Psoriasis is a form of dermatitis and is an autoimmune disorder where there is an increase of skin cells. This condition typically occurs between the ages of 15 and 35, and commonly begins or peaks at ages 23 and 55. There are five types of psoriasis and each may produce intense inflammation, redness, and scaling of the skin, and is commonly found in the knees, elbows, stomach, feet, hands, and face. Psoriasis can also cause infection, fluid loss, and poor circulation.
Genetics may be a predisposed factor. here is a significantly lower incidence of psoriasis found in Japanese, Inuit, West African, North American Indian or people of South American Indian descent.
Contributing Factors Include:
Psoriasis and Disease
Patients with psoriasis have higher occurrence of diabetes and atherosclerosis, and may experience psoriatic arthritis. Treatment of atherosclerosis includes catechins which are found in green tea, and quercetin.
Treatment Options for Psoriasis Include:
UVB and PUVA light therapy
Most of these therapies have serious side effects except for photodynamic therapy. Photodynamic therapy uses application of a prodrug aminolevulinic acid, when activated by light, causes toxicity in dystrophic cells, and is effective to treat psoriasis vulgaris.
Other forms of therapy include topical salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is the most commonly used keratolytic agent to treat psoriasis, and is recognized by the FDA in low concentration of 1.8% to treat psoriasis. Prescription strengths may range up to 10%, with 2%commonly found in over the counter acne products, and is essentially without any side effects.
Polyhydroxy acids are natural components in the skin and are effective in cell keratinization and in normalizing the stratum corneum, and can alleviate scaling of psoriasis plaques. Lactobionic acid and maltobionic acid are polyhydroxy acids that are hydroscopic humectants which have soothing and healing benefits.
The Excimer laser can used to treat psoriasis, and produces ultraviolet radiation at a very specific wavelength of 308 nm, which is highly effective at treating psoriasis. Optimal therapy consists of 10 to 15 treatments to achieve substantial improvement, with remission time much longer than topical creams.
Therapy using Miraderm, a topical containing salicylic acid along with bioflavonoids and natural botanicals, has proven optimal demonstrating complete remission one year later.
Psoriasis can be challenging to live with, and there are safe alternatives to treatment without serious side effects.
Linda Gulla is a writer and educator in medical aesthetics and cosmetic dermatology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org