Psoriasis is a non-transmittable, chronic skin condition that gives rise to plaques of thickened, scaling skin. The dry flakes of the skin scales result from excessively swift multiplication of the skin cells. The proliferation of the skin cells is triggered by inflammatory chemicals that are produced by special white blood cells called lymphocytes. Psoriasis mainly affects the skin of the elbows, knees, and scalp. The spectrum of diseases basically ranges from mild, with limited involvement of small areas of skin to large thick swollen up skin that affects the entire body.
Psoriasis is considered as an incurable, long-term chronic skin disease that has a variable progression over a period of time. It is not possible for psoriasis to spontaneously clear within years and stay in remission. Most of the people even observe a worsening of their symptoms during winter.
Causes of Psoriasis
The exact cause of psoriasis is yet unknown. Yet a combination of factors like genetic predisposition and other environmental factors may be involved. The condition is commonly found among the members of the same family. The defects in immune regulation and the control of inflammation are thought to play a major role in the entire mechanism. However, there are several types of psoriasis that have different symptoms and signs.
Treatment for Psoriasis
Despite the fact that psoriasis cannot be cured, yet, it responds well to some topical and systemic treatments.
Topical treatments- The topical treatments are rubbed directly onto the affected skin without involving any such side effects. The topical treatments include-
- Salicylic acid or salicylic acid ointment which helps to soothe the skin by promoting the shedding of psoriatic scales. The use of salicylic acid over a large area of skin may, however, cause the body to absorb too much medication that leads to various side effects which may include skin irritation, weakening of the hair shafts, temporary hair loss.
- Steroid based creams- These creams decrease the inflammation, relieve itching and block the production of the cells that are overproduced in psoriasis. Stronger preparations are more effective than the milder ones and that may also include side effects like burning, dryness, irritation and thinning of the skin.
- Calcipotriene containing topical ointment- It is a vitamin D containing ointment that has proven to be another effective treatment for psoriasis, especially when combined with a topical cream.
- Coal-tar ointments and shampoo- Such products can help to slow down the rapid growth of skin cells and alleviate symptoms. But it does include any side effects like the formation of rash es that affect the hair follicles.
Light therapy for psoriasis- It is said that regular doses of sunlight (which will not burn the skin) can also help in reducing psoriasis abrasions in many people. However, many surgeons also recommend light therapy as a treatment for the condition. Another most effective treatment is PUVA, which is a drug psoralen combined with ultraviolet A or UVA. Though this form of light therapy is not used often because it unveils the risk of developing skin cancer.
Oral drugs for psoriasis- When all the other treatments fail, some doctors prescribe oral drugs as a treatment for psoriasis. Some of the medications may also affect the immune system and include severe side effects. Methotrexate is one such medicine that is also used as a chemotherapy drug for cancer. This medicine can produce a dramatic clearing of the psoriasis patches but it does include some side effects. Other oral medications include compounds that exhibit the properties of vitamin A, which helps people with severe psoriasis issues.
Natural treatment for psoriasis- If the medications fail to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis or cause unwanted side effects, patients can give natural remedies such as herbs and vitamins a try. Aloe Vera or fish oil may help in decreasing the symptoms of psoriasis. Other than this Dead Sea salts can help psoriasis by removing scales and relax the itching. Though the results may not be impressive. Diet therapies aren't beneficial for the treatment of psoriasis. However, natural remedies may sometimes play a major role in the cure for psoriasis, but it is always best to consult with a surgeon before choosing or undergoing any treatment procedures.
Vitiligo is a long-term skin problem where the skin loses its colour and patches start appearing, since the melanocytes die off within the skin. Melanocytes are the cells that are responsible for skin pigmentation and protecting the skin from the sun’s UV rays. However, it can affect any people of any age, gender or ethnic group. The entire area of the skin can be affected by vitiligo which may vary between individuals. It can also affect the eyes, inner side of the mouth, hair, etc. Most of the affected areas remain discoloured for the rest of the person’s life.
Vitiligo Treatment Options
There are four options that are currently available for the treatment of vitiligo, they are-
- Covering up the skin with dyes or makeup
- Restoration of the normal skin color
- Spot treatment with topical corticosteroid cream and topical oxsoralen
- Mini grafting of the skin which involves the grafting of the patient's normal skin to the vitiligo affected area. PUVA may also be required after following the procedure