Psoriasis – An Unsightly Skin Condition

Psoriasis is not a life-threatening condition, but it is chronic and can affect your quality of life. It is a skin disease that disturbs the normal stages of skin cell development and shedding. What happens is that new skin cells take several weeks to move from the deepest skin layer when skin cell production begins to the outside layer where they die and fall off. With psoriasis, the phases of skin cell development take mere days instead of weeks resulting in an accumulation of skin cells. This accumulation is in the form of thick scales and patches of dry, red skin.


While persistent, psoriasis may go into periods of remission or noticeable improvement. Some people who have arthritis may become disabled when that condition is coupled with psoriasis because of the pain. There is no cure for psoriasis, although there are remedies that can provide moderate to extreme relief. Home remedies and medical intervention are two options to treat the skin condition.

Types of Psoriasis

The most common symptom of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis which forms red, dry skin lesions also known as plaques which are covered in silvery scales. These lesions are sore and may itch. This type of psoriasis can develop anywhere on the body and there are levels of severity with the worst being areas that crack and bleed.

Scalp psoriasis is another common condition that strongly resembles dandruff. You would have itchy red areas on the scalp which form the telltale silvery scales. These slough off easily but they also form new layers of scales rather quickly.

Some children and young adults may develop guttate psoriasis which is often triggered by an infection such as strep throat. This type of psoriasis looks like small droplets that often form on the scalp, legs, trunk, and arms but form sores which then crust over into the typical scales. For some people, their guttate psoriasis is only a one-time flare-up, while for others who may be susceptible to illness due to a weakened immune system, the psoriasis may be chronic.

There are at least five other types of psoriasis but they do not occur as often as plaque psoriasis, scalp psoriasis, and guttate psoriasis mentioned above. Only a medical professional can accurately assess the type of psoriasis you may have. A theory about why psoriasis develops is often bandied about and it has to do with the body’s T-cells mistaking the healthy skin cells as enemies which could account for the fast life cycle of the skin cell development process.

Treating Psoriasis

It is important to note that everyone’s psoriasis reacts quite differently to treatment so what may work for one person may not work for you. Traditionally, the first line of defense is to start off with a mild treatment like topical ointments or even phototherapy which is ultraviolet light therapy. Then slowly step up the intensity of the treatments as necessary.

The goal of any psoriasis treatment option is to find a way to slow down the abnormal process of the renewal and shedding of skin cells without creating too many negative side effects in the process. While there are many treatment options available, not all treatments work for everyone, so it may take years of trial and error to find a treatment that works best for you.

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