Causes, symptoms, types of psoriasis, methods of treatment

The doctor prescribes treatment for psoriasis

There have been debates over the causes of psoriasis for decades, but no universal answer has been found. Large swollen areas of the body, the appearance of scales on them, itching, deterioration of the body - all these are the main symptoms of the disease, which affects a large number of people around the planet.

What causes psoriasis

Although there is no single answer as to the nature of psoriasis, it is generally considered a systemic deficiency in the body.

Until recently, it was considered a simple skin disease, but soon a certain feature appeared.

Thus, the lifespan of normal skin cells in a healthy person is about a month, but with psoriasis this period is reduced to 5 days. In other words, 4 days after the onset of the pathological process, the cells begin to die, respectively, plaques called psoriatic appear.

In connection with all of the above, psoriasis is now perceived not as a skin disease, but as a systemic failure in the body. To date, there are several hypotheses about the etymology of the disease. Let's look at them all:

  1. Immunity. According to this theory, the main cause of the appearance of papules in the body is autoimmune aggression. In this case, the skin cells are perceived as foreign by the immune system, and the body begins to actively attack them. Such statements are not unfounded, because it has been established that psoriasis often manifests itself in people suffering from complex infectious diseases. In addition, a number of studies have shown that antigenic complexes are present in the scales surrounding the plaque.
  2. Endocrine. Proponents of this theory cite hormonal dysfunctions as the main cause of psoriasis. Such results were obtained based on the results of a study of the characteristics of the disease. Researchers believe that dysfunction of the endocrine system can lead to abnormal cell growth. The theory is confirmed by a large number of women who experience psoriasis for the first time during menstruation, ovulation and other hormonal disorders. Since the hormone that causes the disease has not been identified, it is impossible to say for sure whether this is really the case.
  3. Neurogenic. Nervous system disorders can also be a major cause of psoriasis. The theory is also supported by the fact that sedatives used in the treatment of psoriasis can achieve better and faster results.
  4. Viral. Although psoriasis itself is not a viral disease, many doctors believe that the pathology develops against the background of direct viral infections. During the disease, changes occur in the lymph nodes in the body, the immune system is weakened, papules appear more often. However, the theory can be refuted only because psoriasis is not contagious, but the virus that will contribute to its development has not been identified.
  5. Allergic. There are several reasons to believe that psoriasis occurs against the background of allergic reactions: psoriasis is not contagious, the rash is very itchy, antihistamines bring relief.
  6. Exchange. This theory is based on the fact that patients with psoriasis have hypothermia, which indicates a slowing of metabolic processes. Patients almost always have a deficiency of vitamins A and B, zinc, iron and copper, as well as high blood cholesterol levels. One in four people is diagnosed with diabetes, genital, pancreatic and thyroid disorders.
  7. Genetics - is considered the most common theory. This is confirmed by the statistics itself - about 60% of patients with psoriasis have blood relatives with the same diagnosis. Moreover, it is a proven fact that the appearance of the disease is affected by exactly that part of the chromosomes responsible for the level of inflammatory processes in the skin.

None of the above theories can be considered the only correct one. Each of them has both affirmations and counter-arguments that violate it.

symptoms of skin psoriasis

What causes psoriasis

While it has been determined that there are additional conditions that can lead to the development of the disease, numerous studies on the nature of psoriasis have not revealed the true cause. The disease is caused by external and internal factors:

  • Chronic stress can be a trigger for the onset of psoriasis and exacerbation of an existing chronic disease in remission.
  • Infections, chronic diseases (sinusitis, otitis media, tonsillitis) and streptococcal infection.
  • Hormonal disorders.
  • Burns, injuries, bites and other damage to the integrity of the skin.
  • Long-term hypothermia.
  • Long-term use of drugs (antibacterial agents, NSAIDs). This includes regular vaccinations.
  • Abuse of highly allergenic foods (chocolate, citrus fruits) and nutrition associated with the intake of fatty, fried, smoked, spicy foods.
  • Climate change.

Causes of psoriasis in men

Psoriasis is most commonly diagnosed in men between the ages of 15 and 30, and in women between the ages of 22 and 25. And this may be due to the fact that the hormonal balance in the body is established later in men than in the fairer sex.

The triggers of the disease are the same as those listed above (weak immunity, infections, skin damage, etc. ), but still have several features:

  • Men are more likely to abuse bad habits.
  • Ignore your health. General pre-existing diseases are usually not taken into account. Initiated infections can lead to the development of the disease.
  • Due to the physiological characteristics of the male body, psoriasis often affects the testicles and penis. The triggers here are the delicate skin of these areas, frequent rubbing of the skin areas and sexual dysfunction.

Causes of psoriasis in women

In women, psoriasis most often occurs against the background of:

  • Hormonal imbalance (menstruation, pregnancy, menopause);
  • Diet abuse (especially mono-diets);
  • Excessive stressful situations;
  • Severe hypothermia.

In the fair sex, psoriasis is often localized in the inguinal region, ie the labia, along the bikini line in the perineum. The lack of obvious symptoms of psoriasis, such as itching and burning, causes women to confuse rashes with sexually transmitted diseases and to treat themselves. Accordingly, the disease progresses and affects other parts of the body.

psoriatic headache

Causes of appearance in children

Psoriasis is an age-related disease that children often suffer from. What are the reasons? After all, in most cases, children are fed properly, their health is monitored more closely, and they are less likely to develop bad habits. In this case, it should be noted that the hereditary factor is key.

According to statistics, if one of the parents of the baby is sick, then the disease is 25% likely to pass to the child, if in both parents - 75%.

When it comes to older children (2-10 years), strong psycho-emotional stress, fear, extreme stress (for example, in 1st grade) can be motivating factors.

