Skin diseases aren’t just health conditions. Many skin diseases are not only physically discomforting but they are also discomforting emotionally – they make your look displeasing and make your mood irritable. But to top it all, it attracts disgust from the people around you and, often, you feel alienated.
Now, if a skin condition is such that no matter what you do, you cannot wipe it out entirely, then imagine how life would become! You would be constantly self-conscious; you would try to hide your skin, and you will always shy away from human interaction.
Psoriasis is one such ‘clingy’ skin condition.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease. An auto-immune condition is one, where the cells of your body start attacking other healthy cells of your body thinking of it as a threat. This is not a regular phenomenon, but it is quite common. It happens due to a genetic defect.
In the case of psoriasis, when some cells are killed and are replaced by new cells, the old, dead cells deposit on your skin. Your skin cannot match the speed of shedding the dead cells as fast as they are formed. Hence, the deposit of dead skin cells on your skin look scaly, dry, itchy & red.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a genetic condition. It passes through genes only. If any of your family members (even distant relatives) have psoriasis, you may have inherited the ‘psoriasis’ gene from that person. In fact, if any of your relatives have an auto-immune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease etc, it is possible that the auto-immune condition has surfaced in you differently, in the form of psoriasis.
The good news is that you cannot ‘catch’ psoriasis by contamination, contact or by any of your lifestyle choices. But, at the same time, if you do have psoriasis, you cannot erase it away from your life – your only option is to manage the symptoms as best as you can. And the best way to manage psoriasis is to stay away from the ‘triggers’.
What Makes Psoriasis Flare Up?
People often ignore how much stress affects our physiological being. When you are in stress, your body works hard to relieve you from distress. This over-working produces more dead cells which in turn plaque on your psoriatic skin. It’s understandable that psoriasis itself is very stressful but being stressed will not take you anywhere. Try and keep yourself calm and the psoriatic-monstrosity can be kept under control.
Certain medicines, including high bp medicines, may act upon your psoriatic skin negatively. If you are under medication and see an increase in redness or itching sensation, consult with your doctor. Your doctor will prescribe you an alternative or guide you on how to manage the extra symptoms.
Have you noticed that psoriatic symptoms ate most near elbows, palms, feet, under breasts etc? This is because these areas of the body are constantly in ‘friction’ which stimulates the cells in the area to work more. Just like that if you have an injury, the fast regeneration of cells around this area can make a psoriatic rash worse. Even rough exfoliation or a tattoo making can also have adverse effects.
Just like injury, obese people stress out the deeper skin folds because of excess weight causing more friction and more sweating. This kind of psoriasis is called reverse psoriasis.
Infections are major boosters of psoriasis. Respiratory infections have the worst impacts. Especially in the case of guttate psoriasis, which is characterized by small, red, tear-drop shaped spots, infections are almost always followed by an outburst of psoriatic rashes.
It has been seen that people who are infected by HIV are more prone to get psoriasis.
Vit D Deficiency:
Vitamin D Deficiency has been found to be a trigger is worsening the conditions related to psoriasis. But this can be avoided very easily. Your body is capable of producing the required Vitamin D on its own – it only requires a small dose of sunshine each day. So, don’t forget to spend some time under the Sun every day.
A little exposure to sun boosts your Vit D level. But if you overdo it, it will make your skin dry & red. Sunburn can be devastating on psoriatic skin. So, when you go out in the Sun, apply sunscreen generously.
Cold temperature & dry weather steal the moisture from your skin leaving it dry. In such a condition the psoriatic patches may become swollen, red and can even develop cracks.
We are constantly exposed to many chemicals through air pollution. In addition, make-up items which are not approved by FDA or which has specific allergens can also be harmful to our skin. You must be extra careful if you have psoriasis.
Puberty, pregnancy, menopause – all seem to be associated with an elevated irritability from a psoriatic angle. In fact, other hormonal medicine, or hormonal disorders may also flare up your psoriasis rashes.
Smoking, Alcohol Consumption & Drug Abuse:
These poor lifestyle choices and the extent to which they are done have a tremendous effect on the symptoms of psoriasis. In terms of psoriasis, while consumption of alcohol affects men more, smoking is worse for women. These practices also lessen the effectiveness of treatments.
The extent of psoriasis is not equal in every person. The symptoms, the difficulty of management also differs. But even if you have a very small case of psoriasis, you must be careful to manage it very carefully. Nearly 30% of all psoriatic patients develop psoriatic arthritis later in life.
If you are looking for effective management of psoriasis, you can Visit Our Experts at Sunshine Hospital who can give you a complete personalized guidance based on your condition, lifestyle, and requirement.
About the Doctor:
Dr Hari Krishna Reddy – Consultant Dermatologist
Dr Hari Krishna Reddy is one of Sunshine Hospital’s leading people in Dermatology. Dr Reddy holds vast experiences in treating, consulting and expertise in dermatology and the many problems people have in the area. His expertise is vital to solving plenty of complex cases we get on a regular basis.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man.