Many know the psioriasis for its fame, and they hope not to contract it because it is a skin disease that is not only annoying but also unsightly. It sounds like a frivolous statement to say it is anti aesthetic in a medical context in which there may be other concerns, but this is a side that should not be overlooked in the case of psoriasis as well as other diseases due to psychological findings which can be met.
Psoriasis: what it is
We are talking about one inflammatory skin disease, chronic and non-contagious which in Italy is very widespread as indeed in all of Europe. We can count over two million people who suffer from it, in our country, for a percentage equal to 3.1% of Italian citizens. Looking at a large scale, psoriasis affects an inclusive percentage worldwide between 0.6 and 5% of the population which is by no means negligible.
There is no age or phase of life in which psoriasis cannot appear even if there is a range in which it is particularly likely to appear: that between 20 and 30 years. Once you contract it then you carry it with you for the rest of your life, i young children rarely have psoriasis while worldwide there was a second peak of incidence that is recorded in the age group between 50 and 60 years.
In general, the earlier it appears, the more severe the form, but it is only a statistical observation, then everyone has their own medical course that can present surprises. Females and males alike suffer from this disease, there are no great differences, but we can say that it worsens in the winter months while in summer it regresses.
The classic manifestation of the presence of this skin disease is the appearance of red patches and plaques, covered with whitish scales. They are formed in some areas more than in others, the areas of the body most affected, at least initially, are the knees, the sacral region, the elbows, hands, feet and the scalp. The patches are then followed by an annoying peeling, a severe itching, the presence of erythema and redness, a sense of tension and severe burning.
It is not possible to give precise indications on the size of the individual patches because it is extremely variable, you can see spots appearing with lengths of a few millimeters, but numerous, or large plaques of several centimeters. The shape, duration and development of psoriasis spots vary greatly from person to person and also for some external factors, providing a description of the standard would be misleading and could lead to unnecessary alarmism or concern.
To try to cure and even before diagnosing psoriasis, doctors have distinguished it five types which are the five major clinical variants. There is the plaque psoriasis which is then the one found in over 80% of cases, al guttata which affects 10% of patients, the reverse which instead tends to occur concomitantly with psoriasis in plates, or in isolation.
Erythrodermal psoriasis it is very rare, it only counts 3% of cases and the same goes for the pustular, below 3%. These variants were created to better deal with the disease but there is not always a strict distinction between one and the other and sometimes two types overlap, creating a mixed form that is no less treatable for this.
When we say that the psoriasis is a multifactorial pathology it means that it can have many causes and not always easy to identify because it derives from the interaction between numerous predisposing factors. In most cases they play a very strong role in both this mix genetic component is, as we shall see, stress.
Then there are gods triggers and we will see the most varied, be careful that these are not causes but the classic drops that make the vessels overflow. Here are some of them: trauma, accidental wounds, tattoos, pharyngitis, Streptococcal tonsillitis, AIDS, physical and mental stress, sunburn. Also smoking and alcohol abuse can contribute to the onset of this disease just like the use of antihypertensive and antimalarial drugs.
However, let's not forget that psoriasis is also a psychosomatic disease and there are studies that prove it, and for which the treatments cannot fail to include psychological treatment, mild or not.
Today, but who knows tomorrow, there is no definitive cure for psioriasis but there are treatments that may not increase the effects and try to make us suffer less from the symptoms. Even in this case, however, it is necessary to commit oneself and follow the prescriptions regularly and consistently, without getting bored and quitting. In case of apparent recovery, woe to stop suddenly the treatment and the checks that must always be carried out, periodically, so that the problem does not return to us.
Today there are specific drugs to treat milder forms of psoriasis, limiting the side effects as much as possible. By this I mean, for example, the many cortisone-based creams. Typically, treatments for psoriasis are divided into four main areas, there are topical ones, traditional oral systemic ones, biological therapies and phototherapy with ultraviolet rays.
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