Psoriasis is a rare condition with rare symptoms. And because of its rarity, not many treatment options are available for the condition. When you take a look at the pharmacy shelves dedicated to skin creams, psoriasis creams only occupy a small section compared to other skin treatments. Despite the limited availability of psoriasis treatments however, the fact is that it can be managed just like any chronic disease. But before we move on to the available psoriasis treatments, let us first understand what psoriasis is, what its causes are, and other common misconceptions regarding the disease.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that manifests itself on the skin. Normally, our skin cells grow at a constant rate. Because the immune system is “malfunctioning” in autoimmunity, what it does is that it speeds up this growth cycle of the skin cells. In turn, this increased proliferation of skin cells causes the rashes that we see in psoriasis. These rashes may appear as red bumps that itch, flat red blotches on skin, or silvery white patches of dry skin – depending on the type of psoriasis that a person has.
The Psoriasis Causes
Psoriasis causes are not fully understood by science. However, there are two factors linked to this condition. One theory that scientists have postulated is that it is merely a disorder in which there is the excessive reproduction of skin cells as a result of a faulty epidermis and hyperactive keratinocytes. The second and most accepted theory is that it is caused by a faulty immune system which causes inflammation of the skin and increased production of skin cells.
There is proof behind the acceptance of the theory that psoriasis is mediated by the immune system. The fact that immunosuppressants – substances that suppress the immune system – effectively reduce the symptoms of psoriasis is a sign that it is related to the functioning of the immune system.
Can I Get Psoriasis From Someone Who Has It?
Psoriasis pictures are just as unsightly as seeing psoriasis in person. Unlike what many think though, it isn’t contagious in any way. It is a self-limiting skin disease that is linked to certain causes. But if your parents or someone in your family does have psoriasis, then there is a possibility that you have acquired it too. After all, psoriasis is a condition that can be handed down genetically.
Medical Treatments For Psoriasis
Immunosuppressive drugs are the usual prescriptions of doctors for people who have eczema. These impair the function of the immune system and are proven to reduce the rate at which skin cells grow. The disadvantage with immunosuppressants is that because they reduce immune system functioning, people who opt for this treatment are at higher risk of getting infections.
Specific immunosuppressive drugs are available these days as alternatives to nonspecific varieties. As specific drugs, they only target the T-cells that have been proven to have a role in the increased growth of skin cells. Therefore, when you use drugs like these, the rest of your immune system will function normally and will not be altered. In turn, you are not placing yourself at danger of increased risk for infection.
Topical applications like psoriasis creams and ointments are also viable options in treating psoriasis. Also prescribed by doctors, these ointments and creams for psoriasis may contain ingredients like corticosteroids, retinoids, coal tar, anthralin, and other ingredients that deliver promising results.
Psoriasis Natural Treatments
Aside from the medications and psoriasis creams and ointments prescribed by physicians, there are also more natural treatments for psoriasis. One of which is phototherapy which basically involves exposure to sunlight in the early morning. It has already been proven that the early morning rays of the sun are therapeutic in patients with psoriasis. People with psoriasis can also use mineral oil, nature-based moisturizers, and petroleum jelly as alternatives for psoriasis creams in relieving the dryness of their rashes.