Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin.
Common areas affected:
It can affect any part of your body, from Head to your toes like on the eyelids, ears, mouth and lips, skin folds, hands and feet, and nails.
How is this caused:
There is no specific cause for psoriasis, however researchers believe that it is more genetic, i.e, there are certain genes that are sensitive to stress and other external factors which develop this condition.
The triggering factors could be stress, pollution, injury to the skin, wounds, medications (lithum, antimalarials, etc.), infections likes treptococcal, which causes guttate psoriasis in children. Diet and weather can also trigger psoriasis.
Types of psoriasis:
Typically, an individual has only one type of psoriasis at a time. Generally, one type of psoriasis will clear and another form of psoriasis will appear in response to a trigger.
PlaquePsoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris): Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells or scale. These patches or plaques most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows and lower back. They are often itchy and painful, and they can crack and bleed.
Guttate: Guttate [GUH-tate] psoriasis is a form of psoriasis that often starts in childhood or young adulthood. This is the second most common type of psoriasis, after plaque psoriasis. About 10 percent of people who get psoriasis develop guttate psoriasis.
Inverse: Inverse psoriasis (also known as inter triginous psoriasis) shows up as very red lesions in body folds. It may appear smooth and shiny. Many people have another type of psoriasis elsewhere on the body at the same time.
Pustular: Pustular [PUHS-choo-lar] psoriasis in characterized by white pustules (blisters of noninfectious pus) surrounded by red skin. The pus consists of white blood cells. It is not an infection, nor is it contagious.
Erythrodermic: Erythrodermic [eh-REETH-ro-der-mik] psoriasis is a particularly inflammatory form of psoriasis that often affects most of the body surface. It may occur in association with von Zumbusch pustular psoriasis. It is a rare type of psoriasis, occurring once or more during the lifetime of 3 percent of people who have psoriasis. It generally appears on people who have unstable plaque psoriasis. This means the lesions are not clearly defined. Widespread, fiery redness and exfoliation of the skin characterize this form. Severe itching and pain often accompanies it.
NOTE: Individuals having an erythrodermic psoriasis flare should see a doctor immediately. This form of psoriasis can be life-threatening
How can homeopathy help:
Psoriasis is a chronic non-contagious skin disorder. It can affect any part of the body but most often occurs on scalp, elbows, knees,hands, feet and genitals. It may present itself with severe itching and physical discomfort.
T-cells (a type of white blood cells) usually protect our body from certain infections and diseases, but in psoriasis they are put into an over-action mode along with other immune responses. This immune over-response leads to inflammation and fast production of immature skin cells. Usually, the production of skin cells takes about a month before they mature, but in psoriasis it may occur in only a few days. One-third of all the cases have a strong family history of psoriasis.
Firstly, one needs to know that research shows that Homeopathic medicines work by optimising our defence mechanisms. It does not suppress the immune system. So, homeopathic healing is not a miracle or a lucky exception but a fact of biology; the result of the optimum utilisation of the body's natural healing system which is curative and non-suppressive in nature.
What should we do to prevent psoriasis?
Use moisturizing lotions. Psoriasis symptoms get worse when your skin is dry, so keep it moist with creams and lotions. Thick and oily moisturizers are often the best, since they're good at trapping moisture beneath the skin. Moisturizers are also useful for removing scales, especially if you use occlusion -- applying moisturizer and then wrapping the area with tape or plastic wrap.
Take care of your skin and scalp. People with psoriasis should always be careful with their skin. Never pick at lesions or scales, since that can just make yourpsoriasis worse. Trimming your nails regularly can be a good way to prevent psoriasis from flaring up. But, do it carefully, since any cut might cause symptoms. If you have psoriasis on your scalp, follow your doctor's suggestions. Make sure that any topical treatments -- such as tar shampoos -- get on your scalp and not just your hair. Also, regular bathing with soothing products, such as tar solutions, may help.
Avoid dry, cold weather. Climate can have a big effect on psoriasis. For a lot of people, cold and dry weather can make the symptoms of psoriasis worse. In general, hot weather is better for people with psoriasis, although some have worsening symptoms when the heat and humidity rise.
Use a humidifier. Keeping your skin moist is important, so use a humidifier during dry seasons of the year.
Avoid medications that cause flare-ups. Tell your doctor all the medications you take, and ask if any could affect your psoriasis. Drugs that are known to make psoriasis worse in some people include:
Lithium, used to treat psychiatric disorders
Propranalol and possibly other beta-blockers, which are prescribed for heart conditions
Cardioquinor Quinidex, medications for heart arrhythmias
If you're using any of these medications, ask your doctor about substitutes.
Avoid scrapes, cuts, bumps, and infections. Obviously, most people don't go around trying to hurt themselves. But, it's very important for people with psoriasis to avoid bumps and cuts. Trauma to the skin can cause a flare-up of psoriasis at the site of the injury, a condition called "Koebner's phenomenon."Infections can also cause psoriasis to appear. Be especially careful when shaving. Avoid insect bites, chafing, acupuncture, and tattoos.
Get some sun, but not too much. Because ultraviolet rays in sunlight slow the growth of skin cells, getting moderate doses of sun is a good idea. However, make sure they're brief -- about 20 minutes or so. Use sunscreen if you're out in the sun for any longer period of time. Remember that sunburn can make your psoriasis worse, and too much sun raises your risk of skin cancer. If you're on medication that makes your skin more sensitive to ultraviolet rays as part of your phototherapy, ask your doctor about whether you should always use sunscreen when outside.
Decrease stress: Although it hasn't been proven, a lot of people feel that their psoriasis tends to flare up during stressful times. So, try to reduce yourstress levels. That's easier said than done, but there are some things you can do. Practice relaxation techniques or give yoga a try.
Reduce alcohol intake. The connection between alcohol and psoriasis isn't clear, but some think that alcohol can worsen psoriasis, at least in men. Alcohol can also be dangerous if you're using certain systemic drugs to treat psoriasis.
Exercise, eat right, and maintain a healthy weight. Although no studies have shown a connection between diet and psoriasis, experts recommend that people with the condition should eat a well-balanced diet, high in fruits and vegetables. Some people report that psoriasis symptoms improve when they eliminate dairy or gluten from their diets. Exercise may also help, and will improve your mood. In some cases, excess weight can worsen psoriasis symptoms, so maintaining a healthy weight may help prevent flare-ups.