How does psoriasis start?
Psoriasis usually starts with infections, including strep throat or skin infections. It may also form in cold weather when people do not clean the skin surface clearly or fail to take care of their body well. Initially, it seems like an injury to the skin, such as a cut or scrape, a bite, or a severe sunburn.
In the beginning, you may notice a few red bumps on the surface of your skin. These may get thicker and larger and eventually get scales on the top. The patches may combine and cover large parts of your skin, while the rash may be uncomfortable and itchy and bleed easily if you rub or pick it.
Types of psoriasis
It is one of the most common psoriasis types. About 8 in 10 individuals with psoriasis have this kind. This type is referred to as "psoriasis vulgaris" in medical terms. It can cause inflamed, raised, red skin covered with white, silvery scales. These patches are likely to itch and burn and can appear anywhere on your body, but often pops up in the following areas:
- lower back
It often starts when you are a child or young adult, and the possibility of this type is in less than two percent of cases. Guttate psoriasis causes tiny, pink-red spots on your body. They usually appear on your upper arms, trunk, thighs, scalp.
Guttate psoriasis may vanish within weeks, even without any treatment. Although, some cases are more stubborn and require treatment from a good dermatologist.
It usually appears in armpits, under the breasts, groin, and skin fold around the buttocks and genital. The inverse psoriasis symptoms may include:
- Getting worse with rubbing and sweating
- skin patches that are bright red, shiny, and smooth but do not have scales
Common triggers of inverse psoriasis are friction, fungal infections, and sweating.
It is a rare or uncommon form of psoriasis that usually appears in adults. It causes pustules (pus-filled bumps) surrounded by red skin that may look infectious but are not.
Pustular psoriasis may appear on only one part of the body, such as the hand and feet. It covers most of the body in rare cases, which is known as "generalized" pustular psoriasis. When this strikes, it can be severe, so take medical help right away without any delay.
- rapid heart rate
- muscle weakness
Some triggers of pustular psoriasis are:
- systemic medicine (for treatment of the whole body) or topical medications (ointments you apply on your skin), steroids
- sudden discontinuation of systemic drugs or potent topical steroids that you have been taking for a prolonged duration
- Getting an excessive amount of ultraviolet light without putting on sunscreen
- Infection, stress, pregnancy, or exposure to specific chemicals
It is the least common but the most severe one. It affects most parts of the body and causes widespread, fiery skin that looks like it is burnt. Other symptoms include a faster heart rate, changes in body temperature, or severe itching, peeling, or burning.
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, see your medical healthcare professional. You might need to take proper medical treatment from a hospital. It can cause severe illness from protein and fluid loss. You may also get pneumonia, an infection, or congestive heart failure. And triggers include:
- an allergic drug reaction
- sudden discontinuation of your systemic psoriasis treatment
- severe sunburn
- medications such as cortisone, lithium, antimalarial drugs, or strong coal tar products
Up to half of the total psoriasis have nail changes. Nail psoriasis is even more reported in individuals with psoriatic arthritis, which affects your joints. In this condition, you are more likely to experience a fungal infection. Symptoms include:
- pitting of your nails
- separation of the nail from the bed
- tender, painful nails
- chalk-like material under your nails
- color changes (yellow-brown)
Psoriatic arthritis is a skin condition with psoriasis and arthritis (joint inflammation). In 70 percent of cases, individuals have psoriasis for almost ten years before getting psoriatic arthritis. And, about 90 percent of people with it also have changes in the nail. Symptoms include:
- sausage-like swelling of the toes and fingers
- painful, stiff joints that are worsening in the morning and after rest
- warm joints that may be discolored
What is the leading cause of psoriasis?
Experts are still unaware as to what causes psoriasis. However, the decades of research offer us a general idea about two primary factors: genetics and the immune system.
Some individuals inherit genes that make them more prone to develop psoriasis. If you have a family member with this skin condition, you will develop psoriasis. However, the percentage of individuals with psoriasis and a genetic predisposition is less. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), approximately 2 to 3 percent of people develop this skin condition due to genetics.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder that occurs when the body attacks itself. In the case of psoriasis, white blood cells (WBCs) known as T cells mistakenly attack the skin cells.
Usually, in the body, white blood cells are deployed to strike and destroy invading bacteria and fight infections. This attack causes your skin cell production process to get into overdrive. The sped-up production of skin cells causes new skin cells to develop, strengthening the production of new skin. They are pushed up to the skin surface level, where they pile up. It results in the plagues that are usually linked to psoriasis. The skin cell attacks also cause inflamed, red areas of skin to develop.
