Psoriasis Vulgaris is the most common form of psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin disorder characterized by plaques of raised skin which are commonly found on the elbows, knees, trunk, and scalp. It can also form in other parts of the body as well. The formed plaque appears flaky and has a distinct silvery hue. This flaky surface is called a scale and mainly consists of dead skin cells.
What are the symptoms of Psoriasis Vulgaris?
- Reddish patches on the skin which are covered with silver/ white scales.
- Itchiness and burning sensation on the affected area.
- Scaling spots.
- Cracked skin surface that bleeds easily.
- Thick, pitted, and ridged nail edges.
- Stiff and swollen joints of both extremities.
These symptoms sometimes appear in cycles which may start with a period of itching. This flaring stage may last for days, months, or even weeks. Afterwards it subsides and may even go into remission for a while but it eventually returns in most cases.
What causes the disease?
Up to this date, the cause of Psoriasis Vulgaris is unknown. However, extensive research that were made on the subject points out to an auto- immune malfunction as the main cause of the condition. There are also risk factors that were identified as common among those who have the disease. These include:
- Exposure to severe cold temperature
- Family history of the disorder
- Immune system infection
- Long- term exposure to steroids
How is it Diagnosed?
A thorough medical history is first obtained during the initial diagnosis of the condition. The presence of the mentioned risk factors plays a great role in solidifying the diagnosis of psoriasis. A complete examination of the affected area is the next thing to be done. Areas on the scalp, nails, and the skin surrounding the elbow and knee joints are carefully inspected. A tissue sample of the surface can then be microscopically examined.
Can it be treated?
Yes, it can be treated but the end- result depends on a lot of factors. Major aspects that should be considered in choosing which kind of treatment will be used are age, over-all health condition, lifestyle, location and severity of the condition.
Common form of treatment is the application of topical steroid creams directly on the sores. The steroids can also be injected specially for moderate cases. Application of controlled UV light, and Photochemotherapy (PUVA) is also being used to treat Psoriasis Vulgaris. This form of treatment is recommended for multiple lesions on the body. It can also be combined with topical treatments plus a daily dose of exposure to natural sunlight. With severe cases, a drug called etrentinate (Tegison)is added to both UV and PUVA treatment to enhance its effects.
Hydrocortisone creams and Capsaicin ointments relieve symptoms and are prescribed to reduce inflammation and formation of new skin cells. These drugs may cause burning and other skin damage so it must be prescribed accordingly by the doctor.
What about alternative treatments?
Non- traditional treatment options for Psoriasis Vulgaris include:
- Soaking the affected area in warm water infused with chamomile.
- Drinking of herb infused tea with either one of the following: burdock, Oregon grape, dandelion, sarsaparilla, and balsam pearl.
- A diet that is plenty of turkey, fish, lettuce, parsley, celery, and lemons.
- Avoid intake of foods cooked with saturated fats.
- Intake of food supplements that contain Vitamin A, Vitamin E, selenium, lecithin, and Zinc.
Although it is said that Psoriasis Vulgaris cannot be completely treated, it can be controlled using both modern and alternative forms of treatment. People who have the disease can still live healthy, normal lives with the right form of treatment.