Psoriasis is a skin disease and is chronic. The disease causes red spots on the skin, flakes of skin, it can be very itchy and sometimes causes pain. What exactly does psoriasis mean?
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease and is quite common. It is very common, about one in fifty people suffer from it. It is estimated that two to three percent of the world’s population has psoriasis. This makes it one of the most common skin conditions in the world. The disease causes many inconveniences. Red spots and flakes appear on the skin. The spots often itch and sometimes they hurt. Another inconvenience is that the spots on the skin are clearly visible.
How does psoriasis develop?
The actual cause is not yet known. It is clear that it has a hereditary background. A child has a ten percent chance of developing the disease if one of the two parents has it. If both parents have the disease, the chance of the disease in a child is fifty percent.
All symptoms point to an inflammatory reaction of the skin. The keratinocytes in the epidermis divide every four to five days, which is on average six times faster than normal. Not all cells are dead when they reach the stratum corneum. The result: the stratum corneum becomes thicker and the skin visibly flakes. The blood vessels dilate, bringing more blood and all kinds of anti-inflammatory substances to the skin. This causes visible red spots on the skin, which itch and can hurt. The spots mainly occur on elbows, knees, lower back and the hairy scalp.
The complaints can be worsened by the following factors:
- When using sunscreen
- Much stress
- Certain medications.
- Alcohol consumption and smoking
This disease can occur at any age, but symptoms usually begin at puberty. Psoriasis is not contagious.
Many people with psoriasis are ashamed of the red spots on the skin. For example, people no longer prefer to exercise, swim or go to the hairdresser. If this causes problems, it is advisable for those people to talk to their doctor about it.
It is important to avoid factors that worsen the disease. For many patients, the following factors can help reduce complaints.
- One should try not to get burned in the sun. Sunlight is good, but it is important to build up this amount to avoid sunburn.
- Skin damage should also be prevented as much as possible. Consider, for example, bruising, scraping and scratching.
- Showering or bathing that is too hot or too long should be avoided. This causes the skin to become dehydrated more quickly, which is not good for this skin disease.
Severe forms of psoriasis can sometimes be treated with a special sun lamp with ultraviolet light. This almost always happens in the hospital, but occasionally also at home.
Unfortunately, psoriasis is chronic and therefore cannot be cured. However, good medication can reduce the symptoms.