self-esteem
- Social isolation
At this stage homoeopathy can play a pivotal role in strengthening the immune system to prevent further complications.
The homeopathic approach in selecting the medicine whereby a range of questions are asked to the patient and based on the analysis and evaluation of various symptoms, a remedy is selected for the individual case. Homeopathic treatment is 'individual specific and not disease specific.'
The treatments are non suppressive & non invasive so do not provide only temporary relief but helps to find the root cause of the underlying condition.
Skin disorders are often the end result of inner, emotional stresses. Our programs at Bodhin would help you by relieving these symptoms.
Not only the genetic susceptibility and environmental influences (smoking, chemical injuries), but also the inner environment of the patient (inner and intellectual pollution, emotional shocks, sorrow, suppressed anger) is of special importance in the analysis of cases of cancer. So the inner process of the patient must be understood and accompanied with the understanding of the external factors. We, at bodhin assess all these factors and hence provide relief to our patients. We improve the quality of life that gets affected due to suffering from serious diseases as cancer. We believe that a central approach for a successful cure is that the patient should be internally relaxed, calm and happy.
Date: 4th Feb, 2014:
World Cancer Day
Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world, according to WHO, which estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Read More
Date: 14th March, 2014:
World Kidney Day
World Kidney Day was first celebrated in 2006, and from that date on, the world still celebrates this world day with a different theme and certain massages every year. Read More