Psoriasis: Symptoms, Causes,Types, Diagnosis, Cure, General Home Care And Home Remedies of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is one of the most stubborn skin diseases. It is an inflammatory disease characterized by thick, red, silvery, scaled patches of skin. This disease affects both sexes equally. It may appear at any age but most often at the age ranging from .15 to 30 years. It is, however, rare in infancy and old age. Psoriasis is not contagious.
There are two main types of psoriasis" acute and chronic. There are many patients who have chronic psoriatic lesions on the elbows and knees. They suffer from acute outbursts fr9m time to time, when the disease affects large are as of the body. Others have a few chronic lesions at the affected sites and never suffer from severe outbursts. There are many degrees of severity between these two extremes.
It is estimated that between one and four per cent of the world's population may have visible psoriasis at any one time. There is a higher incidence of this disease among the inhabitants of cold damp countries like Iceland than those of dry warm climate. The most commonly affected areas are usually those shaded from the sun by hair or clothing. It would thus appear that a psoriatic skin requires an abnormal amount of exposure to sunlight.
Generally, the skin of the person suffering from psoriasis appears red and irritated and may be covered with bright silvery scales. The scales are composed of thin layers of dead abnormal skin cells. Sometimes there is itching. Areas usually involved are elbows, knees, and the skin behind the ears, trunk and scalp. It mostly appears first at the back of the 'elbows' and the front of the knees.
The disease may also affect the underarm and genital areas. In some cases, it may be restricted to the scalp, where it is often confused with dandruff. The lesions vary from one or two small-localized patches to an extensive spread over the body. Quite often, they are discs from half an inch to several inches in size. In severe cases, it may disfigure almost the whole body, which can adversely affect the skin's ability to control the body's temperature and thereby prove greatly hazardous. The lesions of psoriasis are always dry and rarely become infected.
The modern medical system has not been able to establish the exact cause of psoriasis. The main cause of the disease appears to be the faulty utilization of fats. It has been noted that persons with this abnormality have excessive amounts of cholesterol in their skin and blood. Recent studies have shown that psoriasis involves an abnormality in the mechanism in which the skin grows and replaces itself. This abnormality is related to the metabolism of amino acids, the protein chemicals which are nature's basic building blocks for the reproduction of cell tissues.
Heredity also plays a role in the development of psoriasis, as it tends to occur in families. About 30 percent of the patients have a family history of the disease. Occasionally it misses a generation and then appears in some members of the next one.
The factors that aggravate or precipitate the outbreak of psoriasis are injury to skin in the form of cuts, burns, minor abrasions, changes in the seasons, defective kidney elimination, infections and the use of certain, medicines for the treatment of other disease. Chronic psoriasis is occasionally linked with deep repressed emotional factors and severity and chronicity of the eruptions depend on the psychological state of the patient.
Dermatologists diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin and noting specific characteristics of the lesions. Occasionally they may need to biopsy the lesion and examine the skin under a microscope to confirm diagnosis. There are no blood tests or other laboratory tests available for establishing diagnosis.
Treatment is focused on control of the symptoms and prevention of secondary infections. It varies with the extent and severity of the disorder. Severe or resistant cases may require intensive treatment.
Psoriasis lesions that cover all or most of the body are an emergency symptom that require hospitalization. The disorder may be acutely painful. The body loses vast quantities of fluid and is susceptible to severe secondary infections that can become systemic, involve internal organs and even progress to septic shock and death. Treatment includes analgesics, sedation, intravenous fluids, and antibiotics.
General Home Care for Psoriasis
Keep skin lubricated. Oils, creams and petroleum jelly preparations are suggested.
Use a humidifier in the home.
Get out in the sun. Be careful not to burn. Exposing only the areas of your body with active psoriasis may be optimal.
Bathing in hot water may help reduce scaling.
Use mild soaps or soap-free cleaners.
Protect against skin injuries and skin infections.
Home Remedies of Psoriasis
Cabbage leaves are used in the form of compresses in the treatment of psoriasis. The thickest and greenest outer leaves are most effective for use as compresses.
The oil of avocado and oil extracted from cashew nut has been found beneficial in the treatment of this disease. It should be applied gently to the affected parts
The use of curd in the form of buttermilk has proved useful in psoriasis and the patient should drink it in liberal quantities. The application of buttermilk compresses over the affected parts will also be useful in treating this condition
Vitamin E therapy has been found effective in the treatment of psoriasis. The patient should take this vitamin in therapeutic doses of 400 mg a day. It will help reduce itching and scab formation
Lecithin is also considered a remarkable remedy for psoriasis. The patient may take six to nine lecithin capsules a day-two or three capsules before or after each meal. If taken in the form of granules, four tablespoonfuls may be taken daily for two months. The dosage may be reduced thereafter to two tablespoons
Bitter gourd is a valuable remedy for psoriasis. A cup of fresh juice of this vegetable, mixed with a teaspoon of limejuice, should be taken sip by sip, on an empty stomach daily for four to six months
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