Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that affects approximately 2-3% of the world’s population. It is characterized by the presence of red, scaly plaques on the skin that can be itchy and painful. These plaques are the result of an overactive immune system and accelerated skin cell turnover.
There are several different types of psoriasis, each with their own distinct characteristics. The most common type is plaque psoriasis, which is characterized by raised, red lesions on the skin that are covered in a silver-white buildup of dead skin cells. Other types of psoriasis include guttate psoriasis (small, droplet-shaped lesions), inverse psoriasis (smooth, red patches in skin folds), and pustular psoriasis (white blisters filled with pus).
The exact cause of psoriasis is not known, but it is thought to be related to an immune system problem. Researchers believe that psoriasis is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
There are several treatment options available for psoriasis, including topical creams and ointments, oral medications, and light therapy. The choice of treatment will depend on the type and severity of the psoriasis, as well as the patient’s individual needs and preferences.
Topical treatments, such as corticosteroids, calcipotriene, and tazarotene, can help to reduce inflammation and slow the turnover of skin cells. They are applied directly to the skin and are typically the first line of treatment for mild to moderate psoriasis.
Oral medications, such as methotrexate, acitretin, and cyclosporine, are typically used for more severe cases of psoriasis that do not respond to topical treatment. These medications work by suppressing the immune system and slowing the turnover of skin cells.
Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, involves exposing the affected skin to ultraviolet light. UVB light is particularly effective in treating psoriasis and can be given in a medical setting or at home with a UVB lamp.
It is also worth to mention that there are also biologic drugs, like Adalimumab, Etanercept, Ustekinumab, Guselkumab and Secukinumab, that are used for moderate to severe psoriasis and are given by subcutaneous injection.
In addition to medication, lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, can also help to improve symptoms and prevent flare-ups.
It’s important to note that psoriasis is a chronic condition and it may not be curable, however, with proper treatment and management, the symptoms can be effectively controlled, and most people with psoriasis are able to lead normal, active lives.