The cause of psoriasis has been debated for decades, but no universal answer has been found. Extensive swelling of the body, appearance of scales, itching, deterioration of the body - all these are the main symptoms of a disease that affects a considerable number of people on the planet.
What causes psoriasis
Although there is no single answer as to the nature of psoriasis, it is generally considered a systemic failure of the body.
Until recently, it was thought to be a simple skin disease, but soon a certain characteristic was discovered.
So, in a healthy person, the life cycle of normal dermal cells is about a month, but in psoriasis, this cycle is shortened to 5 days. In other words, already 4 days after the start of the pathological process, the cells begin to die, and plaques, respectively, appear, called psoriasis.
Combining all of the above, psoriasis is now not considered a skin disease, but a systemic failure of the body. To date, there have been multiple hypotheses regarding the etymology of the disease. Let's consider them:
- immunity. According to this theory, an autoimmune attack is the root cause of pimples in the body. In this case, the immune system sees the skin cells as foreign, and the body starts actively attacking them. This claim is not without basis, as it has been established that psoriasis usually manifests in people with complex infectious diseases. In addition, many studies have shown that antigenic complexes are present in the scales covering the plaques.
- endocrine. Advocates of this theory point to hormonal dysfunction as the underlying cause of psoriasis. These conclusions are based on findings from studies characterizing the disease process. The researchers are convinced that the disruption of normal function caused by a malfunction of the endocrine system leads to pathological cell growth. This theory is confirmed by a large number of women who experience psoriasis for the first time during periods, ovulation and other hormonal disturbances. It's impossible to say for sure, because the hormones that influence the development of the disease have not been identified.
- neurogenic. The working dysfunction of the nervous system may also be the root cause of the development of psoriasis. This theory is also supported by the fact that sedatives used to treat psoriasis can achieve better and faster results.
- viral. Although psoriasis itself is not a viral disease, many doctors believe that the pathology develops directly in the context of a viral infection. During the onset, the lymph nodes of the whole body change, the immunity weakens, and there are more papules. But this theory can only be refuted because psoriasis is not contagious, but the virus that contributes to its development has not been identified.
- allergy. There are several reasons to believe that psoriasis occurs in the context of an allergic reaction: psoriasis is not contagious, the rash is very itchy, and antihistamines can relieve symptoms.
- exchange. This theory arises in the context of the fact that people with psoriasis are hypothermic, which suggests a slowing of metabolic processes. Patients almost always have deficiencies in vitamins A and B, zinc, iron, and copper, and elevated blood cholesterol levels. One in four was diagnosed with diabetes, genital, pancreatic and thyroid disease.
- Genetics - considered the most common theory. The statistics themselves bear this out—about 60 percent of people with psoriasis have blood relatives with the same diagnosis. In addition, it has been confirmed the fact that the appearance of the disease is entirely influenced by that part of the chromosome, which is responsible for the level of inflammatory processes in the skin.
None of the above theories can be considered the only correct theory. Each of them has its confirmation and its rebuttal.
What causes psoriasis
Extensive research into the nature of psoriasis has not revealed the true cause, but other conditions have been identified that may trigger the development of the disease. The disease is caused by external and internal causes:
- Ongoing stress - can act as a trigger for psoriasis flare-ups and exacerbate existing chronic conditions that are in remission.
- Infections, chronic diseases (sinusitis, otitis media, tonsillitis) and streptococcal infections.
- hormone imbalance.
- Burns, injuries, bites and other damage to skin integrity.
- long-term low temperature.
- Long-term use of drugs (antibacterials, NSAIDs). This also includes regular vaccinations.
- Abuse of highly allergenic foods (chocolate, citrus fruits) and malnutrition associated with the intake of fatty, fried, smoked, spicy foods.
- Climatic conditions change drastically.
Causes of psoriasis in men
In men, psoriasis is most often diagnosed between the ages of 15-30 and in women 22-25. This can be attributed to the fact that the hormonal balance in the male body is established later than the more equitable sex.
The predisposing factors of the disease are the same as those listed above (weak immunity, infection, skin damage, etc. ), but there are still several features:
- Men are more likely to abuse bad habits.
- Don't care about your health. The general disease preceding the disease is usually not considered. The resulting infection can trigger the development of the disease.
- Due to the physical characteristics of the male body, psoriasis often affects the scrotum and penis. Here, the provocative factors are the delicate skin of these areas, the frequent rubbing and promiscuity of the skin areas.
Causes of Psoriasis in Women
In women, psoriasis most commonly occurs in the following contexts:
- hormonal imbalances (menstruation, pregnancy, menopause);
- Abusing diets (especially monolithic diets);
- excessive stressful situations;
- Severe hypothermia.
Usually, in the fairer sex, psoriasis is located in the groin area, on the labia, along the bikini line of the perineum. There are no obvious signs of psoriasis, such as itching and burning, leading women to confuse the rash with STDs and self-treatment. As a result, the disease progresses and affects other parts of the body.
Reasons for the presence of children
Psoriasis is an age-limiting disease that children often suffer from. But what is the reason? After all, for the most part, kids are eating right, their health is more carefully monitored, and they aren't prone to bad habits. It is worth mentioning that in this case, genetic factors are key.
According to statistics, if one of the baby's parents is sick, then the disease will be transmitted to the child with a 25% probability, and if it is both parents - the probability is 75%.
In older children (2-10 years), intense psycho-emotional stress, fear, excessive stress (eg, in 1st grade) may be predisposing factors.
