What is Psoriasis? Edit

Understanding psoriasis basics

Psoriasis is a very persistent skin disorder. It's characterized by skin cells that multiply up to 10 times faster than normal skin cells. As underlying cells reach the skin's surface and die, just their volume causes raised, red plaques covered with white scales. Psoriasis typically occurs on the knees, elbows, and scalp, and it can also affect the torso, palms, and soles of the feet.

Psoriasis is a skin disease and it is seen as red itchy, scaly patches. Typically occurs around joints including the knees and the elbows.

How does Psoriasis Affect the Integumentary System? Edit

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition in which red, itchy plaques commonly occur on the knees and elbows. Crutchfield explained that the nails can have pits and the scalp can be red and itchy, flaky and inflamed.

Psoriasis affects the integumentary system because the psoriasis creates dandruff like flakes which appear on your scalp, shoulders, and joints. Also the skin in the affected area becomes tender and weak and thus not protecting the inside of our bodies well enough.

Signs and Symptoms Edit

  • Patches of red, inflamed skin. These are often covered with loose, silvery scales. They may be itchy and painful, even crack and bleed. In serious cases, they grow and run into each other, making large areas of irritated skin.
  • Fingernail and toenail problems. Nails on fingers and
  • Scalp problems. Skin on scalp may crust.
  • Some signs and symptoms include plaques of red, inflamed skin, often covered with loose, silver-colored scales, disorders of the fingernails and toenails, including discoloration and pitting of the nails and scaly plaques on the scalp.

Irritants Edit

  • Cold, dry weather. Any climate that relieves dry skin will help. Try to spend some time in warm sunny weather and high humidity.
  • Stress. Keep calm and try to stay relaxed. Outbreaks are more likely to pop up when you are anxious.
  • Some medicines. These include some ”beta-blocker” drugs used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease; lithium, a treatment for bipolar disorder; and pills taken to treat malaria.
  • Infections. There is a short list of infections including strep throat and tonsillitis that can trigger a special kind of psoriasis outbreak.
  • Skin Injury. In some people, the tiniest cuts, bruises, and burns can cause an outbreak. Even tattoos and bug bites might trigger a new lesion.
  • Alcohol. Drinking, especially heavy drinking in young men, may trigger or worsen symptoms and interfere with treatments.
  • Smoking. Using tobacco or being around second hand smoke raises your risk of getting psoriasis and makes existing conditions worse.
  • Common irritants include sun exposure, dryness of skin, injury illness, medication and stress.

Diagnosis Edit

A doctor usually can diagnose psoriasis by taking medical history and examining your skin, scalp and nails. Sometimes your doctor may take a small sample of skin (biopsy) that's examined under a microscope to determine the exact type of psoriasis and to rule out other disorders.

To know if you have psoriasis, you should see your doctor. He/she can examine your medical history to see if you have had any previous skin issues that may have led to psoriasis.

Treatment Edit

  • Salicylic acid . Some doctors recommend salicylic acid ointment, which smooths the skin by promoting the shedding of psoriatic scales.
  • Steroid-based creams.
  • Calcipotriene -containing topical ointment.
  • Coal-tar ointments and shampoos.
  • Prescription retinoids.
  • The best treatment for psoriasis are topical medicines, light treatments and, in severe cases, systemic prescription medicines.