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Definition of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic immune mediated type of medical conditionwhich is known for affecting the skin. Contrary to the popular belief, thisdisease is not contagious. The main causes of psoriasis are the faulty signalssent by the patient’s immune system which triggers the accelerated growth cycleof one’s skin cells. In some cases, psoriasis may be held responsible for theonset of stroke.

There are five different forms of psoriasis and those includeerythodermic psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, guttatepsoriasis and plaque psoriasis, which is the most common one of them all. Psoriasisoccurs chronically and its severity may range from mild to severe. Thecondition may be minor by involving only localized patches or it can cover thecomplete body. Psoriasis is also known for often affecting the toenails andfingernails. Another big problem associated with psoriasis is that there aremore than 25 percent of people affected by it who also suffer from psoriaticarthritis. The exact cause of psoriasis cannot be exactly pinpointed but it isunderstood that it definitely has something to do with certain geneticcomponents. There are a large number of environmental factors which are knownfor aggravating the existing condition and the most common ones includewithdrawal of systemic corticosteroids and stress. Psoriasis is very hard andcomplicated when it comes to proper treatment methods, mainly due to the factthat it has a chronic and a recurrent nature. But in spite of that, there arenumerous treatment options available for all those who suffer from differenttypes of psoriasis.

Signs, Symptoms and Classification

Plaque psoriasis is characterized by white and red hues ofscaly patches which occur on the topmost layer of the skin medicinally referredto as epidermis. This is the most common form of psoriasis and thanks to thatfact there are a large number of patients who do not experience anydermatological symptoms. This type of psoriasis is also known for commonlyfeaturing the rapid accumulation of skin at the areas of the body affected bythe condition and due to the accumulation these areas have a slight silver orwhite appearance. The most commonly affected areas of the skin include theknees, elbows, genitals, soles of feet, palms of hands and the scalp. Anothercommon type of psoriasis is the one referred to as pustular psoriasis and it ischaracterized by raised bumps which are filled with pus. Contrary to thepopular belief, the pus from those bumps is not infectious. The affected areasof the skin are commonly tender and red. The condition may affect local areasof the skin or it may involve widespread patches. Pustular psoriasis can befurther classified into impetigo herpetiformis, acrodermatitis continua,annular pustular psoriasis, pustulosis Palmaris et plantaris and generalizedpustular psoriasis. There are also certain types of nonpustular psoriasis butthe two most common ones include psoriatic erythoderma and psoriasis vulgaris.Psoriatic erythoderma is a medical condition characterized by skin exfoliationand inflammatory condition over the entire body, commonly accompanied bypainful sensations, swelling and severe itching. It may sometimes involve disruptedability to regulate the body temperature so it may put the patient’s life indanger. Psoriasis vulgaris is much less severe. There are also several othertypes of psoriasis such as migratory stomatitis, psoriatic arthritis, nailpsoriasis, guttate psoriasis, seborrheic psoriasis, napkin psoriasis, inversepsoriasis and drug induced psoriasis. Nail psoriasis is characterized bycrumbling of the nails, loosening of the nails, thickening of the skin underthe nails, lines across the nails, pitting of the nails and discoloration ofthe nails. Psoriatic arthritis involves the inflammatory conditions whichaffect the connective tissue and joints. Guttate psoriasis involves a largenumber of small red or pink lesions and is usually triggered by a streptococcalinfection. Inverse psoriasis involves the development of smooth patches of theskin which are inflamed. The migratory stomatitis is believed to be some sortof an oral manifestation of psoriasis, but there are only a small number ofcases reported.

Living with Psoriasis

There are numerous ways of measuring the quality of life ofall those persons who are affected by different types of psoriasis. The mainproblem with psoriasis is that it may lead to the development of various othermedical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure,hypertension and depression. In most cases, people affected by different typesof psoriasis experience painful sensations, itching, physical discomfort andeven slight disability which may affect the basic functions of the patient. Thosewho suffer from psoriasis may be prevented from indulging in certain physicaland other activities as well. It is no wonder that psoriasis also causes a lotof embarrassment and lack of proper self image. There are more than 70 percentof people who claim that psoriasis has a significantly negative effect on theireveryday lives.

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