Psoriasis Treatment & Causes
Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects 2-3% of the Caucasian population. Approximately 10-30% of patients with psoriasis also develop psoriasis arthritis. There are many different forms of Psoriasis and symptoms of psoriasis can vary vastly from patient to patient. This can include red patches of skin covered with silvery scales, small scaling spots, dry, cracked skin that may bleed, itching, burning or soreness, thickened, pitted or ridged nails and swollen, stiff joints. Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas.
Although psoriasis can affect people at any age, it often develops in early adulthood between the ages of 15-30 years old. Once psoriasis appears, it may in some instances be a life-long disease. People with more severe forms of psoriasis often experience progressively increasing amounts of the skin’s surface being affected. Some types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time or even going into complete remission, although spontaneous disease improvement of psoriasis is uncommon.
Causes of psoriasis
Psoriasis is caused by abnormal production of keratinocyte and an infiltration of inflammatory cells into the dermis and epidermis of the skin. One theory for the development of psoriasis is that T cells and dendritic cells (DCs) exacerbate inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, creating an environment in the skin that stimulates an increase of resident keratinocytes and endothelial cells in people genetically susceptible to the skin disease, producing a pattern of growth recognized as psoriasis.
Psoriasis can be triggered by an array of factors that includes physical injury to the skin (the ‘Koebner’ response) and (systemic) infections with streptococcus or other bacteria and yeast.
There are several types of psoriasis:
- Plaque psoriasis
The most common form, plaque psoriasis causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques itch or may be painful and can occur anywhere on your body, including your genitals and the soft tissue inside your mouth. You may have just a few plaques or many and in severe cases, the skin around your joints may crack and bleed.
- Nail psoriasis
Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration. Psoriatic nails may become loose and separate from the nail bed (onycholysis). Severe cases may cause the nail to crumble.
- Scalp psoriasis
Psoriasis on the scalp appears as red, itchy areas with silvery-white scales. You may notice flakes of dead skin in your hair or on your shoulders, especially after scratching your scalp.
- Guttate psoriasis
Guttate psoriasis primarily affects people younger than 30 and is usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. It’s marked by small, water-drop-shaped sores on your torso, arms, legs and scalp. The sores are covered by a fine scale and aren’t as thick as typical plaques are. You may have a single outbreak that goes away on its own or you may have repeated episodes, especially if you have ongoing respiratory infections.
- Inverse psoriasis
Mainly affecting the skin in the armpits, groin, under the breasts and around the genitals, inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin. It’s more common in overweight people and is worsened by friction and sweating.
- Pustular psoriasis
This uncommon form of psoriasis can occur in widespread patches (generalized pustular psoriasis) or in smaller areas on your hands, feet or fingertips. It generally develops quickly, with pus-filled blisters appearing just hours after your skin becomes red and tender. The blisters dry within a day or two, but may reappear every few days or weeks. Generalized pustular psoriasis can also cause fever, chills, severe itching and fatigue.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis
The least common type of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis can cover your entire body with a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely. It may be triggered by severe sunburn, medications, or by another type of psoriasis that’s poorly controlled.
- Psoriatic arthritis
In addition to inflamed, scaly skin, psoriatic arthritis causes pitted, discoloured nails and the swollen, painful joints that are typical of arthritis. It can also lead to inflammatory eye conditions such as conjunctivitis. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Although the disease usually isn’t as crippling as other forms of arthritis, it can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage that in the most serious cases may lead to permanent deformity.
Natural psoriasis treatment at the Skin and Nutrition Clinic
The Skin and Nutrition Clinic is different to other skin specialists in that it takes a completely natural and comprehensive inside-out approach to psoriasis (and all other skin conditions treated), to harness the body’s own immune system and healing potential. Uniquely, the Skin and Nutrition Clinic assesses each patient’s condition on an individual basis rather than using generic methods. The clinic’s main aim is to investigate the underlying cause of your psoriasis to therefore treat the source of the symptoms, rather than just treating the symptoms alone.
Your personal history and family health history are assessed and your skin condition is evaluated using an innovative Skin Analyser to analyse skin health and structure. Potential underlying causes of psoriasis are investigated (including allergies) and further blood or skin tests may be suggested, before a personalised therapy plan is created to treat the cause and the condition. This program focuses on bespoke customised medicinal plant-based systemic and external remedies, dietary advice and potential in-house intensive clinic skin treatments with 100% natural, medicinal plant-based formulations. The Goeckerman regimen may be recommended for severe cases of psoriasis.
Any psoriasis skincare provided will be completely bespoke-made by the Skin and Nutrition Clinic Phyto-Pharmacy to your skin’s own requirements, to maximise results. *
*Results may vary from person to person.
Click here to make an appointment enquiry at the Skin and Nutrition Clinic in Harley Street, London.