If you have red dry patches of thick skin you probably have psoriasis. But don’t fret. It is not contagious. It does not cause hair fall. And, you can treat it at home with good effect.
Psoriasis is a non-contagious chronic skin disease seen worldwide affecting at least 1% of the population. It is commonly seen on the knees, elbow, scalp, hands, feet or lower back. If it is mild you might not even recognise it. With Psoriasis the skin becomes inflamed with dry, red, thick patches. These patches have well-defined silvery and flaky skin.Psoriasis usually has periodic ups and downs. In severe cases, it spreads over much of the body.
There are five types of psoriasis namely Plaque, Guttate, Inverse, Pustular and Erythrodermic. Out of this, the most common is the Plaque. Psoriasis also can occur on different parts of the body like nails, around the eyes, ears, nose or mouth, and even on the genital areas.
The exact cause of Psoriasis is unknown. The genes and a disorder in the immune system combined with environmental factors might contribute to Psoriasis. Other factors like smoking, drinking, exposure to sun and an HIV infection can worsen Psoriasis, according to doctors. An inheritable disease, psoriasis affects both children and adults alike. Psoriasis may be combined with arthritis. People with psoriatic arthritis have inflammation on their joints and symptoms similar to those of arthritis. Psoriasis would definitely need medical attention. In some cases, ultraviolet light treatments are suggested. But mild psoriasis can be treated at home and with great care.
What to do?
Forget Stress. Stress is linked with psoriasis.
The easiest and the most effective thing to do is to keep skin damp and moist. Avoid soap or use mild soap.Do not rub the skin with your towel after bath. Try to seal in the moisture apply medicated moisturizing lotions.
Using hydrocortisone creams on the patches can help. But do not expose the areas to sun as products for psoriasis can make skin sensitive to the sun.
Avoid Sun! Be particular on using sunscreen lotions before going out. Long exposure to sun or sunburn can worsen psoriasis while a little exposure may help psoriasis too. Sunburn can even cause it to appear on the new areas.
Be gentle to skin. No harsh skin treatments to make skin “beautiful”. Say “no” to cosmetics for a while. Skin treatments containing alcoholic ingredients can cause more trouble.
Humidifiers can often with skin problems and allergies. Use humidifiers or coolers in the house to add moisture indoors.
However, if psoriasis is beginning to spread all over and is painful with fever consult a doctor immediately.
-Aparna K V