What causes psoriasis
Although there is no cause for psoriasis yet, scientists suspect it happens when the immune system malfunctions. This causes new skin cells to form and replace old ones. While skin cells are normally replaced every 10-30 days, new cells in psoriasis grow every 3-4 days. This can lead to a buildup.
What is the treatment for psoriasis?
There is no cure for psoriasis. However, there are many treatment options. The growth of new skin cells can be slowed and the symptoms such as itching and dry skin can be relieved with medication. The treatment plan for each person is different depending on their skin condition, size, location, and age. Mild psoriasis treatment options include moisturizers, steroid creams and coal tar (available as lotions, creams foams, shampoos, and bath solutions), vitamin D cream or ointment, and retinoid and retinoid crèmes.
A dermatologist might recommend light therapy for moderate to severe cases. This involves the application of ultraviolet light on the skin that slows down the growth of new cells. It also includes biologic treatments that block an overactive immune system; enzyme inhibitors; as well as other treatments.
What are the signs?
A rash of psoriasis can be caused by cuts, scrapes or stress.
- Plaques with red skin are often covered in silver scales
- Although patches can appear anywhere, they are more common on the knees, elbows or lower back.
- Itchy, painful areas can become cracked or bleeding from the irritation.
- Discoloration of fingernails or toenails
- Nails that fall off the nail bed or break off
- Plaques of crust or scales on the scalp