Psoriasis is a skin disease that has no known cause and it comes with appearance of reddish and desquamative spots or plaques. The spots can appear anywhere in the body, but are more frequent in places such as the elbows, knees and scalp.
The symptoms of psoriasis can disappear spontaneously, without any need for treatment. However, they also tend to become more intense when the immune system is weakened such as during periods of stress or flu.
The symptoms and characteristics may vary slightly depending on the type of psoriasis one has.
1. Vulgar psoriasis
This is the most frequent type of psoriasis and it is characterized by the presence of lesions of varying sizes that usually arise on the scalp, knees, and elbows. These lesions are red and well delimitated and they are in most cases covered by white scales. They can therefore cause a lot of itching and sometimes bleed.
2. Guttata psoriasis
This type of psoriasis is the most common and it usually affects children. It is characterized by the presence of small lesions that are gout shaped on the skin and are mainly on the trunk, arm, and thighs. It is in most cases associated with infection by bacteria of the genus Streptococcus.
3. Artropatic psoriasis or psoriatic atrite
In this type of psoriasis, aside from the appearance of red plaques and desquamative characteristics of the disease, the joints may also become quite painful. This type can affect the joints, fingertips and knees.
4. Pustules psoriasis
Pustules psoriasis is unusual and it is characterized by the presence of lesions with pus which are scattered throughout the body and hands. Other symptoms that may be experienced with this type are fever, chills, itching and diarrhea.
5. Nail psoriasis
This type of psoriasis causes yellowish spots or changes in the shape and texture of the nail and sometimes it may be confused with ringiasis.
6. Psoriasis on the scalp
Psoriasis of the scalp usually appear during periods of stress and is characterized by the presence of thick white scales adhered to the scalp around the hair follicles. In addition, it causes redness in the affected region and a decreased amount of hair.
Psoriasis in children
The symptoms of psoriasis in children and adolescents are the same as those in adults but in very young children, there may be some variations. For children up to 2 years of age, psoriasis manifests itself in the diaper region and it may be similar to diaper erythema (diaper rash). In infant psoriasis, which is usually the guttate psoriasis type, the following symptoms may be experienced:
- Mild redness of the affected area, with a slightly bright tone, with well-defined edges
- Involvement of inguinal folds
- There may or may not be an itch associated
After about 2 weeks of the appearance of the lesions, other lesions may begin to appear on the face, scalp, trunk and limbs.
Essential treatment and care
Treatment of psoriasis is done in order to control its symptoms and it should be done according to the guidance of a dermatologist. Treatment is usually done through the use of medications that are in form of tablets and ointments. In addition, hygiene and hydration of the skin must be maintained.
It is also important to pay keen attention to food, giving preference to anti-oxidant foods that will keep the skin hydrated.