Psoriasis disease develops due to a combination of immune, genetic, and environmental factors, said Dr. S Ravi, Consultant Dermatology and Cosmetology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Mysuru.
He also mentioned that smoking can also increase the risk and severity of Psoriasis, particularly for Psoriasis of the palms and soles.
"Our skin is our most sensitive as well as the most exposed sense organ. Not only it receives all the attention but is also most perceptible to several infections especially in the present days with the harsh environmental changes and consumption of inorganic eatables. Thanks to the availability of the internet, there are a lot of misconceptions that can happen with any disease that occurs. Being the sensitive organ that skin is, applying anything on it or taking in medicine without proper knowledge can cause more harm than benefit. One such disease of the skin which needs to be better understood is Psoriasis, which is a chronic skin disorder that causes areas of thickened, inflamed, red skin, often covered with silvery scales. Children and adolescents can develop Psoriasis, but it occurs primarily in adults irrespective of gender. However, Psoriasis is not an infection and is not contagious," he said.
The most common symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Dry or red areas of skin usually covered with silvery-white scales, and sometimes with raised edges, rashes on the scalp, genitals, or in the skin folds
- Itching and skin pain
- Joint pain, swelling, or stiffness
- Nail abnormalities such as pitted, discoloured, or crumbly nails.
Psoriasis Causes & Risk Factors
The immune system has a crucial role in the skin changes that occur during Psoriasis. In skin affected by Psoriasis, immune cells enter the skin blood vessels and cause the epidermis to grow very rapidly and to stop shedding properly. This causes thickening of the skin, the scaly build-up composed of dead skin cells and the red colour. About 40 per cent of people with Psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis has family members with the disorder. Infections due to bacteria or virus, consumption of alcohol, and some specific medications (including beta blockers, lithium, and anti-malarial drugs) are likely to affect a person’s risk of developing Psoriasis or even worsen the symptoms. Smoking can increase the risk and severity of Psoriasis, particularly for Psoriasis of the palms and soles.
People may experience the following side effects
Thinning of the skin and stretch marks (particularly when applied to normal skin) are the major side-effects a person can suffer after being affected by Psoriasis. These effects are most likely to occur when topical corticosteroids are used for long periods of time.
Medications should be used properly to reduce the risk for these side effects and should be used only on the prescription of a qualified dermatologist.