What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a non-contagious skin disorder that typically affects 2.6% of Australians (Cimmino, 2007). It causes red, itchy and scaly patches on your skin, most commonly on the scalp, knees, elbows, lower back, hands and feet (but it can develop almost anywhere on the body). Psoriasis is thought to be related to the immune system, often developing in cycles with flare-ups of weeks or months at a time. Common symptoms of this inflammatory skin condition include red patches of skin with thick, silvery scales, dry, cracked skin that becomes bleeding and itchy, swollen and stiff joints, and small scaling spots.
What are symptoms of Psoriasis?
Common psoriasis symptoms and signs include:
- A patchy rash that varies widely in how it looks from person to person, ranging from spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions over much of the body
- Rashes that vary in colour, tending to be shades of purple with grayscale on brown or black skin and pink or red with the silver scale on white skin
- Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning or soreness
- Cyclic rashes that flare for a few weeks or months and then subside
There are several types of psoriasis, each of which varies in its signs and symptoms:
The most common type of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis causes dry, itchy, raised skin patches (plaques) covered with scales. There may be few or many. They usually appear on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp. The patches vary in colour, depending on skin colour. The affected skin might heal with temporary changes in colour (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), particularly on brown or Black skin.
Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discolouration. Psoriatic nails might loosen and separate from the nail bed (onycholysis). Severe psoriasis may cause the nail to crumble.
Guttate psoriasis primarily affects young adults and children. It’s usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. It’s marked by small, drop-shaped, scaling spots on the trunk, arms or legs.
Inverse psoriasis mainly affects the skin folds of the groin, buttocks and breasts. It causes smooth patches of inflamed skin that worsen with friction and sweating. Fungal infections may trigger this type of psoriasis.
Pustular psoriasis, a rare type, causes clearly defined pus-filled blisters. It can occur in widespread patches or on small areas of the palms or soles.
The least common type of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis can cover the entire body with a peeling rash that can burn intensely or cause itchy skin. It can be short-lived (acute) or long-term (chronic).
Psoriasis treatments focus on slowing down the renewal of skin cells and removing the disease’s characteristic scales. There are different ways to treat psoriasis including creams and ointments, pills and injections, and ultraviolet light therapy.
DU’IT products are specially formulated to treat and heal various skin diseases and conditions and are suitable for all skin types including dry, itchy and sensitive skin.