Psychological reasons for the development of psoriasis
The relationship between psoriasis and stress has been identified by foreign researchers. In 80% of patients with this pathological process on the skin, unstable psycho-emotional states are observed.
Today, stress is considered a secondary factor in the development of skin diseases. This can be caused by persistent nervousness, depression and apathy:
- Increased levels of hormones in the body can trigger inflammatory processes, including on the skin.
- sleep disorder.
- Eating Interruption - A person "catches" his problem or refuses to eat at all. Thus there are digestive disorders that affect the development of psoriasis.
- Increased levels of the hormone cortisol - a person's blood pressure increases and immunity decreases.
- Abuse of bad habits. Smoking and heavy drinking have been shown to trigger the development of psoriasis, and in stressful situations a person tends to "drown" his sadness with a glass or calm down by smoking.
All of these negatively affect all body systems, so stress is often considered to be the root cause of not only skin disorders, but other health problems as well.
symptoms of disease
Psoriasis is a systemic disease, so before the first signs on the skin are:
- chronic fatigue;
- apathy or depression;
- General weakness.
Only after a certain period of time do the symptoms of skin lesions begin to appear. First, the patient notices the appearance of individual red papules, depending on the form of the disease. Over time, they grow, fuse and form extensive inflammatory foci called psoriatic plaques. The plaques form gray scales that are easily scraped off, exposing the smooth surface of the skin (the terminal pellicle) and causing dripping.
Experts distinguish three stages of psoriasis development, characterized by certain signs:
- Progressive - During this stage, a single rash grows, affecting new areas of the skin. Depending on the location, the affected skin may experience itching, burning, pain, and inflammation.
- Fixed - The growth of psoriatic plaques stops and new rashes do not appear.
- Degenerative - the stage in which all symptoms of psoriasis gradually decrease to zero. The patient noted that symptoms such as itching had stopped, the papules had turned pale and the peeling had stopped.
The clinical presentation of psoriasis may vary depending on the time of year when psoriasis appears. Summer type, in which all symptoms suddenly worsen and are more difficult to treat. In winter, it is characterized by mild symptoms that disappear quickly. There is also an indeterminate type of psoriasis in which symptoms appear regardless of the season, with frequent recurrences.
Depending on the localization of the disease, there are several forms of psoriasis, characterized by certain symptoms:
- Vulgar or simple psoriasis - manifests on the knees and elbows.
- Seborrhea - is a complication of seborrhea. With this form, the psoriatic plaques are not inflamed, but the papules have a characteristic yellowish color.
- Arthropathy - Affects the joints of the feet and hands. The patient had pain in the extremities and stiff movements.
- Exudative - characterized by yellow scaly patches on the knees and elbows.
- Pustular - The patient presents with severe discomfort, elevated body temperature, inflamed plaques, and pustules.
- Psoriasis on the palms and soles - usually on the inside of the extremities. This form of skin thickens, cracks, and becomes inflamed.
- Inverse - Appears on the large natural folds of the body. The underlying causes of this form of psoriasis include endocrine disorders.
- Teardrop - Psoriatic plaques are teardrop-shaped and located on the trunk and legs.
- Nail psoriasis - small pits appear on the nail plate, the nails thicken and gradually fall off.
- Psoriatic erythroderma is the most severe form and is characterized by transient, severe swelling and extensive affected areas.
Treatment of psoriasis is long and complex. The reason is that even with the most adequate treatment it is impossible to completely get rid of the disease, all methods are aimed at eliminating symptoms and root causes, as well as prolonging remission. The pathological treatment method is as follows:
- Topical treatments (creams, vitamins, ointments) - only for early and mid-stage psoriasis.
- Diet therapy - is necessary for normalization of the digestive tract.
- Systemic treatment. Taking medication is designed to normalize the work of all systems and organs of the body.
- Light therapy and other physiological procedures that act directly on the affected area.
All topical preparations prescribed for psoriasis are designed to soften plaques, relieve inflammation and eliminate other external manifestations of the pathology. Most commonly used:
- Ointment based on tar, grease, fat.
- oil preparations;
- mustard gas ointment;
- hormonal agents. They are only used for severe psoriasis because they have many side effects;
- Salicylic acid ointment;
- Silicone formulations.
Due to the ineffectiveness of topical medication, the patient was prescribed:
- Anti-inflammatory (drug;
- vitamin complex;
- Antipsychotics and sedatives - in advanced stages;
- Stimulant of the immune system and metabolism.
In combination with pharmaceutical preparations, alternative medicines also help to significantly relieve the patient's condition. The most effective means are:
- Peppermint tea, lemon balm, and valerian and motherwort tinctures. The goal is to stabilize the psycho-emotional state of the body.
- Sparkling water is a simple and effective formula that involves compressing the affected area of the body with a solution. Allows you to relieve itching and promote absorption of psoriatic plaques.
- Herbal bath (rope, chamomile) - used to eliminate mental and physical discomfort.
After one appearance, psoriasis reminds itself for life. However, it is important to avoid predisposing factors so that the remission period is as long as possible. Preventive measures include:
- prevent violation of the integrity of the skin;
- Avoid prolonged exposure of the skin to sunlight;
- weight control and proper nutrition;
- use of special shampoos (for scalp psoriasis);
- Say goodbye to bad habits.
Patients must be regularly checked by a dermatologist and follow all their doctor's instructions, including taking preventive medications.