How to treat scalp psoriasis?
If you have mild or temporary scaling, it may get better. But sometimes, you may need treatment. It can take a few months or more to get severe dandruff under control. Once you do, you may keep your scalp from flaring with special shampoos or moisturizers.
The most commonly available treatment options for mild scalp psoriasis are ointments that one can apply to the scalp. If you have a severe one, you may need a combination of treatments assigned by your dermatologist.
The first step of treatment starts with softening the skin and removing scales. This step makes it easier for medications to perform their functions well.
Following are the required steps:
- Apply over-the-counter (OTC) medication to your scalp that can help soften your scales and make them easier to get off. So, it would help if you looked for products with the following active ingredients: lactic acid, salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, urea, or selenium sulfide.
- Gently clear off the scales with a fine-toothed comb or brush.
- Remove the scales by applying shampoo to your scalp; prefer using a salicylic soap or shampoo.
- Apply some thick cream to your scalp while still damp to curb the moisture.
Steps to apply the product:
- Make a cotton ball coated with petroleum jelly, and put them into your ears to keep it out of your scalp. Do not use cotton balls if you need psoriasis treatment in your ear canals.
- Use ointments sparingly as they may cause skin irritation and weaken your hair shafts, resulting in temporary hair loss.
- With a lotion or oil, part your hair in equal half and drip the medication on your scalp.
- With an ointment, rub it correctly on your scalp.
- Covering your scalp with a shower cap for a short duration may help some creams work efficiently, but check with your healthcare professional first.
How to treat scalp psoriasis permanently?
There is no permanent cure for scalp psoriasis, but prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) prescriptions are available. Both systemic and topical medications can help lessen the symptoms. Some authentic sources also recommend natural remedies. The treatment type may depend upon the extent or severity of the scalp psoriasis symptoms.
How to treat psoriasis on the face?
Your medical healthcare professional may have one or more combinations of medications, including drugs that go under your skin surface, such as:
- Low-potency corticosteroids are creams, ointments, lotions, and sprays that can reduce redness and swelling. Dermatologists usually prescribe them for a small duration of two to three weeks at a time. If you use them for an extended period, they can make your skin shiny, thin, and bruise easily or lead to stretch marks and the formation of new blood vessels.
- Retinoids, including tazarotene gel (Tazorac), may ease inflammation and help remove scales; but skin irritation is a common side effect.
- Synthetic Vitamin D, such as calcipotriene (Sorilux, Dovonex) cream or ointment, lessens skin cells; but it can cause skin irritation. Calcitriol (Vectical, Rocaltrol) is the most recent Vitamin D supplement for psoriasis treatment, the fact that some studies suggest for sensitive skin.
- Crisaborole (Eucrisa) is an effective topical medicine recently approved by the FDA for facial psoriasis that can reduce inflammation. It can result in temporary stinging or burning upon application.
- Tacrolimus (Protopic) and Pimecrolimus (Elidel) are two FDA-approved drugs prescribed for eczema treatment, but some dermatologists also recommend them for facial psoriasis. The FDA suggests using these drugs for a short duration since some reports link the drugs to cancer risks.
- Cream, lotion, or other moisturizers; cannot heal facial psoriasis by can make you feel better by easing your scaling, itching, and dryness.
- Coal tar is derived from coal, and this component is available in creams, shampoos, and oils.
- Salicylic acid: Also available over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription in shampoo for scalp treatments, this remedy can help you get rid of scales. Your healthcare professional might pair it with coal tar or steroids.
How to cure psoriasis permanently with home remedies?
Every case of psoriasis is unique, so there is not a single effective measure to treat the disease. Some home remedies can help you deal with the condition permanently.
A warm bath can soothe your skin, especially if you have psoriasis. You can try adding mineral oil, Epsom salt, olive oil, or colloidal oatmeal to help with irritation and itching. Bathing with the salts of the Dead Sea has shown beneficial effects on psoriasis treatment.
To reduce redness, scaling, inflammation, and itching, one can apply creams made from aloe vera extracts to the skin. Although, the reports of the clinical studies on whether such creams can help with this skin condition have shown mixed results.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are best known for reducing inflammation in the body. It can benefit psoriasis treatment as inflammation causes itchiness and red flakes—Omega-3s in various foods, including flaxseed oil, seeds, nuts, fatty fish, and soy. Fish oil can also help in psoriasis treatment.