Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear anywhere on the body. Plaque psoriasis, also known as psoriasis vulgaris, accounts for about 90% of reported cases. It typically presents red patches of skin with white scales on top. The patches may vary in severity from small and localized to nearly complete body coverage. Some people report symptoms of itching, burning and stinging. Psoriasis is also associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.
If you develop a rash that doesn’t go away with an over-the-counter medication, you should contact your medical professional for a diagnosis.
Causes of Psoriasis
While scientists do not know what exactly causes psoriasis, we do know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development. Usually, something triggers psoriasis to flare. The skin cells in people with psoriasis grow at an abnormally fast rate, which causes the buildup of psoriasis lesions.
Men and women develop psoriasis at equal rates. Psoriasis often develops between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age. About 10 to 15 percent of those with psoriasis get it before age 10. Some infants have psoriasis, although this is considered rare. If one parent has the disease, there is about a 10 percent chance of a child contracting it. If both parents have psoriasis, the chance increases to 50 percent. No one can predict who will get psoriasis. Scientists now believe that approximately 10 percent of the general population inherits one or more of the genes that create a predisposition to psoriasis. However, only 2 to 3 percent of the population develop the disease.
Psoriasis is not a contagious condition (the lesions are not infectious), so coming into contact with someone with psoriasis will not cause the psoriasis to spread.
About 11 percent of those diagnosed with psoriasis have also been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints.
Psoriatic arthritis often goes undiagnosed, particularly in its milder forms. However, it’s important to treat psoriatic arthritis early on to help avoid permanent joint damage
Treatments for Psoriasis
Treating your psoriasis is critical to good disease management and overall health. Work with your doctor or health care professional to find a treatment – or treatments – that reduce or eliminate your symptoms. What works for one person might not work for another.
It’s important to know the different treatment options and keep trying until you find the right regimen for you. Current forms of treatment for psoriasis include:
- Biologics – drugs given through injection or intravenously that target specific parts of the immune system for moderate to severe psoriasis.
- Systemics – drugs given orally or through injection that work throughout the body. Typically for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
- Phototherapy – Phototherapy or light therapy, involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light on a regular basis and under medical supervision.
- New Oral Treatments – treatment options have emerged with a sophisticated approach to treating psoriatic disease. These are called “small-molecule” treatments and can be delivered effectively by mouth. Unlike earlier pills, these new oral treatments selectively target molecules inside immune cells. By adjusting the complicated processes of inflammation within the cell, these treatments correct the overactive immune response that causes inflammation in people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, leading to improvement in redness and scales as well as joint tenderness and swelling.
It is important to work with your doctor or health care professional for treatment and diagnosis of Psoriasis. Early diagnosis is important to keep the condition in check.
The topical application of NeoGenesis Recovery, our most advanced product abundant in S²RM®, to the affected area of skin will also help to skin return to a state of normalcy and reduce the redness and itching. Because psoriasis involves an abnormally high growth rate of skin cells, and an abnormal balance of growth factors, Recovery can help to reset the normal balance of the skin’s growth factors, thereby returning the growth rates to more normal levels. Moisturizing the skin and keeping it properly hydrated is an important aspect of skin management. NeoGenesis Intensive Moisturizer will keep the skin hydrated and may be applied daily as needed.