Psoriasis (pronounced /səˈraɪ.əsɨs/) is a chronic, autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious. There are five types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic. The most common form, plaque psoriasis, is commonly seen as red and white hues of scaly patches appearing on the top first layer of the epidermis (skin). Some patients, though, have no dermatological symptoms. In plaque psoriasis, skin rapidly accumulates at these sites, which gives it a silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area, including the scalp, palms of hands and soles of feet, and genitals. In contrast to eczema, psoriasis is more likely to be found on the outer side of the joint. The disorder is a chronic recurring condition that varies in severity from minor localized patches to complete body coverage. Fingernails and toenails are frequently affected (psoriatic nail dystrophy) and can be seen as an isolated symptom. Psoriasis can also cause inflammation of the joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis. Ten to fifteen percent of people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis. The cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, but it is believed to have a genetic component, and local psoriatic changes can be triggered by an injury to the skin known as the Koebner phenomenon[3 …
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Psoriasis is not at all a contagious ailment but it is chronic and it is believed to be skin condition that can't be cured and almost four million of Americans are suffering from it. The condition of this ailment sometimes can flare up or shrink magically which can stays for years or months. The main reason of having this problem is unknown. With the right trigger or a combination of factors, a patient can encounter unanticipated flare up. Some general triggering elements that may lead to psoriasis outbreaks are major illnesses or some kind of shock, pain, other illnesses and an excessive amount pressure.
I’m not exactly sure if thats what i have on my head, but i have all of the symptoms of psoriasis, so how serious is it, i read joint pains or arthritis can be caused from it, is that possible?! could my knee pay be involved with the scabs on my head? and how serious is all of this? should i tell my dad or can i just my the meds on my own? are there any home remedies for it?
Psoriasis is caused by your immune system. Normally the skin cells on your scalp are cast off and replaced about once a month, but with psoriasis, the affected skin spots can be reproducing about every week. The new skin cells are produced more rapidly than the old skin cells can be discarded, and it causes itchy, red bumps.
The bumps are itchy because histamines are being produced by your immune system to fight off the attack it thinks is happening on your skin. The area is red because the blood vessels expand and pump in more blood to sustain the increase in cell production.
Joint pain can be caused by psoriatic arthritis, which is caused when the immune system begins attacking and inflaming the cartilage between joints. It is possible for joint pain to begin before psoriasis becomes apparent on the skin, but it is rare. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to determine whether or not you have arthritis.
As for the psoriasis you have on your scalp, the best over-the-counter remedy is to buy a coal tar based shampoo. You can find them in almost any store in the Head n Shoulders section of the shampoo aisle. Neutrogena produces one called T-Gel, I believe. Coal tar retards cell formation, and will help with the itch.
If the itchy spots are particularly bad, you can buy a salicilic acid based shampoo to use before using the coal tar shampoo. Salicilic acid loosens and softens the skin if the spots become hardened. I think a company called Scalpacin makes a whole line of psoriasis products.
Psoriasis is not an end-of-the-world affair. About 10% of Americans have psoriasis. If the condition worsens though, you should see a dermatologist, as they can prescribe tougher medication.
Hope that helps.
Learn more about Psoriasis Symptoms and Treatment here.