Psoriasis

Psoriasis solutions from the Devon Clinic CIC

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. The condition is not infectious and most people are affected only in small patches on their body.

Effective Psoriasis treatments from The Devon Clinic :

 

Reiki

The Devon CLinic is pleased to offer Psoriasis treatments from the following local practitioner(s):

Michael Potter at New Devon Clinic

Michael Potter

Joya Newcombe at New Devon Clinic

Joya Newcombe

More About Psoriasis

Psoriasis affects around 2% of people in the UK. It can start at any age, but most often develops between the ages of 11 and 45.

The severity of psoriasis varies greatly from person to person. For some people it is just a minor irritation, but for others it has a major impact on their quality of life.

Psoriasis is a long-lasting disease (chronic) that can return at any time. There may be times when you have no symptoms or very mild symptoms followed by times when the symptoms are severe.

There is no cure for psoriasis, but there is a range of treatments that can improve your symptoms and the appearance of the affected skin patches.

Skin cells have a life cycle. Your body produces new cells in your deepest skin level. These skin cells gradually move up through the layers of your skin until they reach the outermost level. Then they die and flake off. The whole process normally takes around 21 to 28 days.

In psoriasis, this process speeds up and only takes two to six days. As a result, cells that are not fully mature build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, causing red, flaky, crusty patches covered with silvery scales. These patches are easily shed. It can occur on any part of the body, but is most common on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp. It can cause itching and burning.

Most cases of psoriasis go through cycles, causing problems for a few weeks or months then easing or stopping.

There are several different types of psoriasis. Normally, people have only one form of psoriasis at a time, although two different types can occur together. One type may change to another type or may become more severe.

The different types of psoriasis are:

• Plaque psoriasis – this is the most common form, accounting for 80% of cases. Its symptoms are dry, red skin lesions, known as plaques, that are covered in silver scales. They normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back but can appear anywhere on your body. The plaques can be itchy, sore or both. In severe cases, the skin around your joints may crack and bleed.

• Guttate psoriasis – this normally occurs following a streptococcal throat infection and is more common among children and teenagers. It causes small (less than 1cm or 1/3 inch) drop-shaped sores on your chest, arms, legs and scalp. There is a good chance that guttate psoriasis will disappear completely, but some people go on to develop plaque psoriasis.

• Scalp psoriasis – this can occur on parts of your scalp or on the whole scalp. It causes red patches of skin covered in thick silvery-white scales. Some people find scalp psoriasis extremely itchy, while others have no discomfort. In extreme cases it can cause hair loss, although this is usually only temporary.

• Nail psoriasis – this affects your nails, causing them to develop tiny dents or pits, become discoloured and grow abnormally. Often nails can become loose and separate from your nail bed. In severe cases, your nails may crumble.

• Inverse (flexural) psoriasis – this affects areas of the skin that are in folds or creases, such as the armpits, groin and the skin between the buttocks and under the breasts. It can cause large, smooth red patches in some or all of these areas. Inverse psoriasis is made worse by friction and sweating, so it can be particularly uncomfortable in hot weather.

• Pustular psoriasis – a rarer type of psoriasis that causes pus-filled blisters (pustules) to appear on your skin. Different types of pustular psoriasis affect different parts of the body:

• Generalised pustular psoriasis or von Zumbusch psoriasis – this causes pustules on a wide area of skin, which develop very quickly. The pus consists of white blood cells and is not infected. The pustules dry and peel off within a couple of days, leaving the skin shiny and smooth. The pustules may reappear every few days or weeks in cycles. During the start of these cycles, von Zumbusch psoriasis can cause fever, chills, weight loss and fatigue.

• Palmoplantar pustular psoriasis – causes pustules to appear on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. The pustules gradually develop into circular brown scaly spots, which then peel off. Pustules may reappear every few days or weeks.

• Acropustulosis – this causes pustules to appear on your fingers and toes. The pustules then burst, leaving bright red areas that may ooze or become scaly. These may lead to painful nail deformities.

• Erythrodermic psoriasis – a rare form of psoriasis that affects nearly all of the skin on the body. This can cause intense itching or burning. Erythrodermic psoriasis can cause your body to lose proteins and fluid. This can lead to serious illnesses such as infection, dehydration, heart failure, hypothermia and malnutrition.

WHAT CAUSES PSORIASIS?
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is known that your immune system plays a part. Your immune system is your body’s defence against disease and helps to fight infection.

If you have psoriasis, T cells (which exist in the blood and are part of your body’s defence system) start to attack healthy skin cells by mistake. This triggers the immune system to produce new skin cells and also more T cells.

The cycle of skin cell production becomes faster and faster. Skin cells are created and then die in the space of five to six days, rather than the normal 28 days. The dead skin cells build up on the surface of your skin in thick, scaly patches.

Genetics
Psoriasis runs in families. One in three people with psoriasis has a close relative with the condition.

The exact role that genetics plays in causing psoriasis is unclear. Research studies have shown that many different genes are linked to the development of psoriasis. It is likely that different combinations of genes may make people more vulnerable to the condition. However, having these genes does not necessarily mean that you will develop it.

Psoriasis triggers
Many people with psoriasis find that their symptoms start or become worse because of a certain event, known as a trigger. Knowing your triggers may mean you can avoid a flare-up of psoriasis. Common triggers include:

• An injury to your skin such as a cut, scrape, insect bite or sunburn (this is known as the Koebner response)
• Alcohol
• Smoking
• Stress
• Certain medicines such as lithium, some antimalarial medicines, anti-inflammatory medicines including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure) and beta blockers (used to treat congestive heart failure)
• Throat infections – in some people, usually children and young adults, a form of psoriasis called guttate psoriasis (which causes smaller pink patches, often without a lot of scaling) develops after a streptococcal throat infection. However, most people who have streptococcal throat infections do not develop psoriasis
• Other immune disorders – diseases of the immune system, such as the HIV infection, can cause psoriasis to flare up or to appear for the first time

Psoriasis is also sometimes known as:

  • Plaque-psoriasis
  • Guttate-psoriasis
  • Scalp-psoriasis
  • Nail-psoriasis
  • Inverse-flexural-psoriasis
  • Pustular-psoriasis
  • Generalised-pustular-psoriasis
  • Von-Zumbusch-psoriasis
  • Palmoplantar-pustular-psoriasis
  • Acropustulosis
  • Erythrodermic-psoriasis

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