Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, which means the body is attacking itself, in this case, white blood cells known as T cells start attacking the skin cells instead of destroying bacteria and infections. This then causes skin cells to rapidly-produce on body parts such as hands, feet, face, neck, and scalp to try to recoup these skin cells that were lost. The skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rises to the surface, dries up, gets flaky becomes almost scale-like, then falls off.
Scales can commonly come with inflammation and redness around it and in some cases, these patches of dry scaly skin can become quite painful as it cracks and bleeds.
Some symptoms of psoriasis are:
Dry, itchy, red and inflamed patches of skin
Soreness, itching around these patches that can cause the skin to crack and bleed
Painful, swollen joints
There are different types of psoriasis such as:
Plaque psoriasis - the most common type of psoriasis with almost 80% of diagnosed people
This condition causes patches of skin to form on elbows, knees, and scalp that gets red and inflamed.
Guttate psoriasis - this type of psoriasis is common in younger children. It causes small pink spots to appear on the torso, arms, and legs.
Pustular psoriasis - This is common in adults. White blisters and big areas of inflamed skin appear on hands and feet and can be widespread.
Inverse psoriasis - this type causes bright and inflamed areas of the skin which can develop under armpits, breasts or genital areas.
Erythrodermic psoriasis - this is a severe and rare type of psoriasis. It can develop on large areas of the body, the skin appears almost sunburnt and can cause people to run a fever and become very ill. This is a life-threatening condition and someone with this should definitely seek medical attention.
Here are some ways to treat psoriasis:
- Keep moisturized to soothe the itchiness, inflammation and dry skin from flaking
- You can use a humidifier to keep the air around you moist as well
- Don't use products with fragrances as they can irritate your skin
- Anti-inflammatory foods such as nuts, turmeric, milk thistle can help internally and topically
- Soaking your body in a creamy bath with skin-loving oils like shea butter, cocoa butter, milk, mineral oils can keep your skin moisturized
There are many different treatments for psoriasis, find a combination of things that work for you and give us some of your best tips!