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Psoriasis is a long-term (chronic) skin disease. “PSORA” means itching, sis – action, also termed as psoriasis vulgaris. It causes skin cells to grow too quickly, resulting in thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin. Normally, skin cells grow gradually and flake off about every 4 weeks. New skin cells grow to replace the outer layers of the skin as they shed. But in psoriasis, new skin cells move rapidly to the surface of the skin in days rather than weeks. They build up and form thick patches called plaques. The patches range in size from small to large. They most often appear on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet or lower back. Psoriasis is most common in adults. But children and teens can get it too.
Generally experts believe that psoriasis occurs when the immune system over-reacts, causing inflammation and flaking of skin. In some cases, psoriasis runs in families. Psoriasis flares up in cold climatic weather, infections, stress, taking certain medicines.
Psoriasis is not contagious. It cannot be spread by touch from person to person.
PLAQUE PSORIASIS – Is the most common form and affects 85%–90% of people with psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis typically appears as raised areas of inflamed skin covered with silvery white scaly skin. These areas are called plaques and are most commonly found on the elbows, knees, scalp, and back. It may be accompanied by severe itching, swelling and pain.
PUSTULAR PSORIASIS - Appears as raised bumps filled with noninfectious pus. The skin under and surrounding the pustules is red and tender. Pustular psoriasis can be localized, commonly to the hands and feet or generalized with widespread patches occurring randomly on any part of the body.
INVERSE PSORIASIS –(also known as flexural psoriasis) appears as smooth inflamed patches of skin. The patches frequently affect skin folds particularly around the genitals (between the thigh and groin), the armpits, in the skin folds of an overweight abdomen, between the buttocks in the intergluteal cleft, and under the breasts in the inflammatory fold.
GUTTATE PSORIASIS – is characterized by numerous small, scaly, red or pink, teardrop-shaped lesions (papules). These numerous spots of psoriasis appear over large areas of the body, primarily the trunk, but also the limbs and scalp. Guttate psoriasis is often preceded by a streptococcal infection.
ORAL PSORIASIS - is very rare. Another common papulo squamous disorder that commonly involves both the skin and mouth. When psoriasis involves the oral mucosa (the lining of the mouth), it may be asymptomatic,but it may appear as white or grey-yellow plaques. FissuredTongue is the most common finding in those with oral psoriasis and affecting the skin.
1. Symptoms appear in different ways. Psoriasis can be mild, with small areas of rash.
2. When psoriasis is moderate or severe, the skin gets inflamed with raised red areas topped with loose, silvery, scaling skin.
3. If psoriasis is severe, the skin becomes itchy and tender. And sometimes large patches form and may be uncomfortable. The patches can join together and cover large areas of skin, such as the entire back.
4. Psoriasis can also affect the bones/ various joints of body leading to complaints of arthritis such as bony joint pains, restricted joint movement & sometimes joint deformity.