Psoriasis: causes, diagnosis and treatment

psoriasis causes

From psoriasis affects about 4% of the population of the globe. It can develop at any age from birth to old age, however, psoriasis is "loves" the young. This is evidenced by the fact that 70% of patients with psoriasis get sick before the age of 20 years.

Symptoms of psoriasis : itching, rash, peeling

Who to contact : doctor-dermatologist

Tests and examinations: biopsy of skin

Methods of treatment: cryotherapy, PUVA therapy, plasmapheresis

Psoriasis is a chronic non-infectious disease that is most often seen in the form of rashes and peeling of the skin.

From psoriasis affects about 4% of the population of the globe. It can develop at any age from birth to old age, however, psoriasis is "loves" the young. This is evidenced by the fact that 70% of patients with psoriasis get sick before the age of 20 years.

If the skin rashes, resembling psoriasis should consult a dermatologist. Psoriatic lesions represent itchy scaly plaques of various sizes. While plaque psoriasis may be on the elbows, knees, scalp or other parts of the body. The doctor can make an accurate diagnosis and, depending on its form, to prescribe treatment.

Causes of psoriasis

Psoriasis is an abnormal reaction of the body to external stimuli, by which some parts of the body the top layer of skin dies a lot faster than normal. If you normally cycle of division and maturation of skin cells takes 3-4 weeks, in psoriasis this process occurs in just 4-5 days.

Currently, psoriasis is considered a hereditary disease: the basis of disease there is not one but a whole range of reasons – immunological changes and metabolic disorders associated with endocrine and neurological disorders. You can say that psoriasis is not infectious, and therefore not a contagious disease.

The causes of psoriasis are still not completely found. On this score there are various theories.

According to one theory, there are two types of psoriasis:

  • Psoriasis type I is invoked by the inherited failure of the immune system. This form of psoriasis affects about 65% of people, and the disease manifests itself at a young age, from 18 to 25 years.
  • Psoriasis type II appears in people older than 40 years. With this type of psoriasis is not hereditary and is not associated with breakdowns in the cells of the immune system. Moreover, in contrast to psoriasis type I which prefers a skin, psoriasis type II more often affects the nails and joints.

According to another theory, the cause of psoriasis are solely immunity disorders caused by various factors: it could be stress, or infectious diseases, or cold climate, or poor diet. For example, noted that alcohol can cause exacerbation of psoriasis, especially beer, champagne, spirits. Use of products containing vinegar, pepper, chocolate, also worsens the disease and can cause exacerbation of psoriasis. According to this theory, psoriasis is a systemic disease. This means that in case of serious violations of the immune system, the process may spread to other organs and tissues, e.g., joints. As a result, can develop psoriatic arthritis, which is characterized by lesions of small joints of hands and feet.

causes of psoriasis

The symptoms of psoriasis

Symptoms of psoriasis are inflamed, scaly patches of red, accompanied by severe itching. Such patches (plaques) often located on the skin of the scalp, knees and elbow joints in the lower back and in places skin folds . About a quarter of patients affects the nails.

Depending on the seasonality of relapses (worsening of the disease) there are three types of psoriasis: winter, summer, uncertain. The most common winter type of psoriasis.

In the period of exacerbation of symptoms of psoriasis on the hands, the knees, the head and also in the lower back and in places skin folds appear in the form of plaques reddish color. Their sizes vary from a pinhead to large areas of the palm size and more.

Rashes are usually accompanied by flaking and painful itching. In the process of peeling of superficial scales are more dense, arranged in depth (hence the second name of psoriasis — psoriasis). Sometimes in the affected areas of the skin appear cracked and festering.

For progressive psoriasis is characteristic of the so-called phenomenon Kebner: the development of psoriatic plaques in places of trauma or scratching of the skin.

About a quarter of patients affects the nails. This raises a deeper point and spotting of the nail plate. In addition, the nails can become denser and crumbles.

In the summer, under the influence of sunlight, in patients with winter form of psoriasis symptoms subside, and sometimes disappear. Patients summer type of psoriasis, on the contrary, it is recommended to avoid exposure to the sun because it worsens the disease.

Diagnosis of psoriasis

Diagnose psoriasis by a dermatologist. To him should go the appearance of skin rashes similar to psoriasis — plaques of various sizes, red, itchy and flaky. To confirm the diagnosis may need a biopsy of the skin.

The treatment of psoriasis

If the doctor detects a psoriasis at the initial stage, it is entirely possible you will be assigned predominantly preventive rather than curative means.

When significant symptoms of the disease are used the following methods of treatment of psoriasis:

  • cryotherapy is a method of cold exposure;
  • plasmapheresis is a blood purification,
  • therapy with UV — a treatment is short-term procedures, similar to the Solarium. For more effective treatment of psoriasis this method is often combined with administration of specific medications PUVA therapy).

In no case do not try to deal with psoriasis treatment with ultraviolet radiation without medical advice. In psoriasis, small doses of ultraviolet light are medicinal, and increased — on the contrary, can lead to the development of the disease. The same applies to sunbathing.

Unfortunately, nobody knows how to cure psoriasis completely, because the body "retains memory" of the disease in the form of biochemical, immunological and functional changes. Recurrence of psoriasis can occur at any time, so patients with this diagnosis should always be seen by a dermatologist.

What you can and cannot psoriasis

Successful treatment of psoriasis depends largely on compliance with the dietary regime, which must be physiologically balanced content of fats and carbohydrates.

