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Treatments for Psoriasis by Kathleen Province

By at February 19, 2013 | 8:11 am | Print

The human body is an incredible machine that carries out hundreds of tasks every day with near perfection. But when something goes wrong, it can cause serious side effects for that person and that is usually when we say someone has a disease or illness.  One disease that can occur from a malfunction in your body is called Psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic auto-immune disease that affects the life cycle of the skin. It is one of the most common diseases in the United States with about 7.5 million people suffering from the condition.  Flare ups of psoriasis occur when the immune system sends out faulty signals telling the body to speed up the growth cycle of the skin cells. When this happens it causes the skin cells to pile up on top of each other causing bumps, scales, and patchiness all over the body. Although Psoriasis is a persistent problem that is long lasting, some people may have periods of time when their symptoms greatly improve or even go away completely. However, just because one goes into remission for a while doesn’t mean the psoriasis won’t come back.

For some people, having Psoriasis is simply an annoyance, but to others it can be disabling, it depends on the type and severity that they are experiencing. There are several types of psoriasis and each is different in how it affects the body. The type that tends to be the most disabling to people is known as, Psoriatic arthritis. This condition causes pitted, discolored nails and swollen, painful joints that are typical to normal arthritis. In addition, it can lead to inflammatory eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis, and can affect any joint in the body.

When experiencing symptoms of this condition they can range from being mild to being severe. Luckily this disease typically isn’t as crippling as the other forms of arthritis, but it can still cause the stiffness and progressive joint damage that normal Arthritis causes over time. Another form of Psoriasis is the most common kind, Plaque Psoriasis. This type of Psoriasis causes raised, red, scaly patches throughout your body. These patches can turn up anywhere from your elbows and tummy, to your genitals and inside of your mouth. If the patches of skin get too built up it can cause the skin to crack and bleed, especially around the joints.

One more type of psoriasis is called Guttate psoriasis. This type of the disease predominantly affects younger people below the age of 30. Flare ups of Guttate psoriasis are caused by bacterial infections such as strep throat. This rash can be marked by small, raindrop shaped sores on the scalp, arms, legs, and core of the body. These sores aren’t as thick as the sores that occur from Plaque Psoriasis and are usually aren’t as scaly. If someone has a flare up of this types of Psoriasis it usually doesn’t require seeing a doctor because the rash will most likely clear up on its own. However, if someone has ongoing respiratory infections or strep throat then they are likely to have repeated episodes. People who suffer from Psoriasis have many treatment options that their doctor can go over with them during an appointment.

For more mild cases of psoriasis taking a low dose of an anabolic steroid such as, prednisone, along with a topical ointment can clear up the rash in a couple of weeks. However if someone has persistent, bad flare ups there are medicines that you can take orally such as Methotrexate, and there are even some shots that you can get once every month to keep the Psoriasis to a minimum.

 

 

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