Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Aheli Sen (Fashion & Beauty Expert) on 07th Jan 2021
Is Psoriasis a Serious Skin Condition?
Psoriasis is a skin disease that has nagged humanity for ages. The worst part of having psoriasis is that there are no known ways to cure it. It is a skin condition that has its ups and downs. Sometimes it persists and sometimes it just subsides. These ebbs and flows are for a few weeks or months, but they never go away completely, unlike skin conditions that are mere infections.
Psoriasis is termed as a severe autoimmune disease thus. Cells build up in excess in spots and patches that result in this condition. The production process of skin cells is just a few days for people with psoriasis, and the skin takes a month to shed. This is why the skin builds up because it cannot shed as fast, giving rise to this chronic illness.
Psoriasis cannot be passed on from one person to the other. It is a condition that occurs in people because of DNA or their immune system.
What happens is that the cells start attacking themselves and that's what gives rise to this condition. The T cells of our body or the body's white blood cells malfunction and attack skin cells. The white blood cells act like they would if the skin was affected by a bacterial or fungal infection. This keeps happening for some time. That explains why the cells go wild over a few days to build up one on top of the other before it finally takes a breather. The worst part is that if you have it, there is a chance that your next generation too will suffer from the demise as it is a genetic disease.
Let us look at how to figure if you have psoriasis or not.
- Of course, our first recommendation for a skin condition would be to visit the dermatologist. It means less trying to figure out the skin condition and more of actually figuring it out.
- The patches on the skin are salmon-red.
- They are quite hard and rough to the touch.
- They look and feel scaly.
- The skin is itchy, which means that scratching would leave it dry and patchy.
- The joints swell up.
- The skin under the nails appears rigid.
- Inflammation and redness accompanies this skin condition.
- The scales appear to be white, borderline silver.
- It comes and never really goes away; the redness keeps coming and going.
Psoriasis cannot be cured completely if you get it once. However, you can try the following methods to try to calm the skin from the dryness:
1. Baths –
one of the best ways to make the itchy, dry feeling go away for at least some time is by immersing the body in a warm bath filled with calming bath salts. This would hydrate the rough patches and soothe the skin and make the condition better. However, this is not the only treatment to follow.
2. Clean skin –
the worst enemy of a person with psoriasis is to have the mindset not to maintain hygiene. Hygiene is key, and by that, we mean regular showers and good cleansing of the skin to make sure the skin is not even more irritated from having dirt buildup that would only make the condition worse.
3. Healthy lifestyle –
from smoking continuously to drinking all the time and everything in between; an unhealthy lifestyle never helps the skin or any part of your body heal. With psoriasis, the more unhealthy you are, the more you have to deal with the negative outcome of the disease. Why is that? Smoking and drinking both cause the skin to dehydrate by leaps and bounds. For skin that is already agitated and irritated because of dryness, the last thing you'd want is that it gets even drier. Any aggravation can make the skin all the more uncomfortable.
4. Calm the mind –
it is often believed that the mind is the key to your body. If the mind is set on a belief, there is nothing that you can do to stop the thought from recurring. So what is the big deal? The most common reason for all our problems is the fact that we are mentally unhappy and unstable. We have a lot of stress and very little scope to relax. What stress does is that it triggers and affects the body in places that are already vulnerable. The same condition also applies to having psoriasis. A tense mind would stress the body out to break out into more dry patches. Take your time off, do what you like doing, take care of the body and the mind.
5. Sunlight –
yes, we always hear how we should protect ourselves from the sun. It is true; we should. Applying sunscreen is a great way to keep at bay the harmful effects of the sun. However, sunlight helps the body too. It is the UVA & UVB rays of the sun that cause all the damage. Sun helps heal in a lot of ways. This is why sick people should be out in the open under the new morning sun. Some sun-soaking would help curb psoriasis.
6. Natural ingredients –
Many natural ingredients can be consumed or applied topically to help the skin condition. Aloe vera juice would help the skin calm down when applied topically. Cucumber, potato juice at a cool temperature would also help the skin feel less irritated. Similarly, with the thousand benefits that turmeric has, it would do good to consume it daily in some format. The best time and format of consuming turmeric would be in the morning on an empty stomach in the form of a juice. Not to mention the hefty antioxidant benefits turmeric would impart to the body.
7. Radiation –
the skin is exposed to certain UV rays for the skin to heal. This method is a prescribed process that should be performed under the strict guidance of a doctor.
8. Injections –
for extreme conditions, injections are the best source of peace. Medications are directly pushed into the body to calm down the skin sooner than medicine when taken orally.
9. Topical corticosteroids –
it is the first line of action suggested by a doctor for psoriasis. It helps treat psoriasis that has affected only a small part of the skin. This medication comes in the form of gels, balms, emollients, lotions, foams, etc., and is almost readily available over the counter at medicine shops. As effective as these medications are, they are not good to use in the long term as they come with side effects like atrophy (skin damage from product thinning out the skin).
10. Systematic medication –
these are prescribed drugs to be consumed orally. These medicines come into view when the topical creams fail, and it is realized that the type of psoriasis the skin is suffering from is not as mild. These drugs affect a specific part of the immune system and help curb the skin condition.
It would be good to note here that the ways mentioned above to calm, heal, and soothe the skin should be followed only on consultation with your doctor. Especially the medical treatments that are required. Baths and keeping clean, and having a healthy lifestyle are always good practice.