Psoriasis (lichen psoriasis) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin, nails and joints. Psoriasis affects people of all ages, but most often the disease begins before the age of 20. The causes of psoriasis are not known.
Skin lesions in psoriasis are caused by accelerated keratinization of the surface layer of the epidermis. Skin cells begin to age 5-10 times faster, there is an abnormal development of blood capillaries in the lesion, resulting in the formation of typical psoriatic elements on the skin with increased peeling and bleeding and inflammatory changes.
Symptoms of psoriasis:
Most often, the first elements of a psoriatic rash appear in places of frequent friction of the skin: knees, elbows, buttocks, and also on the scalp. However, the rash can spread to other parts of the body.
Psoriatic patches are foci raised above the surface of the skin, ranging in color from pale pink with a waxy tint, gray, silvery to bright red. The skin in the foci of psoriasis is strongly flaky and easily flakes off with small scales (hence the name – scaly lichen) when combing. After scraping off the scales, droplets of blood appear on the surface of the stain.
In addition to skin lesions, psoriasis of the nail plates can be observed. In this case, the nails on the hands and feet change their color, become brittle, acquire transverse striation, deform, thicken, delaminate. Sometimes there is a complete loss of the nail.
Psoriasis can be accompanied by joint inflammation. In this case, we speak of psoriatic arthritis.
- genetic (if one of the parents has psoriasis, then the risk of developing the disease in a child is 25%, if both parents are sick – 65%);
- chronic skin injuries, frequent friction, squeezing;
- exposure to chemicals on the skin (including soaps, perfumes, household chemicals);
- chronic skin diseases (infections, allergies);
- neuropsychic stress;
- alcohol abuse and smoking;
- taking certain medicines;
Treatment and prevention:
It is believed that without treatment, the disease tends to progress rapidly. However, it is not possible to completely cure psoriasis, the goal of treatment is to achieve a stable and long-term remission, to slow down the development of the disease.
For the treatment of mild forms of psoriasis with small skin manifestations, it is enough to use local external therapy (ointments, solutions and creams, as well as physiotherapy on the affected area). If the disease is accompanied by involvement in the process of large areas of the skin, joints, generalization of the process, a general treatment is prescribed: detoxification, desensitizing, anti-inflammatory therapy. Recently, promising drugs have appeared that act on parts of the immune system, which can lead to a significant breakthrough in the treatment of psoriasis. These are monoclonal antibody preparations: infliximab, adalimumab, alefacept, etanercept, basiliximab, ustekinumab. So far, these drugs are very expensive and are used only in research programs.
Those suffering from psoriasis must follow a diet, as some foods can aggravate the process. In the diet, animal fats and simple carbohydrates should be limited, and frequent consumption of spicy, salty and fried foods should be avoided. Much attention in prevention should be given to the general hardening of the body and strengthening the nervous system.
Alcohol and smoking are contraindicated. It is not advisable to visit the steam room.
In the summer months, under the influence of solar radiation, the manifestations of psoriasis usually fade away, and in some patients they disappear completely.