What is psoriasis and what are the main symptoms?
Psoriasis is a skin disease, autoimmune and chronic innature, which is characterized by an increased build up of cells on the skinsurface. This further result in skin becoming covered in patches of itchy, dry, red skin andsometimes even painful. Even though psoriasis can affect the skin onany part of the body, from some reason, it mostly occurs on knees and elbows. Thereis a very rare form of psoriasis called psoriatic arthritis, and this formaffects the joints. Since the disease is autoimmune, the cause has not beenidentified yet, but researches done so far indicate that environmental factors mightbe very important in the development of this condition.
As for the symptoms, those that have already been mentionedare more or less typical. However, it does not mean that all the people whosuffer from this condition will experience it in the same way and have the sameproblems, because in mild cases, there might not be other symptoms besides somefaint redness of the skin. On the other side, people with a severe form are mostlikely to have their entire body covered in thick scaly plaques.
Methotrexate as a part of the treatment
Since there is no cure for autoimmune diseases, psoriasiscannot be cured either. There are several treatment methods that bring reliefand help in keeping the symptoms under control. Still, people who suffer from thiscondition are highly recommended to change certain habits and lifestyle, becausethat has a lot influence on symptoms. For example, those who are more prone to thisdisease may develop it after they have been exposed to stress, afterconsumption of alcohol, or even after smoking.
As for the treatment, it generally depends on the case, andnot all the cases are treated in the same way. When it comes to the treatmentthat is based on immunosuppressant drug called methotrexate, it is usuallysuggested if phototherapy and topical treatments do not give any results. It isbased on methotrexate pills that have the ability to affect the responses of theimmune system and decrease the skin cells production. This all diminishes thepossibilities of inflammation.
Unfortunately, this treatment has its side effects, whichare not at all insignificant, since many may provoke further complications. Someof the problems that may occur are pain in the stomach and appetite loss, butit may also interfere with natural healing mechanisms of the body. The immune systemmay be weakened, which will make a person in question much more prone tovarious infectious diseases, but it may also affect the blood pressure andblood sugar levels, increasing them both. However, when lower doses ofmethotrexate are administered, the unwanted results that are possible then are alot less serious.