Psoriasis is a skin condition, causing red patches of skin and skin flaking. It can have different degrees of severity, affecting only a certain part of the body or all of it. There isn’t a lot known about its cause and there is no known cure, but the symptoms are known and treatment to relieve those suffering from it is possible. It’s not contagious, but the effects last a lifetime.
It most often occurs between the ages of 16 to 22 or between 57 to 60, fairly evenly affecting women and men. Interestingly it affects Caucasians (2.5%) more than African Americans (1.3%).
The disease is not particular about who it affects. America’s Next Top Model of 2006 CariDee English, actor Jerry Mathers of Leave It To Beaver, American novelist John Updike and even Joseph Stalin, to name a few, have all had the condition.
The name itself comes from Greek, “psora” which meant to itch. Psoriasis was included with skin conditions called tzaraat in the Old Testament. It was also once confused for Leprosy, although modern diagnosis clearly defines the differences in the two. So Man has been aware of the condition for a long time, even if he didn’t always know what he was looking at. In 1841 a Viennese dermatologist, Erdinanan von Hebra, gave psoriasis its name.
Physical injuries, ranging from sunburn and vaccinations to scratches, have been observed to bring it on. The Psychiatric drug Lithium can bring it on, as well as some heart medications and high blood medications, and even one arthritic medication (Indomethacin).
There are several symptoms–red patches of raised, inflamed skin covered with silky white scales are the most common. It can be seen as bumps filled with pus (again, not contagious) often on the hands and feet. Smooth red areas of irritated skin can occur in folds of the body. Some cases solely affect the nails, damaging the nail itself and the skin right under it. It can also affect the scalp, causing scales to come off the scalp and causing increased hair loss. It can be seen in a number of tiny red ovals over different areas of the body. Its most serious form is when red patches of inflamed skin cover the whole body and hospitalization is required.
A dermatologist should be consulted if the condition is suspected. A biopsy will determine if the condition is present or if it’s some form of dermatitis or other condition. If one has any of the above symptoms definitely an examination should be done. Once the condition itself is spotted the specific type of Psoriasis can then be known and treated.
If the condition itself is known, treatments only focus on controlling and relieving the condition. A cure isn’t known at this time. But it can be brought down to a manageable level with a natural dry skin treatment. Using a good lotion for dry skin can help the thing to be managed or soothed. Look for natural skin care products containing lanolin. The right natural skin care product can do wonders at relieving the itch. Washing the affected skin area daily helps, as well as direct exposure to sunlight, while avoiding sunburn. A word of warning–taking medications to the maximum level in an effort to wipe out the condition can bring about undesired side effects. Definitely in all cases where treatment is to be undertaken a dermatologist should be consulted to determine the exact treatment and to monitor the effects.
Knowing more about the condition can help one to be less effect of the condition if one has it. One needn’t suffer; the condition can be managed, and a natural dry skin treatment is recommended.