Introduction to Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic disease in which skin cells grow too quickly, resulting in the development of thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin. It develops when a person’s immune system sends faulty signals that cause skin cells to grow too quickly, as a result new skin cells form in days rather than weeks. The body does not shed these excess skin cells. The skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear.
Normally, skin cells grow gradually and shed off about every 4 weeks. New skin cells grow to replace the outer layers of the skin as they flake off.
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. Most commonly effected areas include knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet, or lower back.
Psoriasis is most common in adults. But children and teens can also be a victim.
Impacts on Social Life
Psoriasis has a profound impact on patients’ everyday life as well as quality of life. The burden of the disease extends beyond physical manifestations and includes significant physical, social and psychological impairment. Numerous studies have demonstrated the significant negative impact of psoriasis on quality of life.
The family members of patients with psoriasis experience a wide range of detrimental effects on their lives with regards to psychological social and lifestyle modifications, interpersonal relationships, financial issues, family activities, sleep and issues related to the practical care of the patients. Thus psoriasis affects patients’ social life, daily activities, and sexual functioning.
Having psoriasis can be embarrassing, and many people, especially teens, avoid swimming and other situations where patches can show. But there are many types of treatment that can help keep psoriasis under control.
Causes of Psoriasis
Psoriasis may look contagious, but it’s absolutely not. You cannot get Psoriasis from touching someone who has Psoriasis. You cannot get psoriasis from swimming in the same pool or having sex. Experts believe that psoriasis occurs when the immune system overreacts, causing inflammation and flaking of skin. In some cases, psoriasis runs in families.
To get psoriasis, a person must inherit the genes that cause it. Scientists have learned that a person’s immune system and genes play important roles. It seems that many genes must interact to cause psoriasis. Scientists also know that not everyone who inherits the genes for psoriasis will get psoriasis. It seems that a person must inherit the “right” mix of genes. Then the person must be exposed to a trigger.
Many people say that their psoriasis began after they experienced one of these common psoriasis triggers:
- A stressful event.
- Strep throat.
- Taking certain medicines, such as lithium, or medicine to prevent malaria.
- Cold, dry weather.
- A cut, scratch, or bad sunburn.
People with psoriasis often notice times when their skin gets worse. Things that can cause these flare-ups include a cold and dry climate, infections, stress, dry skin, and taking certain medicines.
Why choose Cosmetique Clinic
What we promise at Cometique is:
- Expertise and experience. Cosmetique Dermatology Clinic doctors have extensive experience treating children and adults who have psoriasis.
- Specialized treatment. Cosmetique offers all treatments for this disease, including one for moderate to severe psoriasis that’s not available at many places. The Goeckerman treatment, which involves daily ultraviolet light exposure and application of coal tar over the whole body.
- The right diagnosis. Each form of psoriasis has unique characteristics, and their effects on people range from mild to almost totally disabling. Your doctor will work with you to determine the correct diagnosis, which is essential for effective treatment.
How many people have psoriasis
Psoriasis is a fairly common skin condition and is estimated to affect approximately 1%-3% of the U.S. population. It currently affects roughly 7.5 million to 8.5 million people in the U.S. It is seen worldwide in about 125 million people. Interestingly, African Americans have about half the rate of psoriasis as Caucasians.