Psoriasis: causes, diagnosis and treatment

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 can appear on elbows, knees, scalp or other parts of the body.


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.

The symptoms of psoriasis

Koebner's Phenomenon

Symptoms of psoriasis are inflamed, scaly patches of red, accompanied by severe itching. Such spots tend to be 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 easily removed, 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 characterized by 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 thicker and crumble.

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 develop the disease.

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 optimal in terms of energy value, fat content 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 — do no harm. In many ways, the treatment of psoriasis depends on the patient.

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 vaccinations, trauma 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 sick swimming in the sea and sunbathing, but is 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 optimal in terms of energy value, fat content 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. 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 the consumption of salt.

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.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids


  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 that have 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 involvement in lipid metabolism. 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 vitamin P (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.

Psoriasis: tips for patients

Clothes can to some extent apply pressure to the skin that can cause the appearance of new lesions, so choose light, loose, cotton.

  1. As little as possible, take a bath — give preference to the soul, he mensche dry skin. If you still decided to take a bath, do not stay too long in it. Water should not be hot.
  2. When washing, do not stretch the skin — use a soft sponge or cotton cloth. Avoid using hard sponges.
  3. Use pH neutral soap or shower gel (no fragrance). Do not touch a hard soap to the skin.
  4. Wipe the skin with a towel gently, gently get wet. Do not remove yourself of dead skin flakes.
  5. After shower apply to the skin emollient. Dry, cracked skin reduces the effectiveness of treatment, and often itches.
  6. Short cut nails — this will help less to injure the skin when you arise an irresistible desire to scratch. Try to protect your skin from cuts and damage, as they can cause the appearance of new lesions of psoriasis.
  7. In the treatment of psoriasis with the localization process at the hands necessary to wear cotton gloves after applying meds to avoid getting it into eyes.
  8. Clothes can to some extent apply pressure to the skin that can cause the appearance of new lesions, so choose light, loose, cotton. Clothes made of fabrics with bright and mixed colors will help to disguise falling scales clothes.
  9. Air conditioning can dry your skin out, and after that may come the deterioration. Where possible, limit the time spent in terms of conditioning.
  10. Although the sun's rays and beneficial effect on many patients, try not to "burn" in the sun. Consult your doctor about the optimal sunbathing.
  11. Try to lead a healthy lifestyle, avoid alcohol abuse, and minimize stress.
  12. In the winter, moisten the air at work and at home.