What is Psoriasis & What Causes It?

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a persistent skin problem that’s usually characterized by red spots all over the skin surface with a scaly or scale-like appearance. This afflicts more than 4 million Americans each year and doctors deem this illness as not curable.

Psoriasis all over hands

This kind of skin problem can be found all over your body, even though it starts off in exposed spots like your arms and legs. Other body parts that can get afflicted by psoriasis are the scalp, nails, and your genital area.

Psoriasis starts out as a rash and then evolves to look something like a scale on your skin. Once the rash has “evolved”, it becomes too uncomfortable to bear.

The joints of the affected area are also affected, so if you have psoriasis on your hands or feet, you can expect joint pains to follow as the disease progresses. Doctors have traced that psoriasis is a sign of a problematic immune system. This starts out under the skin and continues to grow out.

How the body works with psoriasis

A healthy human body is able to regenerate healthy skin cells every month. These new skin cells develop underneath the skin and rise up as they mature. The skin cells on the surface die and shed within thirty days and the new batch comes up. This is why shedding of skin happens.

If you have psoriasis, the regeneration process is faster and this is not a good thing. Instead of the new skin cells coming up within 30 days, the new ones come up within 3 to 5 days. Once this happens, the new skin cells would pile up underneath the old skin even if they haven’t reached maturity yet.

The cycle is continuous and more skin cells are piled up underneath, which is the result of a callus-like or scale-like appearance of the rash.

What causes psoriasis?

Psoriasis on legPsoriasis is the result of a hyperactive immune system, especially as it detects the presence of dead skin cells so it helps the body regenerates more than what it should.

Think of it as a carpenter trying to fix a broken foundation with duct tape. Normally, we shed our skin every thirty days because the skin cells die within 30 days after they surface and new ones come up right after that. The immune system would detect that the skin cells are already dead and would develop more in paranoia.

Doctors and researchers also believe that the disease is hereditary and that individuals who are related to people with this disease may also experience an onset at some time in their life. It can be during childhood, adolescence, or even late adulthood.

Treatment for this disease usually focuses on reducing the symptoms, given that it’s an incurable disease. Doctors recommend that you expose yourself to sunlight as the UV rays will cause skin cells to die out faster.

There are also medical treatments that will help reduce the symptoms of severe psoriasis. There are oral drugs and drugs that need to be injected that will help control or suppress the immune system. And there are also natural programs (such as The Ultimate Psoriasis Program by Naturopathic physician Eric Bakker) and alternatives that are backed up by many sucess stories.

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