By design, your old body cells die to give way to new body cells for necessary body processes to take place. The dying and fading off of old body cells and growth of new cells is a natural death -reproduction cycle, which ensures that you always have cells that perform their duties at their optimum. Like any other cells in your body, your skin cells go through the same process. However, for unknown reasons, your skin cells reproduce rapidly, with new cells being produced before old ones die away. This results in a buildup of skin cells (keratinocytes). This leads to reddish, thick and dry patches on your skin, especially on the elbows, knees and on the scalp. This is the skin condition referred to as psoriasis. Although this skin condition can affect anyone (male and female) at any age (babies included), it is common in those entering adulthood, between 30 and 40 years.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is closely related to joint pains. In fact, one of its symptoms is pain in the elbow, hand and knee joints, in which case it is referred to as psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis does not only cause pain to the joints but inflammation as well. It is one of the very destructive types of arthritis and the sooner you receive treatment the better. Various medications are available that curb its development. Apart from patches on the affected parts of skin, psoriasis will also show other symptoms. In case you have any other health condition such as diabetes, depression or hearty ailment, the same is bound to be aggravated. You certainly have physical discomfort, which can hinder you from undertaking various activities.
Causes of Psoriasis
The real cause of psoriasis is not clearly established. What makes keratinocytes rapidly grow and build up is not certain. Various reasons have put forward by scientists for the occurrence:
- The occurrence if the skin condition is thought to be a disorder of the skin, which leads to buildup of keratinocytes.
- The occurrence of the condition is thought to be linked to the body’s immune system. It is thought that the body’s immune system contributes to the development of skin disorder, which leads to buildup of keratinocytes. Immune cells are thought to move from the dermis to the epidermis, causing the condition.
- Many genes have been associated with the occurrence of psoriasis. The coordination between these genes, which leads to psoriasis, is however not known.
Treatment of Psoriasis
What makes psoriasis difficult to understand is the fact that the condition can improve or worsen on its own without any medication. Although various studies have been undertaken by scientists to get top the bottom of this phenomenon, conflicting findings have emerged. What is certain is that skin injury, skin infections, smoking, use of certain medications, excessive consumption of alcohol, changes in climate and high stress levels worsen psoriasis.
Diagnosing psoriasis is mainly through observation. No blood tests that can be used in diagnosing psoriasis are available. In certain cases, skin biopsy is performed to rule out other skin disorders. Although no definite cure for psoriasis is available, various medications are available that you can use to manage the condition. Bath solutions and moisturizers are effective in eliminating dryness of skin, which the condition favors. Topical cream applications containing Caclipotriol and Betamethasone are also available that have proved effective in managing the condition. For serious psoriasis, phototherapy is employed. While oral mediations such as retinoids are also available, changes in diet and lifestyle have proved effective management techniques.