How You Can Recognize Psoriasis

Psoriasis Treatment Once You Recognize The Symptoms

PsoriasisPsoriasis is a surprisingly common skin condition. A definitive diagnosis of psoriasis can only be done by a doctor, but knowing the symptoms of psoriasis can help you determine which doctor you need to see first.

People who have psoriasis usually deal with:

  • Itching of the skin that comes and goes,
  • A very clearly outlined red rash overlapped by silver scales,
  • Ankles, backs of the wrists, backs of the knees, and buttocks as special problem areas,
  • Teardrop-shaped discoloration of the fingernails,
  • And, in about 10 per cent of cases, a debilitating condition of the joints known as psoriatic arthritis.

Just in the United States, nearly 14 million people suffer psoriasis. Worldwide, between 70 and 150 million people have the disease. Sometimes the condition first appears in childhood, usually after a case of strep throat. Most of the time, psoriasis first appears in early adulthood. Either way, this skin condition tends to persist throughout life.

Psoriasis is made worse by stress. It is also aggravated by some of the medications used to control reactions to stress, such as the beta-blockers. This skin disease causes skin cells to multiply at an extremely rapid rate. Even in unblemished skin, psoriasis causes skin cells to multiply at 250% of the skin’s normal rate of replacement. In patches of scaly skin, cells are multiplying at up to 1,000 times the normal rate.

Eczema causes itchy skin that is really due to forces outside the skin. Eczema is a kind of allergic reaction, with the same chemical origins as allergies and asthma.

Psoriasis causes skin itch by forces inside the skin. Skin affected by psoriasis has an imbalance of two chemical messengers called cAMP and cGMP. The first chemical messenger, cAMP, encourages skin cells to mature. The second chemical messenger, cGMP, causes them to multiply. In psoriasis, there is too little cAMP and too much cGMP.

Anything that causes the production of stress hormones increases the production of cGMP. That is why controlling stress is profoundly helpful in treating psoriasis. Treatments for dry, itchy skin may help control symptoms, but reducing stress helps control the disease itself.

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