Psychological reasons for the development of psoriasis

The link between psoriasis and stress has been established by external researchers. An unstable psycho-emotional state was observed in 80% of patients with such a pathological process in the skin.

Today, stress is considered a secondary factor influencing the development of skin diseases. This can be explained by constant nervous tension, depression and apathy:

  • Increased levels of hormones in the body, including the skin, which provoke inflammatory processes.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Diet Disorders - A person "takes over" their problems or refuses to eat at all. Thus, there are disorders of the digestive system that affect the development of psoriasis.
  • Increased levels of the hormone cortisol - a person's blood pressure rises, immunity decreases.
  • Abuse of bad habits. Smoking and alcohol have been shown to cause psoriasis, and in stressful situations, a person tends to "suffocate" their grief in a glass or calm down with a cigarette.

All this has a negative impact on absolutely all body systems, and therefore stress is the root cause of not only skin diseases, but also other health problems.

Symptoms of the disease

Psoriasis is a systemic pathology and therefore before the first symptoms appear on the skin:

  • Chronic fatigue;
  • Apathy or depression;
  • General weakness of the body.

Only after a certain period of time do the symptoms of skin lesions begin to appear. First of all, the patient notices the appearance of localized single red papules, depending on the form of the disease. After some time, they grow, coalesce and form extensive foci of inflammation - psoriatic plaques. The plaques form easily broken gray scales that expose the shiny surface of the skin (terminal pellicle) and cause dripping bleeding.

Experts distinguish three stages in the development of psoriasis, which are characterized by certain symptoms:

  1. Progressive - at this stage, a single rash grows, affecting new areas of the skin. Depending on the localization, itching, burning sensation, pain, inflammation of the affected skin may be combined.
  2. Stationary - the growth of psoriatic plaques stops, no new rashes are visible.
  3. Regressive - a stage in which all the symptoms of psoriasis gradually disappear. Patients report that itching and other symptoms have stopped, the papules have faded and resolved, and peeling has stopped.

Depending on the time of year when psoriasis manifests itself, its clinical picture may be different. With the summer type of the disease, all the symptoms suddenly worsen and are more difficult to treat. Winter is characterized by mild symptoms and their rapid disappearance. There is also an indeterminate type of psoriasis, in which symptoms appear regardless of the season and are often accompanied by relapses.

Types of disease

Depending on the location of the disease, there are several forms of psoriasis characterized by certain symptoms:

  • Vulgar or simple psoriasis - manifests itself in the knees and elbows.
  • Seborrhea is a complication of seborrhea. With this form, psoriatic plaques are not inflamed, but the papules have a characteristic yellowish color.
  • Arthropathic - affects the joints of the feet and hands. The patient experiences pain in the limbs, stiffness of movements.
  • Exudative - characterized by the appearance of yellow, scaly spots on the knees and elbows.
  • Pustules - the patient develops a severe malfunction, body temperature rises, plaques become inflamed and pustules appear.
  • Psoriasis of the palms and soles - usually manifests itself on the inside of the extremities. In this form, the skin becomes rough, cracked and inflamed.
  • Reverse - appears in the natural large folds of the body. The main cause of this form of psoriasis is endocrine diseases.
  • In the form of tears - psoriatic plaques are in the form of tears and are localized on the trunk and legs.
  • Nail psoriasis - small depressions appear on the nail plate, nail thickening is noted, gradually erodes.
  • Psoriatic erythroderma is the most severe form, characterized by transient, severe swelling and extensive affected area.

Methods of treatment

The treatment of psoriasis is long and complicated. The reason is that with the most adequate therapy it will not be possible to completely get rid of such a disease, respectively, all methods are aimed at eliminating the symptoms and root causes, as well as prolonging the remission period. Methods of combating pathology are:

  • Topical therapy (creams, vitamins, ointments) - used only in the early and middle stages of psoriasis.
  • Diet therapy - necessary for the normalization of the digestive system.
  • Systemic treatment. Taking medication is aimed at normalizing the functioning of all systems and organs of the body.
  • Phototherapy and other physiological procedures that directly affect the affected areas.
doctor examining the psoriasis patient

External means

All topical drugs prescribed for psoriasis are designed to soften the plaques, eliminate inflammation and eliminate other external manifestations of the pathology. Most commonly used:

  • Ointments containing tar, butter, oils.
  • fat preparations;
  • Ointments containing mustard gas;
  • Hormonal agents. They have many side effects because they are only used for severe psoriasis;
  • salicylic ointment;
  • Preparations containing silicone.

Internal funds

With the ineffectiveness of treatment with local drugs, the patient is prescribed:

  • Anti-inflammatory;
  • sedatives;
  • antihistamines;
  • vitamin complexes;
  • antipsychotics and tranquilizers - in advanced stages;
  • Stimulators of the immune system and metabolism.

Alternative medicine

Along with pharmaceuticals, alternative medicine also helps to significantly alleviate the patient's condition. The most effective tools are:

  • Teas with mint, lemon balm, as well as valerian and motherwort tincture. The goal is to stabilize the psycho-emotional state of the body.
  • Soda is a simple and effective recipe that contains compresses with solutions on the affected areas of the body. Helps relieve itching & promotes resorption of psoriatic plaques
  • Herbal baths (string, chamomile) - used to relieve psychological and physical discomfort.

Prevention

Once it appears, psoriasis will be remembered for a lifetime. However, it is important to avoid triggers to make the remission phase as long as possible. Preventive measures include:

  • Prevention of skin integrity disorders;
  • Prolonged exposure of the skin to sunlight;
  • Control of body weight and proper nutrition;
  • Use of special shampoos (for psoriasis of the scalp);
  • Give up bad habits.

The patient should be regularly examined by a dermatologist and follow all doctor's instructions, including taking prophylactic medications.