Psoriasis is defined as an autoimmune, long lasting, non-contagious skin disorder that results in the hyperproliferation of the skin. Hyperproliferation is defined as an abnormally high rate of proliferation of skin cells by rapid division. It is characterised by dry, rough, raised red patches on the skin’s surface covered with fine silvery scales. The patches on the skin are typically itchy, inflamed and scaly. Psoriasis has a scope of variation in severity from tiny, localized patches like; the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, to outbreaks of the inflamed area that can lead to completely covering the body.
Some people report that their psoriasis outbreaks are itchy, burning and that the affected areas sting. If it’s not effectively addressed it will affect the joints, which can start leading to psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis is associated with several other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.
While some of the symptoms of and some information about Psoriasis have been studiously documented, scientists do not yet know what exactly cause of psoriasis is, we do know that both the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development. Usually, something triggers the psoriasis condition to flare. This causes the skin cells of people with psoriasis to grow at an abnormally fast rate, which causes the buildup of psoriasis lesions.
Psoriasis develops at equal rates amongst men and women. Psoriasis can also be found to occur in all racial groups, however, this happens at varying rates. Approximately 1.9 percent of African-Americans suffer from psoriasis, in comparison to 3.6 percent amongst Caucasians.
Between the ages of 15 and 35 is when Psoriasis most often develops, but it’s been known to develop at any age. About 10 to 15 percent of people affected by psoriasis get it before the age of ten. It has been known for some infants to have psoriasis, although this is considered rather rare. Psoriasis is not contagious in any circumstances and is not something that you can “catch” or that others can catch from you. Psoriasis lesions on the body are not in any way infectious.
Psoriasis occurs in five main types. They are named plaque, inverse, guttate, erythrodermic and pustular. Plaque psoriasis, which is also called psoriasis vulgaris, accounts for over ninety percent of cases of psoriasis. It is this type that causes the red patches with white scale-like flakes on top of them. They are most often highly itchy and painful, and they are known to crack and bleed. The area’s of the body most regularly affected by outbreaks include the scalp, the area surrounding the navel, the backs of the forearms, and the neck.
Psoriatic erythroderma, which is also known as erythrodermic psoriasis, involves a widespread inflammation of the skin, with exfoliation of the skin over a large area if not the skins whole body surface.
Severe swelling, itching and pain may accompany it. Often it is a result of accelerated and unstable plaque psoriasis, especially if following a sudden withdrawal from systematic synthesized glucocorticoids.(glucocorticoids are a class of corticosteroids, which are a class of steroid hormones). Potentially fatal due to the extreme inflammation and exfoliation, this particular form of psoriasis can disrupt the body’s ability to regulate its temperature and perform barrier functions.
There are no special blood tests or diagnostic tools to allow for us to directly diagnose psoriasis. A dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in skin diseases) or other health care provider usually examines the affected area of the skin and determines if the condition is indeed psoriasis.
A doctor or medical practitioner may take a small sample of the affected skin (called a biopsy) to then examine it under the microscope. When biopsied, psoriasis skin looks thicker and more inflamed than when compared to skin affected with a condition like eczema.
Your doctor or medical practitioner also will want to learn as much as possible regarding your family history. This is because approximately one-third of people with the psoriasis condition have a family member with the disease
There are various treatments for Psoriasis, which vary depending on the type and severity of the psoriasis being treated.
There are treatments that are available which can help to control the symptoms of psoriasis. Some of these treatments include various steroid creams, ultraviolet light treatments, vitamin D creams and various immune system suppressing medications.
Within the science of Ayurveda, Psoriasis is classified as a condition that manifests due to an imbalance between the Vata and Kapha doshas. When unbalanced these two doshas two doshas manifest in and on the skin, due to and bringing about or causing an accumulation of toxins.
The accumulation of these toxins also takes place in other regions and areas that have associations with the skin. For example, some of the areas of toxic accumulation are the muscles (mansa), the blood (rakta), the lymphatic system (lasika) and the nutrient plasma (rasa)
These toxins causing contamination of deeper tissues is one of the main causes that lead to Psoriasis.
The purification of the blood and bodily tissues is the primary objective of the Ayurvedic treatment in cases of Psoriasis. Toxins are cleansed from the body and the body’s digestion is restored to hence prevent further accumulation. Once these two factors have been achieved, specific, nourishing herbs are subsequently administered to strengthen and tone the tissues in order to promote a complete healing of the skin. The overall approach is one where treatment is approached through diet and a series of internal and external medications and therapies.