Statistics from the National Psoriasis foundation reveal that psoriasis is the number one autoimmune disease in the US and about 7.5 million people or 2.2% of the population suffer from the disease, but despite the statistics, not a lot of people are well aware of what psoriasis is really all about.
Known as an autoimmune condition, psoriasis is brought about by the over production of skin cells in the body because the immune system mistakenly recognize healthy skin cells as viruses or bacteria. When this occurs, the formation of red spots or patches that look flaky, silvery and white form on the skin as a result and these are often very itchy and times may even feel like a burning sensation.
How to Distinguish Psoriasis
There are several kinds of psoriasis, five to be exact, that can develop in the body and it is very important to be able to have knowledge to realize that psoriasis is already occurring. One of the main symptoms to watch out for is the appearance of what looks to be rashes and more over one that does not heal over time.
The most common form of psoriasis is coined plaque mainly because of the build-up of the skin that looks like plaque, flaky and scaly and appear with red blotches of skin area which generally appear on the elbows and knees and sometimes even on the scalp and lower back.
Other psoriasis symptoms may include having the same red and flaky skin but with pus (pustular psoriasis), redness that occurs in the body’s folds (inverse psoriasis) and symptoms that start as early as childhood or young adulthood (guttate psoriasis).
An extreme case of psoriasis is termed as erythrodermic which only happens to a very small percentage of psoriatic individuals-the red blotches of the body is seen to be widespread throughout the skin and may even cause the skin to exfoliate. Termed as an erthodermic psoriasis flare, those who suffer from this form must immediately go to a doctor as this is deemed to be life threatening.
Why Does Psoriasis Occur
There are still a lot to be known about the source of psoriasis and why it occurs to certain individuals, but one of the best detections of psoriasis is the fact that it is genetic. A lot of studies have concurred that psoriasis is a disease that can be passed on from one generation to the next.
A lot of proof has also shown that a large amount of stress can increase the probability of psoriasis to appear to individuals who already have pre-existing psoriasis. When this occurs individuals suffering from the disease are advised to seek relaxation and to stay away from stress for the psoriasis to decrease.
Skin injuries are also said to aggravate the appearance of psoriasis and this is commonly termed as the Koebner phenomenon. Often skin burns, scratches and even vaccination can trigger the response of Koebner phenomenon but this like psoriasis can easily be treated as long as it is detected early.
For young children, the common psoriasis form guttate is said to be caused by infection which is often in the form of strep throat. As this type of psoriasis occurs on the back and trunk, the red flares of skin may also happen after a case of bronchitis, ear infection, tonsillitis and other kinds of respiratory infections.