Psoriasis treatment lengthy and complex process, the most important of which are experience of treatment, long-term monitoring of patients and proper choice of methods and means of therapy. You should always remember that the main thing in the treatment of this unpredictable disease, "noli nocere" (do no harm). In many ways, the treatment of psoriasis depends on the patient, from his awareness of this disease, States of mind, mood, optimism.

Make sure it's really psoriasis (if the rash first appeared). Remember that circumstances and events were preceded by the appearance of rashes. It can be a stressful situation, any intoxication — drugs, alcohol, food, etc., prolonged hypothermia, infectious diseases and vaccination, injuries to the skin (including perms, hair coloring), etc. Subsequently, where possible, eliminate the impact of these factors on your body.


  1. Ill. Prevent acute infectious diseases to chronic.
  2. Drinking, Smoking. Remember that alcohol and Smoking, as a rule, complicate the treatment of psoriasis and cause him aggravation.
  3. "Purified." Popular recent "cleaning" of the body can also act as precipitating factors. Do not get involved and starvation.
  4. To abuse the ultraviolet. Many patients go to sea to get rid of the disease, but soon convinced that the disease is progressing again and comes with new force, again makes itself felt — the sun detrimental effect on the patient, it "drives" psoriasis deeper into the body, and after some time the opposite happens, so take the sea and sunbathing, it is better after the fall and winter the treatment and prevention of the summer.
  5. Eat everything. Successful treatment of psoriasis depends largely on compliance with the dietary regime, which in this disease should be physiologically balanced content of fats and carbohydrates. It is necessary to exclude consumption of citrus, chocolate, eggs, honey, whole milk and products that contain red pigment (tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, etc.). After the disappearance of the plaques in the period of remission, not to misuse these products, it is desirable to limit sharply acidic, spicy and fatty foods, meats, sweets.

Possible eliminate foods that cause allergic reactions, or limit their consumption. Increase the number of meals, but shorten it to a single volume. Meals are eat boiled, baked, stewed.

Successful treatment of psoriasis largely depends on the exclusion of spicy dishes, spices and spicy vegetables, seasonings (mustard, mayonnaise, etc.), smoked foods, strong meat, fish and mushroom broths and sauces. Significantly reduce intake of salt and salty foods.

During intense progression of the process required fasting days and a drastic restriction of consumption of alcoholic beverages. Minimize consumption of sugar-containing products.

Psoriasis treatment is usually complex and takes into account many factors contributing to the development or exacerbation of the disease, as well as compliance with certain rules of supply.


  1. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (Pufas). Special attention should be paid to the intake of vegetable oils comprising polyunsaturated fat acids (Pufas). Intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids in sufficient quantities is very important in psoriasis, as they form in the body of biologically active substances (including tissue hormones prostaglandins, act as regulators of biological processes), anti-inflammatory and antiallergic effect, a positive effect on the skin (as part of cell membranes) and blood vessel walls, regulate the metabolism (in particular, fat metabolism in the liver, the metabolism of some vitamins).
  2. Fiber. In this group of patients there is a need periodically to maintain the cleansing function of the liver and its participation in the exchange. Very important regular bowel movements. The tendency to constipation in the diet include products with a high content of dietary fiber and meals with "laxative" effect (salads with vegetable oil, vinaigrette, etc.). In addition, dietary fiber possess other important properties: influence on metabolism, maintain the body's balance of minerals. Food should be enriched with foods that normalize lipid metabolism (buckwheat, cheese, etc.).
  3. Vitamins. Treatment of psoriasis occurs most successful when careful attention is paid to the intake of vitamins belonging to the group of antioxidants that support healthy skin and nails. They help to neutralize free radicals, damaging the skin, strengthen the walls of blood vessels, is important for the synthesis of collagen and elastin (the elements of connective tissue). The complex of b vitamins that are involved in all cellular processes, also helps to maintain the skin in healthy condition. In addition, the b vitamins, have a beneficial effect on the nervous system, which is important in this disease. Typical of psoriasis is an increased proliferation of skin cells and their incomplete maturation. Discovered that the cells of the upper skin layer (keratinocytes) have a high sensitivity to vitamin A. currently in the practice of medicine with success using vitamin products Of which, through the receptors on keratinocytes, leading to increased differentiation and thus try to normalize the development of the epidermis.

When composing a diet, it is important to remember the inclusion in the diet of foods rich in vitamin E (vegetable oils), C (rosehip, sweet pepper, currant), And beta-carotene (liver, butter, sweet pepper), (fish products), (beef liver, buckwheat) and bioflavonoid (currants).

  1. Calcium. The diet should be enriched with food sources of calcium (cheese, fermented milk products, etc.) that have anti-inflammatory and antiallergic action.
  2. Zinc. In psoriasis, it is important to consider the flow of food of zinc, which depends the production of protein needed for wound healing, enhance immunity and antioxidant protection.

Skin care in psoriasis

skin care in psoriasis

In psoriasis the skin becomes dry and rough, Horny layer of the epidermis is greatly thickened. Violation of cellular processes leads to the fact that the skin is increasingly difficult to retain moisture, it undergoes dehydration. Therefore for psoriasis are advised to use emollients that make the skin more pliable.

How to change the properties of the skin affected by psoriasis?

For skin affected by psoriasis, is characterized by accelerated renewal of the epidermis. The norm for a full update of epidermal cells take 3-4 weeks, but in psoriasis it takes only 4-7 days. Due to dehydration skin becomes dry and less elastic. In addition, it becomes prone to inflammation, therefore, plaques that appear on different parts of the body, especially on hands, feet, torso and scalp have a reddish color. Usually plaques covered with thin white scales. Psoriasis is a chronic disease that occurs usually after 15 years.