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Psoriasis

 

Psoriasis is a skin disorder affecting 2 or 3 people per hundred. It is not infectious and cannot be 'caught' from an affected individual. Although it normally does not affect physical health it very unsightly and can have an enormous psychological impact.

Psoriasis can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling, to major eruptions that cover large areas of skin. Affected areas can be painless, or may feel sore, hot and inflamed or itch uncontrollably. In the latter case, scratching may damage the skin further and allow infections to gain a hold, causing pus to ooze from the psoriatic sores.

Psoriasis plaques

The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is likely that the immune system, genetic predisposition and environmental factors may all be involved, although many cases occur without any family history of psoriasis. Outbreaks can be triggered or aggravated by stress, minor injury or sunburn.

The typical psoriasis ‘plaques’ result from accelerated growth of the outer skin layer, and abnormalities of the skin protein, keratin. Normally, old skin cells are replaced with new ones every month or so. In people with psoriasis, the immune system triggers inflammation, causing new cells to move to the surface every three or four days. The resulting build up of skin tissue forms the rash. Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, and can also lead to a number of secondary conditions such as infections of the skin, a form of artritis, and eye infections resulting in conjunctivitis.

Plaque Psoriasis

The most common type of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis, and causes a patchy, red rash with thickening of the skin and silvery white scales. It can appear anywhere but most often occurs on the scalp, elbows, knees, and back, although it may also appear on hands, feet or the groin. Psoriasis can occur at any age but typically appears in late childhood through to early middle age. Once psoriasis has appeared there is no recognised medical ‘cure’ but it may disappear spontaneously for long periods. It is not generally a progressive disease and is notoriously unpredictable.

Scalp psoriasis

This is simply plaque psoriasis that is limited to the scalp area. You may notice flakes of dead skin in your hair or on your shoulders, especially after scratching your scalp.

Nail psoriasis

Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration. The skin under the nails is often affected, causing the nails to progressively separate from the nail bed (onycholysis).

In severe cases the nail may become split and may partially disintegrate. Nail psoriasis should not be confused with fungal infections of the nails, which usually cause a yellowish deposit to accumulate under the nails.

Psoriasis of the nails


Psoriatic arthritis

A small proportion of chronic psoriasis sufferers (about 15%) may develop an arthritis, which appears to be associated. Psoriatic arthritis usually develops in people who have had psoriasis for many years. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but typically affects the outer joints of the fingers and toes, and the lower spine.

Symptoms range from mild to severe, and psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint. Although the disease usually isn't as crippling as other forms of arthritis, it can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage that in the most serious cases may lead to permanent deformity.

Guttate psoriasis

This typically affects people under 30 and seems to be triggered by bacterial infections such as 'strep throat'. Chracteristic small, waterdrop-like sores appear on the body, arms, legs and scalp. The sores are covered by a fine scale but do not exhibit the skin thickening typical of plaques. 

Inverse psoriasis

This embarrassing complaint can affect the skin in sweaty areas such as the armpits, groin, under the breasts, around the genitals, and in the anal region. Inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin which resemble superficial skin infections of the type that may occur when personal hygiene is poor. Inverse psoriasis would only normally be suspected if the condition is present when normal standards of hygiene are practised.

Pustular psoriasis

This relatively rare form of psoriasis can occur over large areas of skin (generalized pustular psoriasis) or in smaller areas on the hands, feet or fingertips. It generally develops quickly, with affected ares becoming red and sore, followed quickly by formation of many pus-filled blisters. The blisters normally dry within a day or two and are then shed, but may reappear at regular intervals. Generalized pustular psoriasis is often associated with fever, chills, severe itching and fatigue.

Erythrodermic psoriasis

The rarest form of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis, can affect skin over the entire body, resulting in a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely. As for other forms of psoriasis it tends to appear at intervals, and may recede for extended periods. It seems to be tiggered by specific events such as sunburn and medications such as corticosteroids, or it can develop from plaque psoriasis that is not controlled in any way.
 

