Approximately 2% of the U.S. population suffers from this chronic skin disease which works out to about 6 million people. Psoriasis affects both men and women as well as children and adults of all races. This chronic skin condition is not contagious and can be inherited when all the right conditions are present. An individual cannot simply get this disease simply because a parent has it.
A malfunction in the immune system that causes the skin to regenerate more frequently than normal may be responsible for psoriasis. Many factors can lead to a psoriasis flare up such as stress, smoking, exposure to the sun, infections, hormonal changes, etc. Common affected areas for psoriasis include elbows, knees and the scalp. Other body parts may be affected as well.
Types of Psoriasis
Plaque – this is the most common type as usually about 90% of psoriasis sufferers have plaque psoriasis. This is evidenced by patches of red skin covered with silvery flakes that are circular or oval shaped. These may sometimes itch or burn.
Guttate – Guttate psoriasis is evidenced by tiny drops on the skin that are either pink or red. Guttate psoriasis usually occurs after an infection such as strep throat of being a strep carrier. Guttate psoriasis is a bacterial infection triggered form of psoriasis.
Pustular – This is a less common type of psoriasis that is evidenced by raised pus filled bumps on the skin.
Inverse – This type of psoriasis is evidenced by patches of skin that are smooth and red. The patches are not covered by scales. These patches are usually found in folds of skin around the buttocks, breasts, etc.
Erythrodermic – Although this is the least common type of psoriasis, it can be quite serious. This occurs when an area of the body suffers from skin inflammation and becomes very red with a peeling rash that can burn and itch. It is considered serious because of the increase in the blood flow which may strain the heart.
Psoriatic arthritis – When a person suffers from both arthritis and psoriasis.
Psoriasis of the scalp – This type of psoriasis is evidenced by badly crusted plaque areas or skin that is dry and scaly.
Is there a Way to Cure Psoriasis?
Although many conventional treatment regimens are available for psoriasis, there is no current known way to cure psoriasis. The various treatment options available are usually for a long term basis and attempt to prevent psoriasis flare ups and not to cure psoriasis.
The conventional treatment options can vary from one person to another and depend on many factors such as age, type of psoriasis, occupation, health conditions, etc. There are many procedures that can be performed at home that although they do not cure psoriasis, they may try to prevent flare ups or heal current flare ups. There are also various topical or oral medications and light therapy may be used in some psoriasis cases.