A form of autoimmune disorder, psoriasis is a condition that accelerates skin cells’ life cycle. This causes new skin cells to rapidly accumulate on the existing surface, giving it a scaly appearance. Apart from the thick silvery scales, some of the other accompanying symptoms could include itchiness, small scaling spots, swollen and stiff joints, pitted nails, and dry and cracked skin that bleeds. There is no cure for psoriasis as of now, but the good news is that it can be managed with medical treatments and home remedies.
Interestingly, the cause of this skin disorder is not completely understood. It occurs when the T-cells and other forms of white blood cells, such as neutrophils, of the immune system start attacking the healthy skin cells. However, experts haven’t been able to pinpoint the main reason behind the immune system’s strange behavior. Certain researchers believe that both genetic and environmental factors are responsible for the development of this condition.
The following are certain risk factors that might increase the likelihood of developing psoriasis.
One of the most common risk factors is a family history of psoriasis. Having one or both parents with this condition automatically heightens the risk of getting it.
Individuals with HIV have weak immune systems, which is why they have high chances of developing psoriasis. Likewise, kids and young adults who have had recurring cases of strep throat are also at great risk of getting psoriasis.
Some medical experts believe that stress can detrimentally impact one’s immune system. Consistently being mentally and physically tensed can mess up the immune system’s normal response and cause it to malfunction.
Excessive weight puts a lot of pressure on the body’s systems, including its immunity. Such a burden on its immune system can eventually develop psoriasis.
Like stress and obesity, smoking also weakens the immune system, increasing the risk of psoriasis. Moreover, smoking can also trigger severe psoriatic symptoms.
Complications of psoriasis
If one is suffering from psoriasis, there are chances that they may also develop a certain form of chronic disease. A significant number of patients suffering from psoriasis, in the later years, might develop a condition known as psoriatic arthritis. In this condition, certain joints of the body inflame and swell. Likewise, patients might also develop kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and metabolic syndrome. In a few cases, people might also suffer from mental and emotional issues, including social anxiety and depression.
To prevent the onset of the other disorders, it is essential to receive timely treatment for psoriasis. The treatment plan for every patient will vary, primarily depending on the severity of the psoriatic symptoms. Doctors can use topical treatments in the form of corticosteroids, retinoids, vitamin D analogs, calcineurin inhibitors, coal tar, moisturizers, and salicylic acid. Topical treatments are usually used with light therapy to relieve the symptoms faster. Prescription solutions such as oral or injected medications are generally used in cases with moderate to severe symptoms. If the symptoms are persistent and severe, the doctors will use a combination of prescribed medications and light therapy.
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