Medical treatment of psoriasis

Treatment generally consists of topical creams, lotions and ointments

Topical treatments

(1) Tar. A traditional treatment that can be helpful for mild psoriasis. The mechanism is unknown. Tar ointments are often combined with anti-inflammatory steroid creams (2) and salicylic acid to remove scale. Over-the-counter tar preparations can help mild psoriasis.

(2) Topical steroids. Used particularly in itchy inflamed psoriasis. Long term use of any steroid is inadvisable. They can cause thinning of the skin and generally become ineffective with time.

(3) Daivonex (Calcipitriol). A derivative of Vitamin D that seems to be helpful in some cases. Skin irritation may be a side effect.

Dithranol cream is occasionally used to reduce psoriasis plaque where skin thickening is pronouned. It is not a treatment for psoriasis, simply a palliative measure treating one symptom.

Ultraviolet light

Many psoriasis sufferers improve with UV light exposure. This includes sunlight, sunbeds, home UVB machines and purpose-designed UV light machines. Both UVB and PUVA in combination with sensitising chemicals can be used. There is a risk of skin cancer with all UV treatments.

Drugs

These are effective but also have serious side effects. There are three main drugs used but none offer a permanent cure:

Acitretin (Neotigason). This is a retinoid derived from Vitamin A and related to the drug Roaccutane used in treating severe acne. It can be very effective in some cases. Side effects include dry skin and lips and sun sensitivity.

Cyclosporin. This is a powerful immune suppressing drug used in organ transplantation. It can be very effective in severe psoriasis but at the cost of crippling the immune system and opening the way for infection and possibly cancer. It has also been associated with high blood pressure and impaired kidney function.

Methotrexate. Used once weekly this can completely control severe psoriasis. It is particularly effective in cases where arthritis is associated. Methotrexate has been shown to cause liver damage and a periodic liver biopsy (a very unpleasant procedure) is usually recommended.

Given the treatments that are effective it seem most likely that psoriasis is yet another of the epidemic of ‘auto-immune’ diseases that have marked the last half century. As such it may be the functional outcome of damage inflicted at a cellular level by trans-fats and omega-3 deficiencies that characterise the ‘modern’ diet. There may be a viral trigger, but no specific candidate virus has yet been identified.

 

Natural treatments for psoriasis

Supplementation with borage oil may help improve symptoms of psoriasis but will not effect a permanenet cure. Supplement the diet with 2 to 3 grams of borage oil per day, with an equal quantity of flax oil and/or fish oil to ensure that the omega-3:omega-6 ratio does not become too imbalanced. In addition, apply the oil topically directly to affected areas. If the treatment is going to help, improvements in symptoms may be noted during the first three or four weeks and can continue for some time. Maintenance supplementation should continue indefinitely at a lower dosage of around a gram per day..

For psoriatic arthritis, a number of sufferers have reported that MSM is extremely helpful in doses of 400-500mg taken twice daily.

Secondary infections due to skin cracking or scratching are common, and these can be treated using a natural antiseptic such as tea tree oil.

 

Recommended Products

Recommended Book: 'Psoriasis Free for Life' by Katy Wilson

The author is a 15 year psoriasis sufferer who spent many years finding a way to end her suffering, pemanently. She posted some information about her methods on internet message boards and blogs, and by doing so helped thousands of people to cure their own psoriasis. Now she has put all the information together in her ebook, whiich will show you how to cure your psoriasis permanently using just easily obtainable natural ingredients. Eliminate itching  and redness in a week or two, and free yourself permanently from the grip of psoriasis in a month.

Doctors don't exactly know what causes psoriasis, so they send you off with some allergy medication or give you a bunch of smelly creams and sticky ointments that only mask the problem. Psoriasis Free For Life™ provides you with practical, natural solutions you can use at home, anywhere in the world.  60 day full refund if not satisfied, guaranteed by Clickbank.

To find out more, just click on the ‘cover’ image or button to the right, and you will be taken straight to the information page (it will open in another tab or window).

  

Psoriasis treatment - cover

 Click Here

 

 

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